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Lift high the glass to Albert Gooderham
[SA2 Edition]
Toronto Star - Toronto, Ont.
Author: Jones, Donald
Date: Sep 27, 1986
Start Page: M.3
Abstract (Document Summary)

history, he was always known as Colonel Gooderham, the popular and colorful commanding officer of one of this country's best-known regiments, the Royal Grenadiers. In 1912, on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the regiment, he turned the parade ground inside the old armories on University Ave. into an enormous banqueting hall, large enough to seat all 1,778 officers and men of his regiment, and gave one of the largest military dinners ever held in pre-war Canada. Although the family name has always been associated with the distillery, a number of Gooderham men had distinguished military careers and it was money earned by a Gooderham in his military service that first brought the family to Canada.

He had also persuaded his brother-in-law, James Worts, to immigrate with his family and the two men built a flour mill at the eastern end of the Toronto harbor and formed a partnership called Gooderham & Worts. Worts died shortly afterwards but members of his family would continue to play major roles in the growth of the firm. Early in his career as a miller, William began using the waste products from his mill to start a small distillery on the site and soon discovered that he could make more money from a distillery than he could ever make from a flour mill and he founded the distillery empire that would make his family one of the wealthiest in the country.

He and his wife had always been strong supporters of the musical life in Toronto and in 1911 they founded the Canadian Academy of Music so that the city could have a major institution that would attract some of the best music teachers from Europe. One of these teachers, Luigi von Kunits, was personally invited by Gooderham to join the academy. Von Kunits was a Viennese musician and composer and in the 1920s he founded the orchestra known today as the Toronto Symphony. Gooderham became the orchestra's president and later its honorary president. When the stock market crash in 1929 destroyed most private fortunes in Canada, Gooderham was one of the few to weather the crash and he became the principal figure who pledged financial support to ensure that the orchestra would survive.

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