Robert Hay (furniture manufacturer)

Robert Hay (furniture manufacturer)

Robert Hay (May 18 1808 – July 24 1890) was an Ontario furniture manufacturer and political figure. He represented Toronto Centre in the Canadian House of Commons as a Liberal member from 1878 to 1887.

He was born in Tibbermore, Perthshire, Scotland in 1890, the son of Robert Hay, and apprenticed as a cabinet-maker in Perth. In 1831, he came with his parents to York (later Toronto); his parents died of cholera shortly after arriving. In 1835, he became partners with John Jacques in a cabinet-making business. By 1850, their company was the leading manufacturer of furniture in the country. They soon adopted the use of steam-powered machinery. The company established a branch plant and sawmill in New Lowell in Simcoe County in 1854. Hay helped establish the Toronto, Simcoe and Lake Huron Union Railway which passed through New Lowell. The company also produced other wooden items, such as clothespins, and supplied timber for railway construction. Jacques retired from the business in 1870.

Hay also helped found the St Lawrence Bank in 1872, raised livestock near New Lowell in partnership with his nephew Robert Paton, was a director of the Credit Valley Railway and took part in land speculation in the North-West Territories. He married Mary Dunlop in 1847 and had eight children. The furniture business was dissolved in 1885.

He died in Toronto in 1890.

External links

* [ Biography at the "Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online"]
* [ Synopsis of federal political experience from the Library of Parliament]
* [ " The Canadian biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self-made men ..." (1880)]

succession box
before=John Macdonald
title=Member of Parliament from Toronto Centre
after=George Cockburn

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