Skip to content Skip to navigation Skip to search

Premiers honoured

The Premiers' Gravesites Program honours Ontario's premiers and th eir service to Ontario by marking their gravesites. Bronze markers have been specially designed and each one will be inscribed with the individual premier's name and dates of service.

Photos courtesy of the Archives of Ontario

See which premiers have been commemorated in, or near, your community:

The Honourable John Sandfield Macdonald (Premier 1867-1871)

  • Date: Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 2 p.m.
  • Location: St. Andrews Catholic Church, Highway 138 and County Road 18, St. Andrews West
  • Directions: From Highway 401 at Cornwall, take exit 789. Turn left (north) onto Brookdale Avenue (Highway 138). When the road comes to a “T,” turn right (east) onto Cornwall Centre Road. Turn left (north) onto St. Andrews Road. The church is located at the intersection of Highway 138 and County Road 18.

Bio: A lawyer from the Cornwall area, Macdonald was the first premier of the province of Ontario. In 1841, he was elected to the first Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada. He went on to serve important roles in all eight assemblies before Confederation. An ally of first Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald, John Sandfield Macdonald was appointed premier of Ontario at Confederation. He held the position until 1871, and died soon after at Cornwall.

Visit this gravesite ...


The Honourable Harry Corwin Nixon (Premier May to August 1943)

  • Date: Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Location: St. George Parish Hall, 9 Beverly Street East, St. George
  • Directions: From Highway 401 at Cambridge, take Exit 282 for Highway 24. Turn left onto Highway 24 (Hespeler Road). Follow Highway 24 for approximately 20 km and then turn left onto Highway 5 (Blue Lake Road). St. George’s Church is located on the north side of Highway 5 (Beverly Street), just east of Main Street North, St. George.

Bio: Born in St. George, Harry Corwin Nixon was Ontario's thirteenth premier. He was the most experienced member of provincial parliament, serving 42 years, and was a key policy-maker – especially in the government of Mitchell Hepburn. After the resignation of Gordon Conant, Nixon was elected leader and assumed the premiership in 1943 – his knowledge, stability and extensive political experience making him a fitting choice for Liberal leader. The Liberals were defeated in the election three months later, but he retained his seat until his death in 1961.

Visit this gravesite ... This gravesite is located in St. George Cemetery (sometimes referred to as St. George United Church Cemetery). The cemetery is located near the village of St. George in South Dumfries, Brant County, Ontario, Concession 3, Lot 7257, St. George Road.


The Honourable Edward Blake (Premier 1871-1872)

  • Date: Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Location: Chapel of St. James-the-Less, 635 Parliament Street, Toronto
  • Directions: St. James Cemetery is located on the east side of Parliament Street, just north of Wellesley Street. The chapel is located inside the cemetery and is visible from the main driveway.

Bio: Born in 1833 near Strathroy, Edward Blake was the second premier of Ontario. As a prominent lawyer, he was the foremost expert on the constitution following Confederation. He was elected simultaneously to the House of Commons and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. In 1871, he became premier of the province and accomplished much during his short term in office. In 1872, Blake decided to focus on federal politics. He died in Toronto on March 1, 1912.

Visit this gravesite ...


The Honourable Arthur Sturgis Hardy (Premier 1896-1899)

  • Date: Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Location: Brant Museum and Archives, 57 Charlotte Street, Brantford
  • Directions: From Highway 403 west to Brantford, take Exit 38 for the Wayne Gretzky Parkway. Take the Wayne Gretzky Parkway south and turn right at Colborne Street. Continue on Dalhousie Street. Turn right at Charlotte Street. The museum is on the right.
Bio: Born in Mount Pleasant, Hardy studied law in Brantford, and began his own practice in 1865. He quickly gained a reputation as a brilliant and skilled lawyer. First elected to the provincial legislature in 1873, Hardy became Commissioner of Crown Lands in 1889. In this position, he drafted legislation that established Algonquin Provincial Park. Hardy became the fourth premier of Ontario from 1896 to 1899, during which the province's statutes were extensively consolidated. He died in Toronto in 1901.

Visit this gravesite
...

The Honourable Sir Oliver Mowat (Premier 1872-1896)
  • Date: Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 2 p.m.
  • Location: Mount Pleasant Cemetery Visitation Centre, 375 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto
  • Directions: Enter through the cemetery’s east gate on Mount Pleasant Road. Turn right at the cemetery office and then take the first left. This road leads directly to the visitation centre and parking area.Mount Pleasant Cemetery is fully accessible by public transit.
Bio: A lawyer from Kingston, The Honourable Sir Oliver Mowat was the third premier of Ontario. He served in the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada, and he would later become a Father of Confederation at the Quebec Conference of 1864. In 1872, he began his 24-year service as premier, and fought vigorously for provincial rights. In 1897, he accepted an appointment to Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, a post he held until his death in Toronto in 1903.

Visit this gravesite ...

The Honourable Sir George William Ross (Premier 1899-1905)
  • Date: Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 2 p.m.
  • Location: Mount Pleasant Cemetery Visitation Centre, 375 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto
  • Directions: Enter through the cemetery’s east gate on Mount Pleasant Road. Turn right at the cemetery office and then take the first left. This road leads directly to the visitation centre and parking area. Mount Pleasant Cemetery is fully accessible by public transit.
Bio: Fifth premier of Ontario and an educator from Middlesex County, The Honourable Sir George William Ross began his teaching career in 1857. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1872, where he served until he moved to provincial politics in 1883. There he was appointed Minister of Education under The Honourable Sir Oliver Mowat. In 1899, Ross became premier and oversaw the Good Roads Commission, which improved highways across Ontario. He was appointed to the Senate in 1907, and served there until his death in Toronto in 1914.

Visit this gravesite
...

The Honourable Sir William Howard Hearst (Premier 1914-1919)
  • Date: Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 2 p.m.
  • Location: Mount Pleasant Cemetery Visitation Centre, 375 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto
  • Directions: Enter through the cemetery’s east gate on Mount Pleasant Road. Turn right at the cemetery office and then take the first left. This road leads directly to the visitation centre and parking area.Mount Pleasant Cemetery is fully accessible by public transit.
Bio: Seventh premier of Ontario and an accomplished lawyer, The Honourable Sir William Howard Hearst was born in Bruce County. First elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1908, he became Minister of Lands, Forests and Mines in 1911. Hearst was asked to form a government in 1914 and served as premier until 1919. During the First World War, he introduced and carried an act for the parliamentary enfranchisement of women. He also served on the International Joint Commission on Boundary Waters from 1920 to 1940. The town of Hearst was named in honour of his contributions.

Visit this gravesite ...

The Honourable George Howard Ferguson (Premier 1923-1930)
  • Date: Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 2 p.m.
  • Location: Mount Pleasant Cemetery Visitation Centre, 375 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto
  • Directions: Enter through the cemetery’s east gate on Mount Pleasant Road. Turn right at the cemetery office and then take the first left. This road leads directly to the visitation centre and parking area.Mount Pleasant Cemetery is fully accessible by public transit.
Bio: Born in Kemptville, The Honourable George Howard Ferguson was Ontario's ninth premier. First elected to the Ontario legislature in 1905, he served as Minister of Lands and Forests from 1914-1919. After becoming premier in 1923, he guided Ontario through a period of immense growth. During his premiership, he also served as Minister of Education and oversaw the creation of the provincial liquor control system. In 1930, he was appointed High Commissioner to London, a position he held until 1935.

Visit this gravesite
...

The Honourable George Stewart Henry (Premier 1930-1934)
  • Date: Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 2 p.m.
  • Location: Mount Pleasant Cemetery Visitation Centre, 375 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto
  • Directions: Enter through the cemetery’s east gate on Mount Pleasant Road. Turn right at the cemetery office and then take the first left. This road leads directly to the visitation centre and parking area.Mount Pleasant Cemetery is fully accessible by public transit.
Bio: Longtime politician and tenth premier of Ontario, The Honourable George Stewart Henry was born in King Township. After holding municipal office, he was elected to the Ontario legislature in 1913 for East York. Henry was appointed Minister of Public Works and Highways in 1923. In this position, and as premier, he developed, modernized and expanded the highways program. He also promoted the idea of a "metropolitan Toronto" area in order to plan development more effectively. He retained his seat until retirement in 1943.

Visit this gravesite
...

The Honourable Sir James Pliny Whitney (Premier 1905-1914)
  • Date: Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 10 a.m.
  • Location: Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 13105 Riverside Drive, Morrisburg
  • Directions: From Highway 401, take exit 750 for County Road 31 towards Morrisburg. Turn right at County Road 31. Turn left at Highway 2. Turn left towards Riverside Drive, and then turn at Riverside Drive.
Bio: Born in Dundas County, Whitney was the sixth premier of Ontario. He studied law under the first premier of Ontario, John Sandfield Macdonald. Whitney first won public office in 1888 in the riding of Dundas, and would hold the seat until his death. A respected orator and strong opposition leader, he successfully won the premiership in 1905. Under his tenure, public utilities were further developed and growth in Northern Ontario was encouraged. He died in Toronto on September 25, 1914.

Visit this gravesite
...

The Honourable Ernest Charles Drury (Premier 1919-1923)
  • Date: Thursday, March 24, 2011
  • Location: Holy Cross St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church (formerly St. James Anglican Church), 572 Penetanguishene Road at Highway 11, Township of Springwater
  • Directions: Take Highway 400 north to Highway 11. Continue on Highway 11 north to the Penetanguishene Road Exit (Highway 93). The church is located at the end of the exit ramp from Highway 11.
Bio: Born in Simcoe County, Ernest C. Drury was Ontario's eighth premier. He was a leader in the farming community, and become the first president of the United Farmers of Ontario in 1914. The educational group became a political party in 1918 and won the election of 1919. Drury was then asked to form a government. Known as the "Farmer Premier," Drury enacted progressive legislation that improved life in rural jurisdictions, and began an ambitious road-building program. Drury retired from provincial politics in 1923.

Visit this gravesite ...


The Honourable Mitchell Frederick Hepburn (Premier 1934-1942)
  • Date: Friday, October 1, 2010 at 1 p.m.
  • Location: St. Thomas Cemetery, 67 West Avenue, St. Thomas
  • Directions: From Highway 401, take Exit 186 for Wellington Road South at London. Head south on Wellington Road towards St. Thomas. Wellington Road merges with Sunset Road/County Road 4. Continue on Sunset Drive/County Road 4. Turn left at Chester Street. Turn right at West Avenue. The cemetery is on the right-hand side.
Bio: Ontario's eleventh premier was born near St. Thomas. He was elected to federal parliament in 1926. In 1930, he accepted the leadership of the Ontario Liberals. Premier from 1934-42, Hepburn was in power for the latter part of the Depression and the beginning of the Second World War. Hepburn carried out cost-saving measures and fought with Prime Minister Mackenzie King over what he felt was an apathetic war effort. In 1942, Hepburn resigned as premier, but retained his seat until 1945, when he retired to his farm.

Visit this gravesite
...

The Honourable Gordon Daniel Conant (Premier 1942-1943)
  • Date: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 11 a.m.
  • Location: McLaughlin Auditorium, McLaughlin Branch of the Oshawa Public Library, 65 Bagot Street, Oshawa
  • Directions: From Highway 401, take Exit 415 for for Stevenson Road at Oshawa. Head north on Stevenson Road to King Street West. Turn right onto King Street West. Turn right onto Centre Street. Bagot Street is the first street on the right. Pay and Display and metered parking are available.
Bio: Born in Oshawa, Gordon Conant was Ontario’s 12th premier. An active member of the Oshawa community, he was elected mayor in 1916, making him the youngest mayor in the province at the time. Conant was elected to the provincial legislature in 1937 as the Liberal MPP for Ontario County and was appointed attorney general. In this position he strived to reform an inefficient justice system. Following his unexpected resignation in 1942, Mitchell Hepburn named Conant as his successor. He served as premier until 1943 and then as Master of the Supreme Court of Ontario until 1951.

Visit this gravesite
...

The Honourable George Alexander Drew (Premier 1943-1948)
  • Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Location: Woodlawn Mausoleum, Woodlawn Memorial Park, 762 Woolwich Street, Guelph
  • Directions: From Highway 401, take Exit 295 to merge onto Highway 6 North towards Guelph. Head north on Highway 6 and follow the Hanlon Parkway to Woodlawn Road West. Turn right onto Woodlawn Road West. Turn right onto Woolwich Street. Woodlawn Memorial Park is on the right.
Bio: Born in Guelph, George Drew was a distinguished First World War veteran and Ontario's fourteenth premier. A practising lawyer, he was also mayor of Guelph in 1925. Drew became leader of the Ontario Conservatives in 1938. He won the election of 1943, and so founded the "Conservative Dynasty" that would rule the province for the next 42 years. He was leader of the federal Conservative party from 1948-56. Drew was the first chancellor of the University of Guelph until 1971.

Visit this gravesite ...

The Honourable Thomas Laird Kennedy (Premier 1948-1949)
  • Date: Monday, March 25, 2013 at 1 p.m.
  • Location: In the church hall at The Anglican Church of St. John the Baptist - Dixie, 719 Dundas Street East, Mississauga
  • Directions: From the Queen Elizabeth Way, take the Cawthra Road Exit. Head north on Cawthra Road. Turn right onto The Queensway East. Take the first left onto Haines Road. Take the first left onto Dundas Street East. The church will be on your right.
Bio: Ontario's fifteenth premier, Thomas L. Kennedy was born in the hamlet of Dixie, now in Peel Region. He began his political career locally as a school trustee in 1899. He served with distinction in the First World War and later as a Colonel in the active militia. He was elected Peel MPP in 1919 and with the exception of one term, he would hold the seat until his death. Kennedy was Minister of Agriculture from 1930-34, and later from 1943-48 and 1949-53. He was named interim premier from 1948-49 and died in office in 1959.

Visit this gravesite ...


The Honourable Leslie Miscampbell Frost (Premier 1949-1961)
  • Date: Friday, November 25, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Location: Lindsay Golf and Country Club, 282 Lindsay Street South, Lindsay
  • Directions: From Highway 401, take Highway 115/35 north to Highway 35 North. Exit towards Lindsay. Head north on Highway 35. Cross Highway 7. Continue on Lindsay Street South/County Road 15. The Lindsay Golf and Country Club is on the right.
Bio: Born in Orillia in 1895, Leslie Frost was the 16th premier of Ontario. He served in the First World War, where he sustained a severe wound. He recovered, and established a law practice with his brother Cecil in Lindsay. Frost was first elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1937, and served as provincial treasurer from 1943 to 1955. Frost's governments initiated progressive legislation in areas of health, education and human rights, and guided Ontario through a tremendous period of growth. He resigned as premier in 1961.

Visit this gravesite ...

The Honourable John Parmenter Robarts (Premier 1961-1971)
  • Date: Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 2:30 p.m.
  • Location: The Cathedral Church of St. James,King and Church streets, Toronto
  • Directions: From Front Street East, turn north onto Church Street. The cathedral is located on the northeast corner of King and Church streets.
Bio: The first premier of Ontario born outside the province, Robarts served from 1961-71. He was a distinguished naval officer in the Second World War, after which he completed his education at Osgoode Hall. First elected to the legislature in 1951, he served as minister of education from 1959-62. His governments focused on education and economic development. Robarts was a leader on nation unity issues and chaired the task force on Canadian unity in 1977-79. He served on a number of corporate boards and was chancellor of University of Western Ontario and York University.

Visit this gravesite ...

The Honourable Frank Stuart Miller (Premier February to June 1985)
  • Date: Friday, April 20, 2012 at 1 p.m.
  • Location: Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre, 275 Steamship Bay Road, Gravenhurst
  • Directions: From Highway 11 North, veer left onto Highway 169 South (signs for Regional Road 169/Bethune Drive/Gravenhurst). Turn left onto Brock Street/Regional Road 169. Turn right onto Bay Street/Regional Road 169. Take the second left to stay on Bay Street/Regional Road 169. Take the third right onto Steamship Bay Road. Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre is on the right.
Bio: Born in Toronto but living most of his life in Muskoka, Frank Miller was premier from February to June 1985. A graduate of McGill University in Montreal, he was an auto dealer and a resort operator in Muskoka. After serving as a city councilor in Bracebridge, he was elected to the legislature in 1971 for Muskoka. During his provincial career, he held various cabinet positions, including minister of health, 1974-77; and treasurer, 1978-83. He retired from politics in November 1985 and later served as chairman of the District Municipality of Muskoka and the Algoma Central Corporation.

Visit this gravesite ...