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The Gooderham & Worts families emigrated from the Scole / Bungay area of England in the early 1830s, arriving in York, (now Toronto, Canada). First came James Worts, accompanied by his 13 year-old son, James Gooderham Worts. They built the windmill near the mouth of the Don River. They were followed in 1832 by William and Ezekiel Gooderham, their sister, Elizabeth (James Worts' wife) and 54 extended family members. Over the following 75 years, these families created the largest distillery in the world, as well as contributing to milling, banking, railways, shipping, farming and other essential components of the growing industrial country. They were active in the church and in various communities, as well as in health care and even in our political institutions. In 2013, descendants of the Gooderham and Worts families created an online website that includes a family tree with photos, documents and stories.


1864 A run on the Bank of Toronto

While sitting for a portrait by J.W.L. Forster, William Gooderham, who founded the Bank of Toronto told this story:

A “run” once occurred on the bank, and a menacing crowd threatened its demolition, as the doors had been closed against them. Hearing of the disturbance he mounted a horse and galloped up. He rode against the mob and shouted, “If you damage the building, your money will have to rebuild it, and you’ll get nothing; if you go home quietly you’ll be repaid every ha’penny.” They took his advice, and in a short time were paid in full.

The Bank of Toronto

Excerpt from Under The Studio Light by J.W. L. Forster


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