Leslie Frost

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Leslie Frost

Leslie Miscampbell Frost , PC , CC , QC , (born September 20, 1895 in Orillia , Ontario ; † May 4, 1973 in Lindsay , Ontario) was a Canadian politician, lawyer and from May 4, 1949 to November 8, 1961 of 16th Prime Minister of the Province of Ontario. Frost was a member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario and was nicknamed "Old Man Ontario" because of his long tenure as Prime Minister.


Early years

Frost in 1916

Leslie Frost was born to William Sword Frost and Margaret Jane Barker in Orillia, a small town 135 kilometers north of Toronto between Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe . His father was a goldsmith and mayor of Orillia, his mother was a member of the Salvation Army . He studied law at the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall Law School. During World War I he served in the 157th Battalion (Simcoe Foresters) and later in the 20th Battalion (The Queen's York Rangers) in France and Belgium . He was discharged to the rank of captain in 1918 after being seriously wounded . He was admitted to the bar in 1921. In 1926 he married Gertrude Jane Carew. The couple moved to Lindsay, where Leslie Frost opened a law firm with his brother Cecil Gray Frost.

Political career

Frost in 1949 after being elected party chairman

He was first elected to the Ontario Legislative Assembly in 1937 and was Treasury Secretary and Minister of Mines from 1943 to 1955. In 1949 he was elected party leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, succeeding Thomas Laird Kennedy , whose tenure had lasted less than a year, as Prime Minister of Ontario. He led the province during the economic boom of the 1950s. Frost was characterized by a very cautious policy, which earned him the name "The Great Tranquilizer". He combined his conservative, small-town values ​​with progressive politics and won the next three elections in 1951, 1955 and 1959 with a clear lead over the Tories . During his tenure, streets, schools, universities, and hospitals in Ontario were greatly expanded. In the early 1950s, construction began on the 400 highways, an extensive network of freeways through Ontario. His government also increased investment in the economy, followed by strict fiscal policies. Frost's government introduced public hospital insurance , which was expanded by his successors, which later became part of the Ontario Health Insurance Plan .

Under Frost's government, the public services were expanded considerably. The number of universities rose from four to twelve, while the education budget increased from 13 million Canadian dollars in 1943 to 250 million in 1961. During Frost's tenure, the first laws were passed in the 1950s that criminalized racial, ethnic and gender discrimination. In 1961 he gave up the office of party chairman and prime minister. John Robarts succeeded him as Premier of Ontario .

Activities after the political career

After Leslie Frost retired from politics, he was on the board of directors of the University of Toronto . He was also on the board of directors of the Bank of Montreal , Canada Life and Trans-Canada Air Lines. From 1967 to 1973 he was principal of Trent University in Peterborough . When Frost retired, he was increasingly committed to the interests of nature and the environment. Shortly before his death, he conducted investigations into Algonquin Provincial Park .

Leslie Frost died in 1973 at the age of 77. His marriage was childless.


On October 9, 1963, the Leslie Frost Library was opened at Glendon College . In addition, the Frost Center for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies at Trent University is named after him as well as the campus at Fleming College in Peterborough and a public school in Lindsay .

In 1969 Frost was named a Companion of the Order of Canada .


  • with Grace Mitchell Nelson: Pleasant Point story. A history of Pleasant Point. 1965.
  • Fighting men. Clarke, Irwin 1967.
  • Forgotten Pathways of the Trent. Burns & MacEachern, 1973, ISBN 0-88768-037-2 .
  • The record on Sir Sam Hughes set straight. Fenelon Falls Gazette.


  • Roger Graham: Old man Ontario. Leslie Miscampbell Frost. University of Toronto Press 1990, ISBN 0-8020-3459-4 .

Web links

Commons : Leslie Frost  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Toronto Star : McGuinty has spring in his step (Ian Urquhart, September 12, 2007)
  2. ^ Trent University Archives: Frost, Leslie M., 1895-1973
  3. The Brock Press: In Ontario politics, 'bland works' ( Memento of the original from July 17, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.brockpress.com archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Anya Spethmann, September 30, 2003)
  4. Toronto Star: Forget Americans, Honor Burnett (John Cooper, February 12, 2007)
  5. ^ Frost Center for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies