Alexander Muir

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Alexander Muir
Alexander Muir.jpg
Born (1830-04-05)5 April 1830
Lesmahagow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Died 26 June 1906(1906-06-26) (aged 76)
Occupation songwriter, poet, school headmaster

Alexander Muir (5 April 1830 – 26 June 1906) was a Canadian songwriter, poet, soldier, and school headmaster.[1] He was the composer of The Maple Leaf Forever, which he wrote in October 1867 to celebrate the Confederation of Canada.[2]

Early life[edit]

Muir immigrated to Toronto from Lesmahagow, Scotland, in 1833. He grew up in Toronto, Ontario, where he was educated by his father. Muir later studied at Queen's College, where he graduated in 1851.[3]


Alexander Muir at about 25 years of age, wearing his Scottish tartan

Muir taught in the Greater Toronto Area in such places as Scarborough and Toronto, as well as in Newmarket, Beaverton, and in then suburban areas as Parkdale and Leslieville, where he lived on Laing Avenue.

During the early 1870s, Alexander Muir was an elementary school teacher in Newmarket. When the cornerstone of the Christian Church in Newmarket was being laid on June 25, 1874 by the Governor General, Lord Dufferin, Muir brought his school choir to the event to sing his new composition The Maple Leaf Forever, its first public performance.

From 1860 to 1870, he was principal of Leslieville School in Toronto. He was later (1888-1901) principal of Toronto's Alexander Muir/Gladstone Junior and Senior Public School (renamed after his death in his honour).

Muir was a noted Canadian Orangeman[citation needed]. He also served with The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, and fought with them at the Battle of Ridgeway. He wrote The Maple Leaf Forever while he was serving with the regiment.


Flowerbeds in bloom in the Alexander Muir Memorial Gardens
  • Alexander Muir Memorial Gardens, a formal garden and park, just south of Yonge Street and Lawrence Avenue in the Lawrence Park neighbourhood of Toronto, is named in his honour.
  • Maple Leaf Forever Park is in the rear of Maple Leaf Cottage at 62 Laing Street, near Leslie Street and Queen Street East in Toronto.
  • Schools which have been named after him are:
    • Alexander Muir/Gladstone Ave Junior and Senior Public School, 108 Gladstone Ave., Toronto[4]
    • Alexmuir Junior Public School, 95 Alexmuir Blvd., Scarborough[5]
    • Alexander Muir Public School, 75 Ford Wilson Blvd., Newmarket[6]
    • formerly Alex Muir Public School, 188 Kohler St., Sault Ste Marie[7] which has now been repurposed and renamed the Urban Aboriginal Alternative High School.[8]
  • Mount Muir in Alberta is named for him.[9]



External links[edit]