James Mason (Canadian politician)

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The Hon.
James Mason
James Mason (politician).png
Senator for Toronto, Ontario
In office
Appointed by Robert Borden
Personal details
Born (1843-08-25)August 25, 1843
Toronto, Ontario
Died July 16, 1918(1918-07-16) (aged 74)
Toronto, Ontario
Political party Conservative
Children J. Cooper Mason, Harry Mason
Military service
Rank Brigadier General

James Mason (August 25, 1843 – July 16, 1918) was a Canadian banker, Senator and military officer.

Mason was born in Toronto and educated at private schools and the Toronto Model School where he was head boy. After graduation, he joined the Toronto Savings Bank which ultimately became the Home Bank ultimately becoming its general manager and president in 1873.[1][2]

He was appointed to the Canadian Senate in 1913 by Prime Minister Robert Borden and sat as a Conservative. Mason retired from the bank and was appointed its honorary president with his son, Harry G. Mason, succeeding him as general manager.[2]

The Home Bank collapsed in the early 1920s in part due to questionable practices it had engaged in beginning under Mason's tenure.

Mason was one of the founders and funders of the Toronto Mechanics' Institute which ultimately evolved into the Toronto Public Library.[1]

Mason died at home following an operation for appendicitis.[1]

Military career[edit]

Mason joined the Queen's Own Rifles during the Fenian Raids of the 1860s. In 1882, he was gazetted captain of the 10th Royal Grenadiers and commanded No. 2 Service Company during the North-West Rebellion[1] and was severely wounded at the Battle of Batoche.[3] In 1893, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and put in command of his regiment.[2] In 1897, he was one of the officer's sent to London to represent Canada for the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen and was personally presented to Queen Victoria.[1]

Around the turn of the century, he was put in command of the 4th Infantry Brigade and retired with the rank of colonel in 1910.[2] He was promoted to the rank of brigadier-general in 1915 for his work as Chief Organizer of the Reserve Militia of Canada and for his work in recruitment efforts during the war.[1]

Mason was a founder of the Royal Canadian Military Institute and served as its president. He was also an ardent imperialist and a founder of the Empire Club of Canada.[2] The South African War Memorial on Toronto's University Avenue was built largely through his efforts.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Senator Mason Dies Suddenly", The Globe, July 17, 1918
  2. ^ a b c d e "Senator Mason Dies Following Operation", Toronto Daily Star, July 16, 1918
  3. ^ "The Death of Senator Mason", The Globe, July 17, 1918

External links[edit]