John Macdonald

Section VNG, Lot 133
Toronto Necropolis


Born December 27, 1824 in Perth, Scotland, Macdonald he came to Toronto in 1837 and opened the Big 103, the first store on Yonge Street. In 1849 he opened a dry goods store, which he subsequently sold in 1853, turning to the wholesale dry goods business, soon becoming the largest in the country. John Macdonald & Co. operated out of a large building on Wellington Street. He entered federal politics, and was a member of the Legislative Assembly from 1863 to 1867, and again from 1875 to 1878. He was appointed to the Dominion Senate in 1887, on the recommendation of John A. Macdonald (no relation). An extremely wealthy man, Macdonald dominated the Toronto business community in the 1870s and 1880s. He was a major patron of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and the Toronto General Hospital. In 1860, he built a mansion called ‘Oaklands,’ which is now De La Salle College, a private co-educational school in the Deer Park area of mid-Toronto. He died at ‘Oaklands’ on February 4, 1890.