David Alexander Dunlap

Plot V, Lot 124,
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto

David Dunlap was born in Pembroke, Ontario in 1862 and received his public and high school education in that community before furthering his studies in Barrie, Ontario and Toronto where he graduated with a law degree from Osgoode Hall. He then moved to Mattawa, Ontario and set up his legal practice. But his heart was in prospecting and he soon became involved with the Timmins brothers, residents of Mattawa. Together the trio established what became the very successful La Rose mine near Cobalt. A few years later he invested in mines in the Porcupine area and helped to create the Hollinger Consolidated project.

   Though extremely wealthy, Dunlap was also a great benefactor donating thousands to the University of Toronto, St. Andrew’s College, the Methodist Church of Canada, and the Royal Ontario Museum. Dunlap also maintained a 600-acre country summer retreat which he called Don Alda Farm after his wife’s middle name (it’s now the Donalda Golf Course and club house situated a little southwest of the York Mills Road-Don Valley Parkway interchange). With its unmatched dairy herd and poultry stock, the farm was one of the most modern and efficient farm complexes on the continent. It was here that David Alexander Dunlap died on October 29, 1924 at the age of 61. The funeral was conducted at his city residence, 93 Highland Avenue in Rosedale.

   Also buried in the family plot is Dunlap’s wife, Jessie Donalda Dunlap. In 1930, Mrs. Dunlap announced that she would be presenting to the University of Toronto an observatory on Yonge Street just south of Richmond Hill in memory of her late husband and his keen interest in astronomy. The David Dunlap Observatory opened in 1935. Jessie Dunlap died at her Highland Avenue home on July 31, 1946.

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

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