William Ward

Plot N, Section 39, Lot 9
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto

Ward was born on Toronto Island in 1847. His father had emigrated from Yarmouth, England seventeen years earlier and had settled on a desolate part of what was still technically a peninsula. The area soon took on the name Ward’s Island. William Ward was a renowned oarsman and for a time held the single skiff championship of America. He also had the distinction of rescuing 142 people from the often treacherous waters of Toronto Bay and Lake Ontario. The first rescue was performed when he was just 15. Ward also helped recover victims of 11 shipwrecks and was made captain of the Dominion lifesaving crew in 1881. Sadly, he was unable to rescue his five younger sisters, when the rowboat in which the children were travelling, capsized as they crossed the bay after visiting the city. Ward died at his home, 68 Brunswick Avenue, on January 25, 1912 at the age of 65.

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