Mayors, Councillors, Reeves & Chairmen

Biography - John Shaw

John Shaw (b.1837-d.1917)
Mayor of Toronto - 1897-1899

John Shaw, lawyer and politician, was alderman from 1883 until 1895. He ran for mayor in 1896 but was defeated by the incumbent R. J. Fleming. As alderman again in 1897, he was elected mayor by council, after Mayor Fleming resigned in August of 1897.

During the summer of 1998, Queen Street City Hall was completed and occupied. Ten years earlier construction had started on the new 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's Bay. Although the project had many supporters, unfortunately the line was never built.

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 then retired from politics soon after.

Mayors of Toronto, Volume 1, 1834-1899
by Victor Loring Russell
Published by: The Boston Mills Press