Robert Holmes 1861-1930 | The Region of Durham. The Township of Brock.
Born in Cannington, Ontario, in 1861, Holmes abandoned a career in medicine to train at the Royal Academy of Art in London, England. He returned to Toronto and spent the next forty years teaching, first at Upper Canada College alongside the humourist Stephen Leacock and then at the Ontario College of Art (now OCADU). It’s said his interest in painting wildflowers stemmed from a desire to interest students in their natural surroundings. A philanthropist and volunteer, he contributed to the establishment and development of a number of influential arts organizations in Canada, including the Art Gallery of Ontario. The NY Times noted that he died suddenly after giving a humorous address in which he likened his students to the “wildflowers of which he knew so much.”