William D. Dennison

Plot 15, Section 2, Lot 25
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto

Bill Dennison was born at Snake River in Renfrew County on January 20, 1905. As a young man, he stuttered so badly that he decided to enter a speech therapy school in the United States. His problem cured, Dennison returned to Canada and established a similar facility which he called Dennison School of Speech Correction in Oshawa. He later moved to Toronto and ran the school out of a house at 31 St. Clair Avenue East.
   Dennison entered politics in the 1938 civic election winning a position as school trustee. He ran for and won the alderman position for Ward Two in 1941, a feat he repeated two years later. Dennison then ran for provincial office and was elected MPP, serving from 1943 to 1945, and again from 1948 to 1952. In 1953, he returned to city politics and was again elected alderman. Six years later he was elected to the next level, city controller, and in 1967 was elected mayor of Toronto, a position he retained until retiring from politics in 1972.
   Dennison’s proudest accomplishments during his six-year tenure as mayor were the construction of the Eaton Centre and the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, and the renovation of the historic St. Lawrence Hall. On the other hand, his greatest disappointments were the failure of council to evict those living on Toronto Island so it could be turned into a park, and the province’s decision to abandon the construction of the Spadina Expressway through the heart of downtown Toronto (to connect with the Frederick G. Gardiner [Plot U, Lot 221] Expressway). An abbreviated version of the expressway exists today as the Allan Road. Dennison died on May 2, 1981 and is buried in the Bainbridge plot. His wife was the former Dorothy Bainbridge.

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