Image Alt

Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation

Loblaw, Stevenson, Banting, and Weston Connections

William John Stevenson and Elizabeth Pringle were both born in 1807 in Scotland and emigrated to Canada in the 1860s, settling in Essa Township. Their grandson Theodore (T.P.) Loblaw, orphaned as a teen and raised by the Stevensons, established the very successful Loblaw Groceterias. That early success led to his 1926 philanthropic gift of $100,000 to establish the Stevenson Memorial Hospital in honor of what his grandparents did for him. All of them are buried in Alliston Union Cemetery.

Theodore Loblaw died unexpectedly due to an accident in 1933, and his Loblaw shares went into a Trust. Fourteen years later, in 1947, the Trust sold the remaining shares to George Weston Limited, led by Willard Garfield Weston. His son, William Galen Weston (recently deceased), led George Weston Limited through significant change. William Galen’s son, Galen Weston Jr., became Chair of the Loblaw Board and CEO of the George Weston Ltd parent company. The Loblaw parent company, George Weston Limited, has recently sold the fresh and frozen parts of Weston Foods.

Theodore Loblaw’s mother, Isabella Stevenson, had ten brothers and sisters, including Elspeth Stevenson, born in 1837. She and her husband, George McGirr, had a daughter, Nettie Mae McGirr, who married William (Bill) J. Wood. Bill Wood purchased Stevenson Farms and farmed primarily crops, livestock, and dairy.

Stevenson Farms was passed on to Stephen and Mary Milne (nee Wood) and later to William and Susan Milne (nee Bourne). Since then, Stevenson Farms B&B has been owned by ardent Stevenson supporters Stephen Milne and his wife, Susanne Campbell.

Any discussion of the Essa Township area of Simcoe County invariably begins with tales of Theodore Pringle Loblaw, T.P. for short, to his friends, of which there were many. Perhaps that is why he succeeded in the early grocery industry at the end of the nineteenth century. Likewise, Sir Frederick Banting, co-discoverer of insulin, shared the same playground growing up. Two iconic gentlemen growing up in the same farming community who were very good at what they did.

Please help us to honour the legacy left behind by all these ancestors by contributing to the redevelopment of Stevenson Memorial Hospital.

By: Dr. Ted Vandevis – Board Director, Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation

For more information:

Kara Harris-Row

Communications Coordinator

Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation 705-434-8289