Herbert A. Bruce

Plot Q, Section West Glen, Lot 143
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto

Born in 1868, the son of a poor pioneer farmer who worked the family farm near Lake Scugog, Ontario, Herbert Alexander Bruce attended high school in Port Perry, Ontario and graduated from the Toronto School of Medicine, not yet integrated with the University of Toronto, in 1892. In 1912, Bruce established his 72-bed Wellesley Hospital in an old residence at the northwest corner of Wellesley and Sherbourne Streets. With the outbreak of war two years later, he was appointed inspector-general of medical services overseas. Dr. Bruce managed to “ruffle a lot of feathers” (especially those of Canadian War Minister Sir Sam Hughes) and was summarily dismissed. Bruce was quickly enlisted by the British War Office and assigned as consulting surgeon to its armies in France.
   In 1932, he was appointed Ontario’s fifteenth lieutenant-governor, a position he held for five years. As such, his official residence was a beautiful mansion called Chorley Park in North Rosedale overlooking the Don Valley. Bruce was the last of five lieutenant-governors to occupy the million dollar structure (it was originally budgeted in 1911 at $215,000) and when his tenure ended, the building was closed as a cost cutting measure only to be reopened as a military hospital during the Second World War. In 1959, Chorley Park was demolished. Bruce was also professor emeritus, clinical surgery, University of Toronto and consulting surgeon, Toronto General Hospital. For a time, Dr. Bruce and his wife Angela lived at “Annandale” on Bayview Avenue in what was then called, simply York Mills, Ontario. He died of a heart attack at the age of 94 on Sunday, June 23, 1963 at his home, 18 Douglas Drive in Rosedale, a dwelling located within walking distance of the site his former vice-regal residence, once beautifully situated in a grassy realm now called Chorley Park.

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

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