5 April 1830|
Lesmahagow, Scotland, United Kingdom
|Died||26 June 1906
|Occupation||songwriter, poet, school headmaster|
Alexander Muir (5 April 1830 – 26 June 1906) was a Canadian songwriter, poet, soldier, and school headmaster. He was the composer of The Maple Leaf Forever, which he wrote in October 1867 to celebrate the Confederation of Canada.
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.
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. 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.
- 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 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
- Alexmuir Junior Public School, 95 Alexmuir Blvd., Scarborough
- Alexander Muir Public School, 75 Ford Wilson Blvd., Newmarket
- formerly Alex Muir Public School, 188 Kohler St., Sault Ste Marie which has now been repurposed and renamed the Urban Aboriginal Alternative High School.
- Mount Muir in Alberta is named for him.
- Alexander Muir The Canadian Encyclopedia
- "Maple Cottage, Leslieville, Toronto (De)Constructing Nationalist Music History" Institute for Canadiam Music newsletter, pages 10-12, Vol. 1, No. 1, January 2003
- Biography Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
- J. Paul Green (1994). "Muir, Alexander". Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 13, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003. Retrieved 2016-08-28.
- "Toronto District School Board: Alexander Muir/Gladstone Ave Junior and Senior Public School". Tdsb.on.ca. Retrieved 2014-02-20.
- "Toronto District School Board: Alexmuir Junior Public School". Tdsb.on.ca. Retrieved 2014-02-20.
- "York Region District School Board: Alexander Muir P.S". Yrdsb.edu.on.ca. Retrieved 2014-02-20.
- "Algoma District School Board: Alex Muir Public School" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-02-20.
- "Algoma District School Board: Urban Aboriginal Alternative High School". Adsb.on.ca. Retrieved 2014-02-20.
- "Mount Muir". PeakFinder.com. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
- Muir, Alexander (1990), From Aberdeen to Ottawa in 1845: The diary of Alexander Muir, Aberdeen, Scotland: Aberdeen University Press, ISBN 978-0080379838
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