Craigleigh Gardens

Craigleigh Gardens was the site of “Craigleigh” the residence of Sir Edmund Osler, (1845 1924) a wealthy businessman. This 25 room, High Victorian house was built by Edgar Jarvis in 1876 and Edmund Osler moved in the next year. Osler had provided Jarvis with capital his bridges, houses, and dreams, and this was probably the beginning of their extensive financial dealings. Osler resided at Craigleigh 47 years. At his death in 1924, the house was torn down and the 13 acres of manicured grounds were presented to the city for this attractive park.

Sir Edmund Boyd Osler was a son of Rev. F. L. Osler, Anglican rector at Dundas, Ont. and brother of Sir William Osler the great Surgeon. He started his business career as a clerk in the Bank of Upper Canada. When that institution failed in 1867, he went into business for 15 years with Henry Pellatt and later joined H. C. Hammond. He became interested in railway schemes being promoted by George Laidlaw, and helped in their successful completion. Mr. Osler was President of the Ontario and Quebec Railway and a Director of several companies including the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Toronto General Trusts Co., and the Canada North-West Land Company. He was also President of the Dominion Bank, of the Toronto Board of Trade and of the Toronto Ferry Company.

In 1892 He ran for Mayor of Toronto but was defeated by R. J. Fleming. He sat in the Third Congress of the Chambers of Commerce of the British Empire in London in 1896 where he promoted free trade within the Empire. In 1896 he was elected to the House of Commons, representing West Toronto.