Thomas Birkett

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Thomas Birkett
Thomas Birkett Source: Library and Archives Canada
Mayor of Ottawa
Assumed office
Preceded byJacob Erratt
Succeeded byOlivier Durocher
House of Commons of Canada representing Ottawa City
In office
Personal details
BornFebruary 1, 1844
Bytown, Upper Canada
DiedDecember 2, 1920(1920-12-02) (aged 76)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Spouse(s)1871 Mary Gallagher; 1904 Henrietta Gallagher

Thomas Birkett (February 1, 1844 – December 2, 1920) was mayor of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 1891 [1] and a member of the House of Commons of Canada representing Ottawa City from 1900 to 1904.[2]

Birkett was born in Bytown (as Ottawa was known then) in 1844,[2] the son of Miles Birkett and Elizabeth Wren, who came to Upper Canada from England. At the age of 13, he became an apprentice to a local hardware store owner. In 1866, he opened his own hardware store. Birkett served on the school board from 1867 to 1871 and was an alderman on Ottawa City Council from 1873 to 1878.[3] During his term as mayor, electric streetcars were introduced in Ottawa.[4] In 1871, he married Mary Gallagher;[3] after her death, he married Henrietta Gallagher, her stepsister, in 1904.[5] Birkett also served as president of the advisory board of the Dominion Building and Loan Association at Ottawa. He was also a long-time member of the Masonic Order.[3] In 1900, he was named a trustee for the Ottawa Collegiate Institute.[5] He died in Ottawa of pneumonia in 1920.[4] He is buried at Beechwood Cemetery.

His former home, nicknamed Birkett's Castle, is now used as the Hungarian Embassy.[4]


  1. ^ Dave Mullington "Chain of Office: Biographic Sketches of Ottawa's Mayors (1847-1948)" (Renfrew, Ontario: General Store Publishing House, 2005)
  2. ^ a b Thomas Birkett – Parliament of Canada biography
  3. ^ a b c Prominent men of Canada: a collection of persons distinguished ..., GM Adam (1892)
  4. ^ a b c Mulligan, Dave (2005). Chain of office: biographical sketches of the early mayors of Ottawa (1847-1948). pp. 77–9. ISBN 1-897113-17-X. Retrieved 2009-09-26.
  5. ^ a b A cyclopædia of Canadian biography : brief biographies of persons, HW Charlesworth (1919)
Preceded by
Jacob Erratt
Mayor of Ottawa
Succeeded by
Olivier Durocher