Oliver B. Sheppard

Mausoleum: Row 153, Level C
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto

Born on his father’s farm in North Gwillimbury, Canada West (Ontario) in 1849, Oliver Barton Sheppard spent the first few years of his working life as a teacher. In 1876 he moved to Toronto where he entered the theatrical business joining the staff of the Grand Opera House on Adelaide Street West, first as a treasurer and eventually becoming its manager. When the notorious Ambrose Small became the new owner of the Grand in 1897, Sheppard, who disliked Small, gave notice and quickly moved to the Grand’s competition, the Princess Theatre on King Street West, where he was instrumental in bringing the world’s best known stars to its stage. Incidentally, Sheppard wasn’t the only one who disliked Small, for in 1919 “Ambie” disappeared without a trace, a case that remains unsolved to this day.* In addition to his full-time job in the theatre business, Sheppard found time to get elected to Toronto City Council annually from 1894 through 1906. He died at his residence, 288 Russell Hill Road, on April 30, 1928.

*Although it has never been solved, Toronto Police closed the case in December 1960.

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