Caledonia Hometown Heroes

Edmund Byron Walker

Sir Edmund Byron Walker

Born in Seneca Township October 14, 1848. At the age of 13, he went to work for his uncle in Hamilton who owned a private bank. He had many jobs, but he became adept at recognizing counterfeit bills. He went on to work for other financial institutions in Canada and the USA. In 1868, he joined the newly formed Canadian Bank of Commerce and became manager by 1886. In 1907, he was named president of the bank.

Walker changed the Canadian banking system by revising the Canada Banking Act and implementing a centralized banking system. He became well-known for founding the Canadian Bankers Association and Vice President of the American Bankers Association. He was invited to the USA to draft their Federal Reserve Legislation. He held positions in both American and British financial institutions.

Byron had many interests in politics and education especially the University of Toronto and the arts. He helped found the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Museum of Ontario. He was instrumental in saving art pictures of World War I which eventually became part of the War Museum in Ottawa. He was a member of the Canadian War Memorials Fund. In 1910, he was knighted by King George V.

Walker opposed free trade with the USA. Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier proposed this legislation and the agreement was defeated and eventually the government. He died March 27th, 1924 and the "Globe and Mail" wrote "possibly no more versatile Canadian existed in his day and age: probably few others have done so much for Canada".

Etta Fleming

Eva Marlene Heddle

Jones' Bakery

Jessie MacGregor and her Concert Bureau

Ranald McKinnon

Sir Arthur Meighen

Peter Robertson

Constable Bill Stotts

Sir Edmund Byron Walker

Many thanks to the Edinburgh Square Museum in Caledonia for pictures and biographical material.