Pauline Mills McGibbon

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Pauline Mills McGibbon

22nd Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
In office
April 10, 1974 – September 15, 1980
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor GeneralJules Léger
Edward Schreyer
PremierBill Davis
Preceded byWilliam Ross Macdonald
Succeeded byJohn Black Aird
Personal details
Born(1910-10-21)October 21, 1910
Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
DiedDecember 14, 2001(2001-12-14) (aged 91)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Spouse(s)Donald McGibbon
ProfessionDirector, community organizer

Pauline Mills McGibbon CC OOnt (October 21, 1910 – December 14, 2001) served as the 22nd Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 1974 to 1980. In addition to being the first woman to occupy that position, she was also the first woman to serve as a viceregal representative in Canadian history.

Pauline Mills studied at Victoria College, University of Toronto and later worked with community and national organizations such as the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire, for which she served as National President. A lifelong volunteer and supporter of the arts, Mrs. McGibbon also became president of the Dominion Drama Festival in 1948. She was the first woman to lead such organizations as the Canadian Conference of the Arts (1972) and the National Arts Centre (1980). In 1935 she married Donald McGibbon. Mrs. McGibbon served as Chancellor of the universities of Toronto and Guelph, Chairman of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, honorary colonel of 25 (Toronto) Service Battalion and was a Director of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall. She was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1967.

Mrs. McGibbon was installed as the first female Lieutenant Governor of Ontario on January 17, 1974, and thus became the first female Governor in Canada. (The first female Governor in the Commonwealth was Dame Hilda Bynoe, Governor of Grenada 1968-1974.) She held the Office until 1980.

Once described as “Ontario’s Eve” for all her ‘first woman’ achievements, the Honourable Pauline McGibbon dedicated her life to the betterment of her community, province and nation.

A particular focus of her mandate was the arts in Ontario. After leaving Office, Mrs. McGibbon was promoted to be a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1980, and was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 1988. She died in Toronto in 2001, aged 91. She was buried in the family plot in the Lakeview Cemetery in Sarnia, Ontario.

Life story[edit]

Pauline Mills McGibbon was born October 21, 1910 in Sarnia Ontario. She studied at Victoria College at the University of Toronto.[1] In 1935 Pauline married her childhood sweetheart Donald McGibbon, in which they attended the University of Toronto together. She volunteered for years including national president of the imperial order Daughters of the Empire from(1963–65).[2] Mrs. McGibbon was the first woman to serve as a viceregal representative in Canadian history. McGibbon held her first salaried position as Ontario's lieutenant-governor (1974–80). She was the first woman lieutenant-governor in Canada.[3] McGibbon was named to the Order of Canada in 1967 and was promoted within the Order to Companion in 1980. Mrs. McGibbon died in Toronto in 2001.


McGibbon is the only woman ever to have held the presidency of the University of Toronto Alumni Association (1952–53). In November 1956, she received a life membership in Ontario Provincial chapter, to which she had given continuous service since 1940.[4] She received the medal of service of the order of Canada in recognition of her contributions to worthy causes and was made a Dame of the Order of Saint Lazarus.[5] McGibbon received the Canadian award in 1957 for outstanding service to theatre. She received the civic award of merit from the city of Toronto, and in the same year an honorary doctor of laws degree from University of Alberta.[6]


  1. ^ "A Gallery of Women".
  2. ^ "A Gallery of Women".
  3. ^ "ECHOES".
  4. ^ "A Gallery of Women".
  5. ^ "Woman named chancellor of Toronto U".
  6. ^ "Woman named chancellor of Toronto U".

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Omond Solandt
Chancellor of the University of Toronto
Succeeded by
Eva Waddell Mader Macdonald
Preceded by
Emmett Hall
Chancellor of the University of Guelph
Succeeded by
William Stewart