Sir Robert Gillespie Reid

Sir Robert Gillespie Reid, bridge and railway builder, financier (b at Coupar Angus, Scot 1842; d at Montréal 3 June 1908). He worked briefly in Australia as a contractor and then came to Canada (1871).

Reid, Sir Robert Gillespie

Sir Robert Gillespie Reid, bridge and railway builder, financier (b at Coupar Angus, Scot 1842; d at Montréal 3 June 1908). He worked briefly in Australia as a contractor and then came to Canada (1871). His fame in Canada as a bridge builder comes from his construction of the Lachine bridge across the St Lawrence R at Montréal, the bridge at Sault Ste Marie and the international bridge over the Niagara R (with Casimir GZOWSKI 1870-73). Reid became involved in the building of the CPR and constructed difficult sections of the line along the N shore of Lk Superior. In 1890 he contracted to build railways for the Newfoundland government. Within 6 years, Reid's line had crossed the Island, and thereafter he developed telegraphs, steamships and natural resources. Reid, and later his sons, controlled communication and transportation systems on the Island through Reid-Newfoundland Co until the Nfld government took over in 1923.