Upper Canada’s great reformer and rebel leader William Lyon Mackenzie was born in Dundee, Scotland on this date in 1795. He immigrated to British North America when he was 25 and settled in what is now Ontario. In 1834 he was elected Toronto’s first Mayor.
A journalist who founded the famed newspaper, The Colonial Advocate, Mackenzie led the rebel forces in the Upper Canadian rebellion of 1837. After it was put down by the British, he had to flee to the United States. He was eventually pardoned and returned to Canada and was elected to the legislature.
A pioneer on the road to achieving responsible government, Mackenzie passed into history in 1861.