George Albertus Cox

Plot 2, Lot 8, Private Mausoleum
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto

Born in Colborne, Ontario on May 7, 1840 young George was educated in the local elementary school following which he obtained a job as a telegrapher for the Montreal Telegraph Company. Two years later he was promoted and put in charge of the company’s Peterborough office. Cox took an active part in the political life of Peterborough, holding the office of mayor for seven years. In 1878, at the age of 38, he helped negotiate funds for the reconstruction of the Midland Railway, becoming president of the company in 1878. Six years later, the refurbished railway was sold to the Grand Trunk with the shareholders (including Mr. Cox) earning substantial profits.
   Later, he became associated with Canada Life in the insurance business and founded the Canada Loan and Savings Company in 1884. In 1888, Cox moved to Toronto where he continued to dominate the business world. Amongst other positions, he was president of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, the Canada Life, British America and Western Assurance Companies, and the Toronto Savings and Loan Company, as well as a director of numerous other important enterprises (Toronto Railway Company, Toronto General Trusts, etc.). He was so important in financial circles that in 1909 he was described by the press as being one of the most influential businessmen in the country.
   He was also philanthropic giving thousands of dollars to organizations such as the Toronto General Hospital, the Victorian Order of Nurses, and the Methodist Church. Cox was called to the Senate of Canada in 1896. Early in the morning of January 16, 1914 Senator Cox passed away at his 439 Sherbourne Street residence. The Cox mausoleum, built at a cost of $50,000, was designed by the Toronto architectural firm of Sproat and Rolph (Royal York Hotel, Canada Life building). Its walls are made of Troy, New Hampshire granite, its roof and steps of granite from quarries in Stanstead, Quebec, and the interior of Italian marble. The roof components, each of which weighs twenty tons and measures almost thirty-five feet in length, were so heavy no wagon could move them from the rail siding to the cemetery. It was necessary to wait until snow covered the ground so that the seven massive stones could be transported using sleighs. A total of sixteen people are interred in the Cox mausoleum including the Senator’s two wives, Margaret (d. 1905) and Amy (d. 1915), the Senator’s six children, plus financier A. E. Ames, the Senator's son-in-law and husband of daughter Mary.

Mike Filey
Mount Pleasant Cemetery: An Illustrated Guide
Second Edition Revised and Expanded