Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Gordon Peter Osler (1922-2012)


Born at Winnipeg in 1922, son of Hugh Farquharson Osler and Kathleen Harty (1882-1929), he attended Ravenscourt School and Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario) before joining the Canadian Army in 1942. He served overseas in the 12th Manitoba Dragoons and was later commissioned as a Lieutenant. Following his military discharge, he returned to Winnipeg and headed the firm of Osler, Hammond and Nanton. Following its sale, he moved to Toronto in 1964 and was president of an investment company.

He served as a Director of the Dominion Bank (later the Toronto Dominion Bank) for 40 years, as well as Household International (Chicago), Maclean-Hunter, and IPSCO. He was a founder and Director of Inter-City Gas and President of the Greater Winnipeg Gas Company. He served as Chairman of TransCanada Pipelines, North American Life, and Slater Steel, and Vice Chair of British Steel Canada.

In 1948, he married Nancy Adina Riley (1920-2019, daughter of Conrad Stephenson Riley), who served overseas with the Canadian Womens' Army Corps in the Second World War, and they subsequently had three children. He was a founding member of the board for the Manitoba Centennial Corporation (1963). His self-published memoir, written in 1998, was entitled A Walk on the Bright Side.

He died at Toronto, Ontario on 6 August 2012.


“Giant team to plan for centennial,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 September 1963, page 3.

Obituary, Globe and Mail, 10 August 2012.

Obituary [Nancy Adina Osler], Globe and Mail, 29 June 2019.

We thank James Arnett for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 26 November 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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