Robert John Fleming (Canadian politician)

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Robert John Fleming
R. J. Fleming 1906.jpg
27th Mayor of Toronto
In office
Preceded by Edward F. Clarke
Succeeded by Warring Kennedy
In office
Preceded by Warring Kennedy
Succeeded by John Shaw
Personal details
Born (1854-11-23)November 23, 1854
Toronto, Ontario
Died October 26, 1925(1925-10-26) (aged 70)
Nationality Canadian
Spouse(s) Margaret Jane Breadon 1879-1883
Lydia Jane Orford 1888-?
Residence Toronto
Occupation businessman, politician
Profession businessman

Robert John Fleming (November 23, 1854 – October 26, 1925) was twice Mayor of Toronto (1892–1893 and 2nd incumbency 1896–1897)

Born in Toronto, Robert John Fleming was of Irish ancestry, the son of William and Jane (Cauldwell) Fleming. Educated in Toronto public schools he first entered the business world in real estate. From there he moved on to the Toronto Railway Company becoming the general manager in 1905. He was also a member of the Orange Order in Canada.

Fleming's political career began as an Alderman 1886 to 1890. In 1892 was elected mayor of Toronto. He was reelected in 1896 and the next year as mayor. He resigned in 1897 to accept appointment as an assessment commissioner of Toronto and held that position until 1904. In 1894 presided over the National Exhibition Convention at Montreal. Fleming was president in 1895 of the Dominion Prohibitory Alliance. He strongly believed in the prohibition of liquor traffic.

Fleming resigned as Mayor in 1897 and ran for mayor again in 1923 against Mayor Charles A. Maguire and was defeated.

As a businessman he was general manager of the Toronto and Niagara Power Company, general manager of the Toronto Electric Light Company and general manager of the Electrical Development Company of Ontario. He was also director of the Toronto Board of Trade. He was a member of the Toronto Harbor Commission in 1921.

Personal life[edit]

He married (first) in December 1879 Margaret Jane Breadon, who died in March 1883; she was the daughter of Christopher Breadon of Montreal. His second marriage in October 1888 was to Lydia Jane Orford, daughter of William Orford of Toronto. He was the father of four sons and five daughters. Fleming had an active interest in thoroughbred horses.

Robert John Fleming died in 1925 and was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto.


  • Jesse Edgar Middletown: The Municipality of Toronto - A History, Dominion Publishing, 1923
  • Cath McKenty, née Fleming: Polly of Bridgewater Farm. (about the family of Fleming and immigration from Tyrone to Canada)
  • "Robert John Fleming". Dictionary of Canadian Biography (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. 1979–2016.