World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Robert Hood Saunders

Article Id: WHEBN0002395447
Reproduction Date:

Title: Robert Hood Saunders  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Hiram E. McCallum, Frederick J. Conboy, List of mayors of Toronto, Robert Saunders, Mayors of Toronto
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Robert Hood Saunders

Robert Hood Saunders
48th Mayor of Toronto
In office
1945–1948
Preceded by Frederick Conboy
Succeeded by Hiram McCallum
Personal details
Born (1903-05-30)May 30, 1903
Toronto, Ontario
Died January 16, 1955(1955-01-16) (aged 51)
London, Ontario

Robert Hood Saunders, Q.C., CBE (May 30, 1903 – January 16, 1955) was mayor of Toronto from 1945 to 1948, President of the Canadian National Exhibition, chairman of the Ontario Hydro (formally named the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario (HEPCO)). He was also a member of the Orange Order in Canada.

As mayor, he was nicknamed "Grassroots Bob," for his down-to-earth style. A native of Toronto, he was a champion of the Toronto subway and fought to remove slums. In 1946, Saunders was inspired by an elementary school traffic safety program in Detroit. Saunders worked to start a program in Toronto, and the result was the Elmer the Safety Elephant program.

Saunders was elected alderman for Ward 4 in 1935 and again in 1936. He was defeated in several attempts to be elected to the Toronto Board of Control before returning to city council as an alderman for Ward 4 in 1940. Saunders was elected to and served on the Board of Control from 1941 until 1944 before winning the January 1, 1945 mayoral election by defeating incumbent mayor Frederick J. Conboy. Saunders was re-elected in 1946, 1947 and 1948.

After his resignation as mayor, he became chairman of the Ontario Hydro commission in February 1948. One of his mandates was developing Ontario's waterpower resources, especially on the St. Lawrence Seaway. On January 14, 1955 he boarded an airplane on a business trip. The plane left Windsor, Ontario and on approach to London, Ontario, the plane crashed. The 53-year-old Saunders died as a result of the injuries he sustained. He is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto (section Q-207).

The gravestone of Saunders (section Q-207) in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery

On his death, Fred Gardiner, chairman of Metropolitan Toronto Council, had this to say:

Newsboy, athlete, successful lawyer, mayor to the city, chairman of Hydro, president of the Exhibition, and the one man most responsible for the St. Lawrence Seaway, Bob Saunder's life was a series of successes which only a man of his dynamic energy and ability could accomplish.

A fitting tribute to Saunders was unveiled by the then Premier Leslie M. Frost of Ontario on September 5, 1958. A St. Lawrence Power Project was named after him (The R.H. Saunders – St. Lawrence Station). On this occasion, Premier Frost said,

... he was a person of kindness and understanding; a very human being in many capacities and in many ways. His accomplishments were legion ... It is a fitting tribute to his memory that the St. Lawrence Power Project be named after him.

See also

References

  • Toronto Telegram, January 17, 1955

External links

  • RH Saunder Power Station
  • Elmer the Safety Elephant
  • Video clip of Elmer the Safety Elephant
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.