Simcoe, John Graves (sĭmˈkō) [key], 1752–1806, British army officer, first governor of Upper Canada (Ontario). He served with the British in the American Revolution. Upon the division of Quebec into the two Canadas, he was appointed (1791) lieutenant governor of Upper Canada. In 1792 he arrived at Niagara (which he called Newark), his temporary capital; he moved to York (now Toronto) in 1793. Zealous to make the province a strong colony, Simcoe encouraged immigration (particularly of the American Loyalists), fostered agricultural development, and urged the imperial government to establish a provincial college. He was sent (1796) to take part in the ineffective campaign in Haiti and then returned to England.
See biographies by W. R. Ridell (1926), D. C. Scott (rev. ed. 1926), and M. Van Steen (1968).
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