Muir, Alexander

Alexander Muir. Songwriter, school principal, poet, b Lesmahagow, near Lanark, Scotland, 5 Apr 1830, d Toronto 26 Jan 1906; BA (Queen's) 1851. His parents settled, when he was three, in Scarborough Township, east of Toronto, and he later taught 1853-60 in several Scarborough schools. He was principal 1860-70 at Leslieville School and in the ensuing years was teacher or principal of schools in Newmarket, Beaverton, and Toronto, including 1888-1906 Gladstone Avenue School, which in 1925 was renamed in his honour.

Although Muir's musical activities were on an amateur level, they were strongly emphasized along with athletics and patriotism during his teaching career. He wrote words and music for several patriotic songs including the famous 'The Maple Leaf For Ever' (1867). Others are 'Canada, Land of the Maple Tree' and 'The Old Union Jack' (both published by Suckling 1890), 'Canada Forever' (Whaley Royce 1894), and 'Young Canada Was Here' (Whaley Royce 1900). Some of his poetry was published in Newmarket and Toronto newspapers.

A park, built in his honour in Toronto in 1933, was re-dedicated to Muir in 1952 when its location was changed.