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John Black Aird Edit Profile

Lawyer , politician , Member of the Senate of Canada , Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

John Black Aird, Canadian lawyer, university official, former lieutenant governor. Bar: Ontario, 1949.


Born in Toronto, Ontario, the grandson of Canadian financier Sir John Aird, John Black Aird was educated at Upper Canada College, Trinity College and Osgoode Hall Law School.


Bachelor, University Toronto, 1946. Bachelor of Laws, Osgoode Hall Law School, 1949. Doctor of Laws (honorary), Wilfrid Laurier University, 1975.

Doctor of Laws (honorary), Royal Military College Can, 1980. Doctor of Laws (honorary), University Western Ontario, 1983. Doctor of Laws (honorary), Lakehead University, 1984.

Doctor of Laws (honorary), University Toronto, 1984. DSL, Wycliffe College, 1985. DSL, University St. Michaels College, 1992.


John Black Aird, CC OOnt QC (May 5, 1923 – May 6, 1995) was the 23rd Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Canada, from 1980 to 1985. He was a Brother at the Toronto Chapter of the Alpha Delta Phi. He practised law in Toronto and headed his own firm, Aird & Berlis LLP in 1974.

Aird served as a director of several corporations. In 1958 Aird was appointed to the board of directors of Callaghan Mining. Aird later served as chairman of the board of Algoma Central Railway.

During World War II, he served in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve. From 1964 to 1974, he served as a Liberal Senator. In 1971, he was Chairman of the Canada-United States Permanent Joint Board on Defence.

From 1977 to 1985, he was Chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. The main focus of his mandate was Ontarians with disabilities. He wrote a book, Loyalty in a Changing World, about the contemporary function of the Lieutenant Governor.

He was lieutenant-governor when, shortly following the 1985 Ontario election, the Progressive Conservative minority government of Frank Miller was defeated by a motion of no confidence. The defeat occurred after an accord was reached between the David Peterson Liberals and Bob Rae's New Democratic Party to allow the Liberals to form a minority government for two years with NDP support despite the fact that the Liberals had slightly fewer seats than the Tories. Some media outlets, such as the conservative Toronto Sun, compared the matter to the King-Byng Affair and accused Aird of partisanship for asking Peterson to form a government rather than dissolving the legislature and calling a new election.

In 1983 Algoma Central launched a ship named the John B.


  • In 1983 Algoma Central launched a ship named the John B. Aird. Aird had previously been chairman of the board of Algoma Central Railway. After his term as Lieutenant Governor Aird became Chancellor of the University of Toronto, his alma mater. He was made an Honorary Senior Fellow of Renison College in 1985. Aird was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 1987 and in 1993 he was promoted to Companion in the Order of Canada.

    He died in Toronto in 1995. Aird was Governor of the Canadian Geographic Society.


Honorary chairman United Way Greater Toronto, 1987-1991, Canada Liver Foundation, Governor Royal Canada Geography Society. Member Senate of Canada, 1964-1974. Member Duke of Edinburgh's Award World Fellowship.

Lieutenant Royal Canada Navy, 1942-1945, captain Canada Forces Reserve, honorary colonel 78th Fraser Highlanders, 1989. Member Naval Officers Association Canada (honorary president, Gold award), Royal Canada Geography Society (governor), York Club (special), Toronto Club (honorary), Toronto Golf Club, Royal Canada Yacht Club, Royal and Ancient Golf Club St. Andrews, Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Alpha Delta Phi (Samuel Eells award).


Married Lucile Jane Housser, July 27, 1944. Children: Lucille Elizabeth Aird Menear, Jane Victoria Aird Blackmore, Hugh Housser, Katherine Aird Porter.

Hugh Reston Aird

May (Black) Aird

Lucile Jane Housser

Lucille Elizabeth Aird Menear Aird

Jane Victoria Aird Blackmore Aird

Hugh Housser Aird

Katherine Aird Porter Aird