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City Government

Mayor John James Carrick

Portrait of Mayor John James Carrick

John James Carrick was born in the United States to Canadian parents of British ancestry. The family moved to Southwestern Ontario in 1881, where Carrick grew up and attended school. Carrick worked with his father in the oil business, and then moved to Sault Ste Marie, where he began a long career in real estate speculation.

Carrick came to Port Arthur around 1903, and in partnership with George Mooring, was deeply involved in large real estate projects such as the Highland Park and Strathcona Heights subdivisions. Carrick was also involved in other property sales across the Lakehead, including Carrick Park, Victoria Park, the New Ontario fair grounds, and Mariday Park, which was named after his wife Mary Day.

Carrick proved to be just as successful in politics as he was in real estate. He served as Alderman in 1907, and was elected Mayor of Port Arthur in 1908. In the very same year, Carrick was elected as a Conservative to the Ontario Legislature. In 1911, he was acclaimed as the Member of Parliment for Thunder Bay and Rainy River, sitting until the next election in 1917.

He counted among his successes being a Member of Legislative Assembly, the construction of the Dog Lake dam, and promoting the construction of roads throughout the district. He also claimed he was responsible for securing large federal expenditures used on the Port Arthur harbour and breakwater, the Port Arthur Customs House and Armoury, and the Dominion Government elevator.

Carrick was a believer in self promotion. He established the Port Arthur Daily News in February 1906, and then used the newspaper to promote and advertise his own interests, both as a politician and as a real estate businessman. Carrick sold the newspaper in May 1918 to John Russell Smith of the firm Davidson & Smith.

After the First World War began in 1914, Sir Sam Hughes granted Carrick the honorary rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, and in late 1915, he was stationed as a temporary Colonel to the staff at Canadian headquarters. At the end of the war, Carrick moved to Toronto, and by 1930 had established offices in the Sterling Towers in Toronto.

Born: Sept. 17, 1873 in Terre Haute, Indiana
Died: May 11, 1966 in Mexico City, Mexico at the age of 93
Councillor: 1907
Mayor: 1908
Member of Legislative Assembly: Conservative, Port Arthur 1908 - 1911
Member of Parliament: Conservative, Thunder Bay and Rainy River 1911 - 1917

 

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