John Shaw (Canadian politician)

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John Shaw
John Shaw.png
29th Mayor of Toronto
In office
Preceded by Robert J. Fleming
Succeeded by Ernest A. Macdonald
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario for Toronto North -- Seat B
In office
Personal details
Born 1837
Toronto, Ontario
Died November 7, 1917
Toronto, Ontario

John Shaw (1837 – November 7, 1917) was Mayor of Toronto from 1897 until 1899.[1]

A lawyer and politician, Shaw was an alderman on Toronto City Council from 1883 until 1895. He ran for mayor in 1896 but was defeated by the incumbent Robert J. Fleming. As alderman again in 1897, he was elected mayor by council, after Mayor Fleming resigned in August 1897.

During the summer of 1898, the new City Hall on Queen Street was completed and occupied. Ten years earlier construction had started on the city hall designed by Toronto architect E. J. Lennox. Mayor Shaw and his wife were part of the opening ceremonies and were lifted to the top of the clock tower in a wooden workman's lift.

Mayor Shaw believed that the northland's development was very important to Toronto. He presided over the Toronto and Hudson's Bay Railway Commission. The commission was to determine the feasibility of building a railway from Toronto to Hudson Bay. Although the project had many supporters, the line was never built. He was also a member of the Orange Order in Canada.

John Shaw left politics after his term until 1904 when he became a member of the Board of Control for two years. In 1908, he was elected to the provincial legislature as the Conservative MLA for Toronto North Seat B then retired from politics in 1911.


  • Russell, Victor Loring, Mayors of Toronto, Volume 1, 1834-1899, The Boston Mills Press, 1982

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