Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
April 2008

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


William G. Ross

President Harbour Commissioners of Montreal, director in Dominion Steel Corporation, etc.  Montreal, Que.

WILLIAM GILLIES ROSS, capitalist, president of the Board of Harbour Commissioners of Montreal, prominently identified with Canada's largest industrial corporations and one of the best known men in the Dominion, was born at Montreal, August 6th, 1863, a son of Philip Simpson Ross and Christina Chalmers Dansken Ross both of whom came to Canada from Scotland about 1856 and were pioneers and prominent in Canadian affairs of the time. W. G. Ross attended the Montreal High School and after graduating therefrom he became a chartered accountant in 1879 and practiced with success in Montreal with the well known firm of P. S. Ross & Sons, which was originally founded by his father. In 1888 he accepted the office of treasurer and assistant manager of the Windsor Hotel, remaining there until 1892. He next associated himself with James Ross assisting in the organization of various street railways throughout Canada and in their electrification. In 1896 he accepted the position of comptroller of the Montreal Street Railway, filling that position until 1900, when he was made secretary-treasurer and comptroller acting in that capacity until 1904. He was in that year further advanced and became managing director of the Montreal Street Railway remaining in that office until 1911 when he resigned. Mr. Ross has been very active in affairs of Montreal and was recently honored by being appointed president of the Harbour Commissioners of Montreal, one of the most important public positions within the gift of the people. He is president of Asbestos Corporation of Canada, vice-president The Prudential Trust Company, director in the Dominion Steel Corporation, the Nova Scotia Development Company, the National Steel Car Company, the Amherst Park Land Company, Halifax Tramway Co., president Beauharnois Electric Co., director Montreal Tramways Company, and many other corporations. He is a member of the Mount Royal, the Forest & Stream, the St. James, the Montreal Club, the Canada Club, the Royal Montreal Golf Club, the Outremont Golf Club, Montreal Jockey Club, the Winchester Fishing Club, the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club, the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association, and is honorary president of the Amateur Skating Association of Canada. First president Canadian Street Railway Association 1904, president Street Railway Accountants' Association of America 1904, vice-president American Electric Railway Association 1910, life governor Montreal General Hospital.

Mr. Ross was married in 1888 to Ida M. Babcock and they are the parents of five children, James Gordon Ross, Philip Simpson Ross, William Gillies Ross, Edythe M. Ross and Alice Ross.

Source: Canadian History Makers. A Volume Containing Accurate and Concise Sketches of Men who have Done Things in The Dominion of Canada Past and Present Together with Photogravures Made from their Latest Photographs, Montreal, Canadian Publication Society, 1913, 159p., p. 69.


© 2008 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College