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Maple Leaf Forever Tree and Alexander Muir Plaque, Leslieville
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Title: Maple Leaf Forever Tree and Alexander Muir Plaque, Leslieville
Identifier: MC0322
Date of Original Photo: 2007
Image Type: Col Photo, 10x15 cm
Subject: National songs - Canada
Donor: Harold and Valda Leslie
Location: Leslieville, Toronto

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Description: The tree that inspired the song, "The Maple Leaf Forever" still stands in Leslieville. Alexander Muir was principal of Leslieville Public School from 1863 to 1870. He wrote the words and music to the anthem in October 1867, inspired by a brilliant autumn leaf from this tree. Leslieville was named after George Leslie Sr. who was born in 1805, the eldest son of William Leslie, 1771-1817 and Esther Beattie 1783-1867 and the step-son of John Leslie Sr., 1786-1872. Leslie grew up in Sutherlandshire, Scotland, where he learned the art and trade of horticulture. He came to Upper Canada with his family in 1824. In 1825 he settled in York (Toronto) where he developed the grounds and gardens of places such as the provincial Parliament Buildings and Osgoode Hall. He opened a seed and grocery store, but left it to take ownership of Toronto Nurseries, the largest business of its kind in Canada. George Leslie Sr. lived at what is now the corner of Queen Street and Jones Avenue in Toronto. Some of his land was surveyed into lots and sold, beginning the community of Leslieville. He also gave his name to Leslie Street in Toronto. George Leslie Sr. was a friend of Alexander Muir. Photographed by Valda Leslie.
Agency: Mississauga Library System