James Aikenhead

Plot F, Circle, Lot 8
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto

Born in County Kilkenny, Ireland in 1816, James Aikenhead came to Toronto in 1847. Soon thereafter, he joined the firm of Joseph D. Ridout and Company, Ironmongers whose store was located at the northeast corner of Yonge and King Streets. In 1868, Aikenhead and Alexander Crombie became full partners in the business which then changed its name to Ridout, Aikenhead and Crombie. Aikenhead and Crombie acquired control in 1876 and fifteen years later relocated the business to 6 Adelaide Street East. In 1893, James Aikenhead’s son, Thomas, who had begun his apprenticeship with the firm twenty years before, bought the business and again the name was changed, this time to Aikenhead Hardware Company. Reorganized and renamed Aikenhead Hardware Ltd. in 1901, the company moved four years later to 17-21 Temperance Street. (James Aikenhead, the founder died on April 11, 1903 at the age of 87.)
   In 1944, James T. E. Aikenhead, the eldest son of Thomas Aikenhead, became president, a position he held until his death on January 7, 1948. John Wilfred, T. E.’s brother then assumed the presidency to be followed in 1972 by T. E.’s nephew James M. Aikenhead. In that same year, the company passed out of the family’s control and is now part of Molson Industries. All five members of the Aikenhead family mentioned in this article are buried in the Aikenhead family plot.

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