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Edward Plunket Taylor (January 29, 1901 – May 14, 1989) was a Canadian business tycoon, investor, and philanthropist. He was a famous breeder of thoroughbred race horses. Known to his friends as "Eddie", he is universally recorded as "E. P. Taylor".

E. P. Taylor
Born(1901-01-29)January 29, 1901
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
DiedMay 14, 1989(1989-05-14) (aged 88)
ResidenceNorth York, Ontario, Canada
Lyford Cay, Bahamas
EducationAshbury College
McGill University
OccupationBusinessman, philanthropist
Racehorse owner/breeder
Known forArgus Corporation, Windfields Farm, Northern Dancer
Board member ofArgus Corporation, Canadian Breweries Ltd., Massey Ferguson Ltd., B.C. Forest Products Ltd., Dominion Tar & Chemical Co., Honey Dew Co., Ontario Jockey Club, Trust Corporation of the Bahamas, Lyford Cay Development Corp.
Spouse(s)Winnifred Thornton Duguid
ChildrenJudith, Louise, Charles
Parent(s)Plunket Bourchier Taylor
Florence Magee
AwardsCanada's Sports Hall of Fame (1974), Sovereign Award for Outstanding Breeder (1976, 1985), Eclipse Award for Outstanding Breeder (1977, 1983)


Early yearsEdit

Born in Ottawa, Ontario into a wealthy family, Taylor attended Ashbury College and graduated from Montreal's McGill University in 1922 with a Bachelor of Science degree. After graduation, he worked for the investment brokerage firm McLeod Young and Weir (now ScotiaMcLeod).


Starting with a brewery business (Brading Brewery) inherited from his grandfather, Taylor merged more than 20 other small breweries to create Canadian Breweries Limited, which grew to be the world's largest brewing company.

During World War II, he was a volunteer executive in the Canadian government's war effort. He was appointed by C. D. Howe to the executive committee of the Department of Munitions and Supply and would be appointed by Winston Churchill to run the British Supply Council in North America. He came close to losing his life when, in December 1940, the ship he was on was torpedoed while crossing the Atlantic. He and others on the sinking ship were rescued by a captain who broke regulations to pick them up.

Through his war-time service, Taylor became connected to top businessmen from across Canada and around the world. At war's end, he founded Argus Corporation, becoming the investment company's majority shareholder by rolling Canadian Breweries stock into the new entity. Over the years, he gained control or had significant positions in many of his country's largest companies such as Canadian Food Products, Massey-Harris, Orange Crush Ltd., Standard Chemical, Dominion Stores, British Columbia Forest Products Limited, Dominion Tar & Chemical Co., Standard Broadcasting, and Hollinger Mines Limited. During the highest point of his career, he was one of Canada's richest people.

Taylor also pioneered the concept of gated communities in exotic places. He founded the highly exclusive Lyford Cay gated community in 1959 and its 'Lyford Cay Club' on New Providence island in the Bahamas. The Lyford Cay Club is home to some of the world's wealthiest people.

In 1948, Taylor and a small group of fellow alumni established the McGill University Alma Mater Fund, inviting all graduates to give annual donations and thereby "make of themselves a living endowment." [1]

Thoroughbred racingEdit

While a student at Montreal's McGill University in 1918, Taylor was introduced to the sport of thoroughbred horse racing at Blue Bonnets Raceway. As a businessman in the 1930s he established Cosgrave Stable to race horses, which notably owned and raced the future (2000) Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame filly Mona Bell, winner of the 1938 Breeders' Stakes and Maple Leaf Stakes.

In the 1950s, Taylor and his wife, Winnifred Thornton Duguid, began breeding thoroughbreds. Their involvement led to the acquisition of Parkwood Stable near Toronto and then Windfields Farm at Oshawa. The Taylor thoroughbred horse breeding operation produced Northern Dancer, the greatest sire of the 20th century. In 1970, he was the world's leading horse breeder measured by money won. He was president of the Ontario Jockey Club from 1953 to 1973 where he consolidated numerous money-losing tracks throughout the province into fewer, but viable businesses. He was voted thoroughbred racing's man of the year in 1973 and the following year was elected to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. In 1977 and 1983 he was named the winner of the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Breeder as the leading thoroughbred breeder in North America. Taylor's horses won 15 Queen's Plate races and were named Canadian Horse of the Year nine times. He was also a founder of the Jockey Club of Canada.


Windfields Estate in 2000

Windfields Estate was Taylor's main residence and was situated at 2489 Bayview Avenue in North York, Toronto. It is now the site of the Canadian Film Centre. The 25-acre (10 ha) estate has been preserved as a heritage site. The Canadian Royal Family often stayed at Windfields when they visited Toronto. The last royals to stay there were Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, in the summers of 1974 and 1981, and Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales. There were many maids, two gardeners and a house manager who worked at the residence.

In 1963, Taylor moved to the Bahamas, taking advantage of the warm climate and its inheritance tax laws. He lived in the gated community he had built called Lyford Cay. He died there in 1989 at the age of 88. A friend of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, in December 1962, the President stayed at Taylor's home in Lyford Cay while he held talks with British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.[2][3]

His son, journalist and author Charles P. B. Taylor, died in 1997 at 62, after a nine-year battle with cancer.


Taylor's legacy lives on within the community with various contributions.


  1. ^ McGill University Alma Mater Fund website
  2. ^,941320&dq=lyford-cay+taylor&hl=en
  3. ^,1709235&dq=lyford-cay+taylor&hl=en
  4. ^ Pub website Archived 2014-04-02 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "E. P. Taylor". Retrieved 23 September 2014.