William James

Section 42, Lot 321
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto

William James was born in the small village of Walsall near Wolverhampton, England in 1866. In 1906, James and his family arrived in Toronto where he obtained employment as both an insurance agent and on the staff of the National Club. But James’ first love was photography and soon he gave up his two regular jobs to take pictures which he sold for a dollar or two to the city’s seven daily newspapers. James photographed not only the great, but the humble as well. He also captured many historic events on film and is said to have been the first person to photograph the city from the air. Several years ago, the City of Toronto Archives acquired the William James Collection of photographs and negatives, an invaluable compendium of the Toronto “that used to be.” After 40 years as a freelance photographer, James retired in 1940. He died at the age of 82 on November 18, 1948.

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