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George Laidlaw 1828-1889

An energetic railway promoter and builder, Laidlaw was born in Scotland and emigrated to Toronto in 1855. He soon prospered as a grain merchant and a wharf-owner and, after 1866, gained prominence as a convincing advocate of the commercial benefits of railways emanating from Toronto. Between 1869-1873, Laidlaw skillfully negotiated the completion of the Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway to Owen Sound, and the Toronto and Nipissing to Coboconk. As managing director of the Credit Valley Railway, he vigorously opposed rival railway interests and deftly marshaled regional and Toronto support to ensure the line’s completion in 1880 from St. Thomas, Elora and Orangeville. Dedicated to agrarian improvement, Laidlaw retired to his nearby ranch, where he raised pure-bred livestock.

Location

On the grounds of St. Thomas' Anglican Church near his former Balsam Lake ranch, Highway 48, about 5 km east of Kirkfield

Region: Central Ontario

County/District: City of Kawartha Lakes (District)

Municipality: City of Kawartha Lakes

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