Eliza Grimason

1821-1916
Eliza Grimason. Source: Newland family private collection, reprinted in Lena Newman, The John A. Macdonald Album, Tundra Books, 1974.Pinterest
Eliza Grimason. Source: Newland family private collection, reprinted in Lena Newman, The John A. Macdonald Album, Tundra Books, 1974.

Of the several women in John A. Macdonald's life, Eliza Grimason stands out first as a client and later as a confidante and close friend. One of early interactions with Macdonald was in 1856 when she purchased a tavern and rental property from him on 344 Princess, the "Grimason House." Her husband, Henry Grimason, died in 1867 leaving Eliza a widow with three children. A dynamic supporter and friend of the local Member of Parliament, Eliza supported Macdonald through his career as alderman, leader of Liberal-Conservative party, and Prime Minister of Canada. During these years, the Grimason House served as his preferred meeting-place and local headquarters and he maintained a room upstairs. Several recent fictive creations have suggested an emotional relationship between Grimason and Macdonald, but this is questionable. Their close friendship was public knowledge as evidenced on several public occasions.