Sir Alexander T. Galt

Sir Alexander T. Galt



Born in Scotland, Galt was bright, highly educated and athletic (he once ran 36 miles in six hours on a dare) but also temperamental (Macdonald described him as “unstable as water”). He became a successful businessman at a young age and Father of Confederation representing Lower Canada. As early as 1858 – six years before the Charlottetown and Quebec conferences – Galt presented a detailed plan for the union of the British colonies, and was largely responsible for working out the financial arrangements that helped bring the various Confederation partners together.


From late 1865 to May 1867, Galt and another member of the legislature boarded with Macdonald at 63 Daly Ave. (part of St Alban’s Terrace). That house along with the entire block on the south side of Daly from Cumberland Ave. to Waller St. was destroyed by fire in 1873.


Sir Alexander Galt, 1869 (LAC MIKAN 3215898)

In the summer of 1866, another Father of Confederation, Leonard Tilley, was seeking re-election in New Brunswick, having been defeated by anti-confederation forces the year before. He wrote Macdonald asking for money to help his campaign and suggested it be delivered to him in Portland, Maine, where it could presumably be received more discretely than in Fredericton. Galt, with the full support of the Governor General, Lord Monck, volunteered to be the courier and delivered the money himself.


Although Galt resigned from Cabinet in 1866 over the government’s withdrawal of a bill guaranteeing Protestant education in Quebec, he was still part of the Canadian constitutional delegation that went to London to finalize the drafting of the British North America Act. He left politics in 1867.