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The City of Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Founder John Galt Has His Day

(Oct 20, 2006)

Gil Stelter, left, and Peter Anderson proposed naming the civic holiday after John Galt,
 whose statue is in front of city hall.

Guelph's founder is getting added recognition in the city, with the August civic holiday being renamed John Galt Day.

City council made that decision Monday, following in the footsteps of Toronto, which in 1968 renamed the first Monday of August as Simcoe Day, and Burlington, which has celebrated the civic holiday as Joseph Brant Day since 1982.

The proposal came from local historian Gil Stelter, who gives lectures on Galt, and Peter Anderson, who chaired the committee whose work led to a sculpture of Galt being installed in front of city hall in 1979. They got a round of applause from city council members after the decision was made Monday.

Galt was responsible for creating Guelph in 1827, naming the community after one of the names of the reigning British royal family, said a supporting letter written by Stelter.

Stelter said Galt is known around the world as a great Scottish literary figure, but he deserves a Guelph holiday.

As superintendent of the Canada Company based in London, England, Galt conceived of building a town to stimulate and direct the agricultural settlement of this area.

He planned the layout of the town, "a distinctive radial design that made Guelph unique among Canadian cities," said Stelter's letter.

Galt also "determined the character of the early community by emphasizing cultural development and the community's role in promoting advanced agriculture - characteristics that remain central to Guelph to this day."

Thanks to Guelph Tribune for this story.

Note: The McLaughlin Library at the University of Guelph has the largest collection of books by John Galt anywhere in the world.

Return to Guelph Home Page


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