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David Spence (Canadian politician)

David Spence (January 25, 1867 – February 13, 1940) was an Irish-born Canadian politician, businessman and army officer.

David Spence
David Spence photo 1935 (cropped).png
David Spence circa 1935.
Member of Parliament
In office
Preceded byHerbert Mowat
Succeeded byHerbert A. Bruce
In office
Preceded byMultiple[1]
Succeeded byMultiple
ConstituencyToronto Ward 6
Personal details
Born(1867-01-25)January 25, 1867
Markethill, County Armagh, Ireland
DiedFebruary 13, 1940(1940-02-13) (aged 73)
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Sarah Locke[2]
Children3 sons[3]
Residence13 O'Hara Avenue

Spence was born in Markethill, County Armagh, Ireland and was educated at a state school before immigrating to North America in 1896. After spending a year in Pittsburgh he moved to Toronto where he established a wholesale fruit and commission business. He served as an alderman on Toronto City Council from 1910 to 1916 and was instrumental in winning approval for the construction of the Prince Edward Viaduct.[2]

During World War I he helped form The Irish Regiment of Canada and was one of its officers but was not permitted to go overseas to fight because of his age.[2]

Spence was first elected to the House of Commons of Canada as a Conservative in the 1921 federal election. He represented the Parkdale electoral district, and was re-elected in the four succeeding elections: 1925, 1926, 1930 and 1935. He served in the House for almost 19 years until his death prior to the 1940 federal election. He was already nominated as the Tory's Parkdale candidate when he died.[2]

He intended to run as a Conservative in the 1917 federal election; but withdrew from the race in order to support Liberal-Unionist Herbert Mowat, who was running as a supporter of the Union Government formed by Conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden.[3] Mowat was appointed to the bench prior to the 1921 federal election freeing up the riding for Spence to contest.[3]


  1. ^ Ward 6 had three aldermanic seats on Toronto city council during this period.
  2. ^ a b c d "David Spence, Former M.P. Dies Suddenly at Home". Toronto Daily Star. Toronto. 1940-02-14. p. 4.
  3. ^ a b c d "David Spence Is Dead; Parkdale M.P. 19 Years". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. 1940-02-14. pp. 1, 5.

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