Memorable Manitobans: John Young Reid (1872-1945)


Born at Toronto, Ontario on 30 July 1872, son of John Young Reid, publisher of the Toronto Globe, and Mary Y. Reid. He was educated at Upper Canada College (Toronto) then worked as a clerk with the Toronto firm of Buntin, Reid & Company starting in 1888. He subsequently worked for twelve years as Secretary-Treasurer and Manager of the estates department with the General Trust Company. Coming to Winnipeg in 1907, he first served for four years as Treasurer for the Winnipeg Board of Trade. In 1911, he joined the department store of Robinson & Company, 398-412 Main Street, as Secretary-Treasurer and eventually became Vice President. He rejoined Robinson’s after the First World War and later established the investment house which bore his name. He was a Director of the Canadian General Securities Company, a member of the council of the Winnipeg Board of Trade for 31 years, and served as President of the Better Business Bureau.

Reid was one of the original officers of the 79th Regiment, Cameron Highlanders of Canada. In 1916 he was the second officer to command the 179th Battalion, Cameron Highlanders of Canada. He sailed with them to England, and upon the reorganization of Canada’s reserve the following year, he became commander of the 14th Reserve Battalion. Lieutenant-Colonel Reid served in France and Belgium, 1917-1918, commanding the 66th Labour Brigade, British Expeditionary Force. He also commanded the 20th Brigade, and served as Honorary Colonel of the 10th Machine Gun Brigade and the 1st Battalion, Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, and Honorary President of the Western Canada Military Institute during the post-war years.

On 7 June 1905, he married Georgina Robinson (c1874-1966, daughter of Jerry Robinson) of Winnipeg and they had two sons: John Young Reid (1907-1951) and Jerrold Robinson Reid (1909-1974). Their Winnipeg home, 329 Wellington Crescent, was designed by architect Herbert B. Rugh. He was a founder of the Knowles Boys’ Home, a member of the Manitoba Club, Canadian Club of Winnipeg, St. Charles Country Club, Manitoba Jockey Club, Winnipeg Winter Club, Motor Country Club, Oakland Shooting Club, Minaki Campers Association, National Club (Toronto), Pine Ridge Golf Club, Royal Yacht Club (Toronto), United Service Club, Winnipeg Philatelic Society, Royal Colonial Institute (England), Winnipeg Garrison Club, and Badminton Club (President). He served as President of the St. Andrew’s Society (1915 to 1916, 1918 to 1920), President of the Winnipeg Burns Club, President of the Winnipeg Art Gallery (1938-1941), and Past Worshipful Master of the AF & AM (Fort Garry Lodge). He was a Liberal candidate for the Winnipeg constituency in the 1932 provincial general election.

He died at Winnipeg on 1 August 1945 after a week’s illness and was buried with full military honours in the Elmwood Cemetery.  His casket was carried on a gun carriage along River Avenue with the pipe band of the Cameron Highlanders in attendance.


Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.

Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

“Colonel J. Y. Reid, first Great War veteran, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 August 1945.

Obituary [Georgina Robinson Reid], Winnipeg Free Press, 17 May 1966, page 24.

Obituary [Jerrold Reid], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 January 1974, page 29.

We thank Stuart McLean for providing information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 December 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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