Ezra Riley

Ezra Hounsfield Riley (June 5, 1866 – January 5, 1937) was a Canadian politician and rancher in Alberta, Canada. Riley served in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 1906–1910.

Ezra Riley
Ezra Riley, Calgary.jpg
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
In office
Preceded byCharles Stuart
Succeeded byArchibald J. McArthur
Personal details
Born(1866-06-05)June 5, 1866
Yorkville, Canada West
DiedJanuary 5, 1937(1937-01-05) (aged 70)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Harriet Waterhouse (m.1897)
Occupationrancher, politician

Early lifeEdit

Riley was born in 1866 in Yorkville, Canada West (a suburb of Toronto then). He owned a large sum of land that he sold off to the City of Calgary in 1904. The land was developed into the historical Hillhurst-Sunnyside community northwest of Downtown.[1]

1906 by-electionEdit

Riley was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta in a by-election for the Alberta Liberal Party on December 7, 1906. He would be re-elected to a second term in the 1909 Alberta general election.

Resignation and defeatEdit

After serving a year into his second term he resigned his seat to protest the leadership of Arthur Sifton who became leader of the Liberal party in the wake of the Alberta and Great Waterways Railway scandal. Riley would run in the subsequent by-election on October 3, 1910 The Conservatives did not run a candidate in that by-election instead choosing to support Riley.[2]

Explaining his resignation in a memorable stump speech on September 30, 1910 Riley was quoted as saying

I tell you, I am a Liberal, but I believe in the brand of Liberalism by and for the people. I am not afraid of the people and I could not continue to sit in the house at Edmonton without giving the people a chance to express themselves.

On election day Riley was defeated by 100 votes in a hotly and bitterly contested by-election rife with accusations of tampered voters lists.[3][4]

His brother Harold Riley would end up winning the district for the Conservatives in another by-election almost exactly a year later.


Riley Park in Calgary, Alberta, the site of which was on his former ranch is named in his honor.[5]


  1. ^ Margaret Tanko (1978). "Hillhurst-Sunnyside remembers" (PDF). Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association. Retrieved 2007-08-01.[dead link]
  2. ^ "Liberals Stand Back of Riley". Calgary Herald. October 1, 1910. Archived from the original on January 21, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2007.
  3. ^ "Futile Efforts Of Machine Organ To Distort Facts". Calgary Herald. October 2, 1910. Archived from the original on January 21, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2007.
  4. ^ "Past By-elections". Elections Alberta. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
  5. ^ "Riley Park". City of Calgary. Archived from the original on 2007-06-16. Retrieved 2007-08-01.

External linksEdit

Legislative Assembly of Alberta
Preceded by
Charles Stuart
MLA Gleichen
Succeeded by
Archibald J. McArthur