Emerson Coatsworth, Sr.
Born in 1825 in Yorkshire, England, Coatsworth came with his family to Canada when he was seven years old. The family settled in St. Catharines. His first visit of any length to Toronto was in 1851 when he supervised the construction of a bridge across the Don River. For the next six months he oversaw the paving of the plank road running north from the city. The following year, Coatsworth was back in Toronto, engaged in general contracting and building. In 1872, he was elected an Alderman for St. David’s Ward. In 1873, he accepted the position of City Commissioner. He held the job until 1881, when he was appointed Commissioner of Works and Health. Coatsworth Cut, which connects Ashbridge’s Bay with Lake Ontario was named for him, He died on May 8, 1903.