E. P. Taylor

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E. P. Taylor
Born (1901-01-29)January 29, 1901
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada
Died May 14, 1989(1989-05-14) (aged 88)
Lyford Cay, Bahamas
Residence North York, Ontario, Lyford Cay, Bahamas
Education Ashbury College
McGill University
Occupation Businessman, philanthropist
Racehorse owner/breeder
Known for Argus Corporation, Windfields Farm, Northern Dancer
Board member of
Argus Corporation, Canadian Breweries Ltd., Massey Ferguson Ltd., B.C. Forest Products Ltd., Dominion Tar & Chemical Co., Honey Dew Co., Ontario Jockey Club, Trust Corporation of the Bahamas, Lyford Cay Development Corp.
Religion Anglican
Spouse(s) Winnifred Thornton Duguid
Children Judith, Louise, Charles
Parents Plunket Bourchier Taylor &
Florence Magee
Awards Canada's Sports Hall of Fame (1974), Sovereign Award for Outstanding Breeder
(1976, 1985)
Eclipse Award for Outstanding Breeder
(1977, 1983)

Edward Plunket Taylor (January 29, 1901 – May 14, 1989) was a Canadian business tycoon and famous breeder of thoroughbred race horses. Known to his friends as "Eddie", he is universally recorded as "E. P. Taylor".

Early years[edit]

Born in Ottawa, Ontario into a wealthy family, Taylor attended Ashbury College and graduated from Montreal's McGill University in 1922 with a Bachelor of Science degree. After graduation, he worked for the investment brokerage firm McLeod Young and Weir (now ScotiaMcLeod).

Business[edit]

Starting with a brewery business (Brading Brewery) inherited from his grandfather, Taylor merged more than 20 other small breweries to create Canadian Breweries Limited, which grew to be the world's largest brewing company.

During World War II, he was a volunteer executive in the Canadian government's war effort. He was appointed by C. D. Howe to the executive committee of the Department of Munitions and Supply and would be appointed by Winston Churchill to run the British Supply Council in North America. He came close to losing his life when, in December 1940, the ship he was on was torpedoed while crossing the Atlantic. He and others on the sinking ship were rescued by a captain who broke regulations to pick them up.

Through his war-time service, Taylor became connected to top businessmen from across Canada and around the world. At war's end, he founded Argus Corporation, becoming the investment company's majority shareholder by rolling Canadian Breweries stock into the new entity. Over the years, he gained control or had significant positions in many of his country's greatest companies such as Canadian Food Products, Massey-Harris, Orange Crush Ltd., Standard Chemical, Dominion Stores, British Columbia Forest Products Limited, Dominion Tar & Chemical Co., Standard Broadcasting, and Hollinger Mines Limited. During the highest point of his career, he was one of Canada's richest businessmen.

E.P. Taylor also pioneered the concept of gated communities in exotic places. He founded the highly exclusive Lyford Cay gated community in 1959 and its 'Lyford Cay Club' on New Providence island in the Bahamas. The Lyford Cay Club is home to some of the world's wealthiest people.

In 1948, E.P. Taylor and a small group of fellow alumni established the McGill University Alma Mater Fund, inviting all graduates to give annual donations and thereby "make of themselves a living endowment." [1]

Thoroughbred racing[edit]

While a student at Montreal's McGill University in 1918, E. P. Taylor was introduced to the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing at Blue Bonnets Raceway. As a businessman in the 1930s he established Cosgrave Stable to race horses which notably owned and raced the future Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame filly, Mona Bell.

In the 1950s, E. P. Taylor and his wife, Winnifred, began breeding Thoroughbreds. Their involvement led to the acquisition of Parkwood Stable near Toronto and then Windfields Farm at Oshawa. The Taylor thoroughbred horse breeding operation produced Northern Dancer, the greatest sire of the 20th century. In 1970, he was the world's leading horse breeder measured by money won. He was president of the Ontario Jockey Club from 1953 to 1973 where he consolidated numerous money-losing tracks throughout the province into fewer, but viable businesses. He was voted thoroughbred racing's man of the year in 1973 and the following year was elected to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. In 1977 and 1983 he was named the winner of the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Breeder as the leading thoroughbred breeder in North America. Taylor's horses won 15 Queen's Plate races and were named Canadian Horse of the Year nine times. He was also a founder of the Jockey Club of Canada.

Residences[edit]

Windfields Estate

In 1963, Taylor moved to the Bahamas, taking advantage of the warm climate and its inheritance tax laws. He lived in the gated community he had built called Lyford Cay. He died there in 1989 at the age of 88. A friend of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, in December 1962 the President stayed at Taylor's home in Lyford Cay while he held talks with British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.[2][3]

Windfields Estate was Taylor's home and was situated at 2489 Bayview Avenue in North York, Ontario (now part of Toronto). It is now the site of The Canadian Film Centre. The 25-acre (10 ha) estate has been preserved as a heritage site. The Canadian Royal Family often stayed at Windfields when they visited Toronto; the last royals to stay there were Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, in the summers of 1974 and 1981 and Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales. There were many maids, two gardeners and a house manager who worked at the residence.

His son, journalist and author Charles P. B. Taylor, died in 1997 at 62 after a nine-year battle with cancer.

Legacy[edit]

Taylor's legacy lives on within the community with various contributions. The E.P. Taylor Research Library and Archives in the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada, was named after him in honour of his term as President of the (then) Art Gallery of Toronto, from 1957 to 1959. In the North York region there is E.P. Taylor Place, a seniors residence. Also on York Mills Road are Windfields Restaurant, a popular family establishment, and Windfields Place, a pair of apartment buildings. He even has a pub named after him in Oshawa, Ontario on the campus of Durham College/UOIT in the Student Centre, called "E.P. Taylor's Pub and Restaurant".[4]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]