George Taylor Denison II

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George Taylor Denison II
Portrait of George Taylor Denison Jr.
Born 1816-07-17
York, Upper Canada
Died May 30, 1873(1873-05-30) (aged 56)
Nationality Toronto, Ontario
Occupation Lawyer, Army officer, Gentleman Farmer
Known for Financed a militia unit from his own pocket
Children John Denison (Royal Navy)

George Taylor Denison II was a scion of what would later be called the family compact, the closely associated group of insiders from whom colonial Lieutenant Governors picked those to appoint to political appointments and sinecures.[1] His grandfather John DenisonTemplate:Dn was a good friend of Peter Russell, the acting Lieutenant Governor. His grandfather, and father George Taylor Denison, acquired substantial wealth in real estate.[2][3][4]

He articled under George Cartwright Strachan, another member of the family compact, and was admitted to the bar in 1834.[1][5]

His father distinguished himself during the War of 1812, and, in 1822, founded the York Dragoons, a cavalry militia unit, which he paid for out of his own funds.[1] George Taylor Denison II would later command this unit, following his father's example, and paying its expenses out of his own funds.

Denison served as a Toronto alderman from 1843 to 1853.[1] Denison and several other alderman resigned to protest what they regarded as corruption on the part of the current mayor John G. Bowes.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 David Gagan. "DENISON, GEORGE TAYLOR (sometimes designated as George T. Denison Jr, George T. Denison II, or George T. Denison of Rusholme, to avoid confusion with his father and eldest son)". Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Archived from the original on 2019-04-16. Retrieved 2019-06-08. "George Taylor Denison’s grandfather, John, was among the first inhabitants of York. He established the family’s position as minor landed gentry, a status that was enhanced by his son G. T. Denison of Bellevue who, at his death in 1853, was reputedly the wealthiest private landholder in Canada West." 
  2. "Kensington Market, Toronto". Exploring Ontario. 2016. Archived from the original on 2017-07-07. Retrieved 2019-06-08. "George Taylor Denison would continue to accumulate land around York, (Toronto) through purchase and marriage (Esther Borden Lippincott in 1806) and would become one of the wealthiest landowners in Upper Canada." 
  3. "The Denisons". Kensington Market Historical Society. Archived from the original on 2017-08-23. Retrieved 2019-06-08. "In 1815, after his service in the War of 1812, George purchased park lots 17 and 18, the location of modern day Kensington Market. That same year, he started the construction of his home Bellevue at the corner of Bellevue Square park, the modern location of the Kiever synagogue, which was roughly the center of his property." 
  4. "Bellevue". Lost Rivers of Toronto. Archived from the original on 2018-09-15. Retrieved 2019-06-08. "George Denison, like many of the other Denisons, was a military man and loyal to the British Empire. He served with the militia in 1812, beginning a lifelong affiliation with Upper Canada’s military. From 1822 to 1837, Denison organized and led a voluntary cavalry troop, mostly at his own expense, which he commanded during the Rebellion of 1837. The troop later became the Governor General’s Horse Guards, the first eight commanding officers of which were Denisons. In 1846, George took command of the 4th Battalion of Toronto militia. He held this post until his death in 1853." 
  5. David Gagan (1973). The Denison Family of Toronto: 1792-1925. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 9781487597368.