Provincial plaque commemorates historian William Perkins Bull

    BRAMPTON, ON, Sept. 6 /CNW/ - Today, the Ontario Heritage Trust and the
Peel Heritage Complex unveiled a provincial plaque to commemorate William
Perkins Bull, K.C., LL.D., a financier, philanthropist and historian. The
plaque was unveiled by The Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander, Chairman of the
Ontario Heritage Trust.
    "William Perkins Bull documented pioneer life in Peel County," said
Mr. Alexander. "His work to recount his family history led to a legacy of
historical research and collections that have helped to inform our
understanding of the development of this province."
    The eldest son of a successful Ontario dairy farmer, William Perkins Bull
was born in Downsview, Ontario, on July 25, 1870. Shortly after he was born,
his family moved to Peel County. Though he went on to live throughout the
world - becoming a lawyer, entrepreneur, land developer, patron of the arts
and gatherer of Canadian history - Peel County would become the focus of his
historical research.
    "With his passion for heritage, William Perkins Bull made an
extraordinary contribution to Canadian history," said Caroline Di Cocco,
Minister of Culture. "This provincial plaque celebrates his work to research
and preserve Ontario's stories for the benefit of future generations."
    William Perkins Bull's historical work began in May 1931, while
recovering from serious injuries he suffered in a traffic accident. His wife
Maria encouraged him to write about his great-grandfather, and his focus soon
widened to the history of Peel County. In 1934, he published his first two
studies documenting pioneer life in the county, preserving the recollections
of the last of those who had experienced the period first hand. He would
eventually write numerous published volumes on Peel's cultural and natural
history and gather an impressive collection of Canadian art, artifacts,
written records and oral recollections. Much of his collection is now cared
for by the Peel Heritage Complex in Brampton, which is amalgamating items that
were dispersed to different archives and universities following his death.
    "If it were not for the contributions of William Perkins Bull, the Peel
Heritage Complex would not exist," said David Somers, Curator of the Peel
Heritage Complex. "It was his focus, energy, research and determination that
provided a foundation for this institution. Each part of the Complex -
archives, art gallery and museum - owe a debt to William Perkins Bull, his
vision and his hard work."
    Perkins Bull died on June 30, 1948, and was buried beside his wife Maria
at Toronto's Davenport Road United Church, which his great-grandfather had
helped found in 1834.
    The Ontario Heritage Trust's Provincial Plaque Program commemorates
significant people, places and events in Ontario's history. Since 1953, over
1,200 provincial plaques have been unveiled.

    The Trust is an agency of the Government of Ontario, dedicated to
identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's heritage.

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For further information:

For further information: Catrina Colme, Marketing and Communications
Coordinator, Ontario Heritage Trust, Telephone: (416) 325-5074, E-mail:

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