top of page

JR Booth

704 IPD and 470 IPD

704 Island Park Drive was built by JR (John Rudolphus) Booth (April 5, 1827 – December 8, 1925), a Canadian lumber tycoon and railroad baron, in 1937.  His son John Frederick Booth built 470 Island Park Drive, now the Mexican Ambassador’s residence.

He built the Canada Atlantic Railway (from Georgian Bay via Ottawa to Vermont) to extract his logs and to export lumber and grain to the United States and Europe.  In 1892, his lumber complex was the largest operation of its kind in the world.

Booth arrived in “Bytown” (later renamed Ottawa) at the same time as many other lumber entrepreneurs such as Henry Bronson, W.G. Perley, John Harris and

E.B. Eddy, yet , by 1890 Booth overtook them all to become the

largest lumber producer in the world.[2]  It was said that at one

 point the timberlands under his control occupied an area

 larger than France.[3]


Upon Booth’s passing on December 25, 1925, Michael Grattan

O’Leary of the Ottawa Journal noted that what people should

remember Booth “not as the great magnate whose wealth is the envy of

many and the wonder of more; but the great pioneer, the man whose genius and imagination tamed the wilderness . . . and, above all, did more than any man of his time to build up this Ottawa Valley. 

William Lyon Mackenzie King commented of Booth:  Mr. Booth was indeed one of the Fathers of Canada; it is not too much to say that it is to men of such sterling worth and indomitable will as he possessed, more than aught else, that we owe the development of our Dominion.”

JR Booth
bottom of page