George Alexander Drew honoured through Premiers’ Gravesites and Provincial Plaque programs

GUELPH – Today, the Ontario Heritage Trust unveiled a gravesite marker and a provincial plaque commemorating the Honourable George Alexander Drew, C.C., Premier of Ontario from 1943 to 1948.

“George Alexander Drew was a passionate and forward-thinking politician who provided strong leadership to Ontario during a critical time in its history,” said Dr. Thomas H.B. Symons, Chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust. “He is remembered for his lasting contributions not only to the province, but also to his community, to the country and to the Commonwealth.”

The provincial plaque reads as follows:


George Alexander Drew, Premier of Ontario from 1943-1948, was born in Guelph, Ontario in 1894. Educated at Upper Canada College, the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall, Drew served in the First World War as an artillery lieutenant. He practised law in Guelph, entered municipal politics there in 1922 and became mayor in 1925. Drew was the first chair of the Ontario Securities Commission (1931-1934). Chosen as leader of the Ontario Conservative Party in 1938, he became premier in 1943 with a sweeping and progressive social and economic platform that laid the foundation for a 42-year-long political dynasty. Drew resigned in 1948 to lead the federal Progressive Conservatives, but was defeated in the next two general elections and left politics in 1956. He was appointed Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (1957-1964), Chancellor of the new University of Guelph (1965-1971) and was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1967. George Drew died in Toronto in 1973.

“Together, we honour George Drew’s contributions to politics, to the province and to the people of Ontario,” said Minister of Tourism and Culture Michael Chan. “His dedication to public service has helped shape Ontario into the prosperous province that it is today.”

The unveiling ceremony took place at the Woodlawn Mausoleum in Woodlawn Memorial Park in Guelph.

The Ontario Heritage Trust’s Provincial Plaque Program commemorates significant people, places and events in Ontario’s history. The provincial plaque will be permanently installed on the grounds of the Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute, the school that George Drew attended.

The Premiers’ Gravesites Program honours Ontario’s former premiers and their service to Ontario by marking their gravesites. Specially designed bronze markers inscribed with the individual premier’s name and dates of service are installed at each gravesite, along with flagpoles flying the Ontario flag, where possible. This program is administered by the Ontario Heritage Trust with funding support from the Government of Ontario.

The Trust is an agency of the Government of Ontario, dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario’s heritage for the benefit of present and future generations.

Quick facts:

  • Eighteen premiers will be commemorated through the Premiers’ Gravesites Program; this is the 14th marker to be unveiled through the program since it began in 2008.
  • Since 1953, over 1,200 provincial plaques have been unveiled.

Learn more:

For more information on the Premiers’ Gravesites or Provincial Plaque programs, visit our website.


Liane Nowosielski
Marketing and Communications Specialist
Ontario Heritage Trust
Telephone: 416-325-5032

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