Frederic Thomas Nicholls

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The Hon.

Frederic Thomas Nicholls
Senator for Toronto, Ontario
In office
January 20, 1917 – October 25, 1921
Appointed byRobert Borden
Personal details
Born(1856-11-22)November 22, 1856
London, England
DiedOctober 25, 1921(1921-10-25) (aged 64)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Political partyConservative

Frederic Thomas Nicholls (November 22, 1856 – October 25, 1921) was a Canadian businessman, electrical engineer and politician. He was a Conservative senator representing the senatorial division of Toronto, Ontario from 1917 to 1921.

In 1900 Nicholls became second vice-president as well as manager of Canadian General Electric. He was president of the National Electric Light Association of the United States in 1896-97 and brought its annual convention to Niagara Falls, Ontario, in 1897.[1][2]

Frederic Nicholls was a member of Edison Pioneers. He worked on the Toronto Power Company Plant with Dr. Frederick Stark Pearson of the Pearson Engineering Corporation of New York. The Toronto Power station was opened in 1906 by the Electrical Development Company of Ontario, led by Toronto Billionaire financier Henry Pellatt, who owned that city's Casa Loma.[3] Pellatt hired the same architect, Edward J. Lennox to design both his home and his hydroelectric generator in Niagara Falls.[4]

Pellatt and partners William Mackenzie and Frederic Thomas Nicholls formed the Electrical Development Company of Ontario in 1903, buying water rights from the Niagara Parks Commission for $80,000 a year.

Nicholls was one of the directors along with William Mackenzie and Wilmot Deloui Matthews to form the Canadian Shipbuilding Company with capital of $1 million in the early 1900s ($21,733,333 in 2018).[5]

Recognition and influence[edit]

The Nicholls Building[6] on King Street in Toronto, Ontario, Canada is named after him including the Nicholls Oval and Nicholls Lake in Ontario. He was also known as an early editor of the Toronto Star newspaper. Frederic Nicholls’s speech of 19 Jan. 1905 to the Empire Club in Toronto was published as Niagara’s power: past, present, prospective . . . ([Toronto, 1905], reproduced as CIHM, no.78710). A number of his other speeches are in his Conservation of Canadian trade (Toronto, 1918).


  1. ^ "Biography – NICHOLLS, FREDERIC THOMAS – Volume XV (1921-1930) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography". Archived from the original on 2016-10-13.
  2. ^ "The Montreal Meeting Of The National Electric Light Association -". Archived from the original on 2017-12-01.
  3. ^ "Toronto's hero banker: from riches to rags - Chris Skinner's blog". 26 September 2011. Archived from the original on 17 March 2017.
  4. ^ "New hope for historic Toronto Power Generating ..." Niagara Falls Review.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2016-10-10.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]