Frank Patrick O'Connor

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The Hon.

Frank Patrick O'Connor
Frank Patrick O'Connor.jpg
Senator for Scarborough Junction, Ontario
In office
December 6, 1935 – August 21, 1939
Appointed byWilliam Lyon Mackenzie King
Personal details
Born(1885-04-09)April 9, 1885
Deseronto, Ontario, Canada
DiedAugust 21, 1939(1939-08-21) (aged 54)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Mary Ellen Hayes 1912-1931
RelationsMary Eleanor McKeown and Patrick O'Connor (parents)
ResidenceO'Connor House
Occupationpolitician, businessman

Frank Patrick O'Connor (April 9, 1885 – August 21, 1939) was a Canadian politician, businessman and philanthropist. He was the founder of Laura Secord Chocolates and Fanny Farmer, and the namesake behind O'Connor Drive in Toronto.

Early years[edit]

Born in Deseronto, Ontario, the son of Mary Eleanor McKeown and Patrick O'Connor, O'Connor quit school at the age of 14 and started working at Canadian General Electric in Peterborough. His first endeavour in the candy business was a little shop at 283 George Street in downtown Peterborough, about 1910.[1] The Canadian Chicle Co. sold candy and chiclets under the product name "Elizabeth's Best". However this business soon failed.[2]

O'Connor married Mary Ellen Hayes, and with $500 in financing from local partners for a new store, they moved to Toronto in 1912.

Laura Secord Stores[edit]

In 1913, he opened the Laura Secord Candy Store on Yonge Street. He expanded the store across Canada and into the United States where it was known as Fanny Farmer Candy Stores.[3]


A Roman Catholic, he gave $500,000 in the 1930s to the Archdiocese of Toronto under the trusteeship of Cardinal James Charles McGuigan.[3]

Later life[edit]

In 1935, he was appointed to the Senate of Canada by Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. He represented the senatorial division of Scarborough Junction, Ontario until his death in 1939.[4]

O'Connor survived his wife, who died in 1931, and died at this estate at age 54.[5]


Senator O'Connor College School, a Toronto Catholic District School Board high school, was named in his honour. His estate was later acquired by the Toronto Catholic School Board (located next to the high school named after him) and sold. It was being restored[6] and has been damaged by a fire in 2012.[7] The remaining lands of the 240 hectares estate was developed for residential use.


  1. ^ "Peterborough Directory 1910, Union Publishing Company of Ingersol, Insert after p. 104".
  2. ^ "The Heritage Gazette of the Trent Valley", Vol. 12., No. 4, Enid Mitchell, p. 9, February 2008".
  3. ^ a b "Francis Patrick O'Connor - A Legacy of Generosity". Heritage Toronto.
  4. ^ Frank Patrick O'Connor – Parliament of Canada biography
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^