Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
May 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Simon James Dawson


Dawson, Simon James (1820-1902), civil engineer and member of parliament, was born in 1820 at Redhaven, Banffshire, Scotland. He came to Canada as a young man, and became a civil engineer. In 1857 he was appointed by the Canadian government to explore the country from lake Superior westward to the Saskatchewan ; and his report (Toronto, 1859) was among the first to attract attention to the possibilities of the North West as a home for settlers. In 1868 he was employed to open communications with the Red River country, by what was later known as "the Dawson Route"; and in 1870 he superintended the transportation over this route of the troops comprising the Red River expedition. His Report on the line of route between lake Superior and the Red River settlement was published as a government document (Ottawa, 1868). From 1875 to 1878 he was Conservative member of the Ontario legislature for Algoma; and from 1878 to 1891 he sat in the Canadian House of Commons for the same constituency. He died at Ottawa, Ontario, on November 20, 1902.

Source: W. Stewart Wallace, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., p. 186.

© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College