William Wesley "Bill" Hiltz (2 November 1872 – 26 February 1936) was Mayor of Toronto from January 1924 – January 1925. During his term, he introduced time clocks for Toronto city workers. He was also a member of the Orange Order in Canada. He had a son and grandson, with the same names.

Bill Hiltz
39th Mayor of Toronto
In office
Preceded byCharles A. Maguire
Succeeded byThomas Foster
Personal details
William Wesley Hilts

(1872-11-02)November 2, 1872
Ballinafad, Ontario[1]
DiedFebruary 26, 1936(1936-02-26) (aged 63)
Toronto, Ontario
Resting placeMount Pleasant Cemetery
SpouseAnnie Elizabeth Laidlaw
Children4 daughters
3 sons

Ancestry edit

Hiltz descended from the Hilts families that immigrated to the New World around 1710 presumably from the Palatinate region of Germany because of the wars and famine. The family farmed on the Burnetsfield Patent in Herkimer County, New York.[2] During the American Revolution in 1779, Joseph Hilts was brought as a small child by his grandfather, Joseph Petrie, who was forced to flee to the Province of Quebec, settling in the Niagara Peninsula in Louth Township. Joseph Hilts' sons later received land grants, with William Hilts receiving one in Esquesing Township, and Edward Thompson Hilts receiving one in Erin Township.

Early life edit

Hiltz was born and raised in Erin at Ballinafad, attending Georgetown District High School in Georgetown, Ontario[1] and Brampton High School in Brampton.[3] He married Annie Laidlaw on Christmas Day in 1899.[4]

He began his career as a teacher, eventually becoming principal of Weston Collegiate Institute in 1899, and in 1901 assistant principal of the Hamilton Street School (now known as Queen Alexandra Middle School).[5] Around that time, he became a building contractor and real estate developer, and quit teaching in 1906 to go into business full-time.[6] During this transition, he had been known to take his students out to the construction sites to dig foundations by shovel. After developing and building over 400 stores and houses east of the Don River by 1920,[7] his real estate properties made him the second-highest taxpayer in Toronto behind Timothy Eaton, the founder of Eaton's.

Hiltz was the Danforth Methodist Church superintendent of the largest Methodist Sunday School in Canada.[8] He was also a leading advocate of the temperance movement[1] and was a member of the Loyal Orange Lodge.

Political career edit

Offices held by Hiltz[9]
Office Years
School trustee, Toronto Board of Education 1911–1913 (Chairman in 1913)[6]
Alderman for Ward One, Toronto City Council 1914–1920
Controller, Toronto Board of Control 1921–1923
Mayor of Toronto 1924

During his term as mayor, he actively opposed Adam Beck's plans for a network of Hydro radial lines and instead, he was instrumental in getting plans approved for the construction of an elevated railway viaduct in the downtown core[9] -which assured the final opening of the new Union Station. Hiltz's opposition to Hydro radial lines led to their rejection and also to his defeat in the following mayoral election.[9]

Hiltz died in 1936 at age 63.[1]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d "William W. Hiltz Dead". Georgetown Herald. March 4, 1936. p. 1.
  2. ^ "Burnetsfield Patent". Retrieved November 24, 2013.
  3. ^ "Toronto's new Mayor Brampton scholar". The Globe. Toronto ON. 4 Jan 1924. p. 11.
  4. ^ "Marriage notice: Hiltz-Laidlaw". Acton Free Press. December 28, 1899. p. 2.
  5. ^ "Our History". Queen Alexandra Middle School, Toronto District School Board.
  6. ^ a b "The Farm Boy of Forty Years Ago Will Be Mayor of Toronto in 1924". Toronto Daily Star. December 28, 1923. p. 2.
  7. ^ "Hiltz Progressive and Level-Headed". Toronto Daily Star. December 24, 1920. p. 2.
  8. ^ "Orangemen in politics (2)". County Orange Lodge of Toronto.
  9. ^ a b c "Toronto's Mayor in 1924, W.W. Hiltz is Dead at 63". Toronto Daily Star. February 27, 1936. p. 3.

External links edit