John Rudolphus Booth

John Rudolphus Booth, lumber manufacturer, railway builder (b near Waterloo, Lower Canada 5 Apr 1827; d at Ottawa, Ont 8 Dec 1925).

Timber Raft
Ottawa, around 1880. Timber was moved down the Ottawa and on to Quebec City via these rafts (photo by W.J. Topely, courtesy Library and Archives Canada/PA-840).

John Rudolphus Booth, lumber manufacturer, railway builder (b near Waterloo, Lower Canada 5 Apr 1827; d at Ottawa, Ont 8 Dec 1925). In 1857 Booth took over a small shingle mill in Ottawa, which he gradually expanded until he held the most extensive timber limits in Canada and was the foremost manufacturer of lumber for American and British markets. In 1904 he entered the pulp and paper industry and developed a far-flung transportation network.

Booth, William Perley and George Noble completed the Canadian Atlantic Ry after persuading PM John A. Macdonald of its value to the lumber trade and their value to the Conservative Party. Booth then added the Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Ry, and a fleet of Great Lakes boats.

Booth avoided politics, although he actively campaigned against the Taft-Fielding Reciprocity agreements of 1911. He was co-founder of the Dominion (Canadian) Forestry Association and contributed to various charities.