Family Compact

A tightly knit-group that ruled Upper Canada (Ontario) and Toronto in particular in the pre-Confederation years. The group sought to emulate the British aristocracy – a group inherently absent in the colonial structure. The populist (and doomed) 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion, led by Toronto’s first mayor, the firebrand William Lyon Mackenzie, was targeted against the Family Compact’s concentration and perceived abuse of wealth and power.

Through subsequent generations, the term has remained in exclusively pejorative use. It is the epithet that has been hurled at Toronto’s wealthy WASP establishment by reformers through the years.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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