Keefer, SamuelSamuel Keefer, engineer (b at Thorold, UC 20 Jan 1811; d at Brockville, Ont 7 Jan 1890). The first chief engineer of the Board of Public Works of the Province of Canada in 1841, he built the first suspension bridge in Canada in 1843 spanning the Ottawa River at Chaudière Falls. He resigned his government post in 1853 to become an engineer for the GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY. As supervising engineer for the Brockville and Ottawa Railway, he built the first railway tunnel in Canada at Brockville.
In 1857 Samuel Keefer re-entered government service as inspector of railways and deputy commissioner of public works; having selected the plans for the Parliament buildings in Ottawa in 1859, he directed their construction. He retired again from public service in 1864 and 5 years later built the Clifton Bridge over the Niagara River. For the design and construction of this bridge, he received the 1878 Gold Medal at the Paris Exposition.