John Ross Robertson
(December 28, 1841 – May 31, 1918) was a Canadian newspaper publisher, politician, and philanthropist in Toronto, Ontario.
Toronto, the son of son of John Robertson and Margaret Sinclair,
Robertson was educated at Upper Canada College, a private high school in Toronto.
young man, he started a newspaper at UCC called Young
and a satirical
He was hired as a reporter
at The Globe
in Toronto, but left The
to found The Telegraph
in 1866. That paper soon
folded, and Robertson went to England as a
reporter for The Globe.
He returned to Toronto in
1876 to launch the Toronto Evening
, which became the voice of working class,
He was elected to the Canadian
House of Commons
for the electoral district of Toronto East
in the 1896 federal election
defeating the incumbent Conservative
Independent Conservative, he did not run for re-election in
The world of sports was also a focus for Robertson’s
public-spiritedness. A fervent advocate of amateur sport, he served
as president of the Ontario
from 1899 to 1905, which was a critical time
period in the history of the sport. His battle to protect hockey
from the influence of professionalism caused him to be called the
“father of Amateur Hockey in Ontario.” During his term as
president, the OHA was able to set rules defining professionalism
in hockey. He worked especially hard to rid hockey of increasing
violence both on and off the ice. Robertson’s donation of silver
trophies to hockey, cricket, and bowling further encouraged amateur
competition. The championship trophy of the Ontario Hockey League
, the J. Ross Robertson Cup
, is still named in
his honour. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of
Fame in 1945.
bequeathed his a considerable book collection to the Toronto Public
Library, founded a children's home, and left a large
annuity to the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children.
The John Ross Robertson Public
, an elementary school of the Toronto District School Board
is named after Robertson, and is located at 130 Glengrove Avenue
West in Toronto.