Redpath, today a household name for sugar in Canada, has its roots in the story of an enterprising Scots immigrant, initially a stone mason and later a building contractor during the boom days of Montreal's growth from a small provincial centre to a major North American city. In 1854, the ever-energetic John Redpath, by then a self-made millionaire in his late fifties, launched a new career as an industrialist. With his son, Peter, and the gifted George Alexander Drummond as manager, he established Canada's first successful sugar refinery.
The Redpath story encompasses the influence of sugar as an economic force, the emergence of the elegant social life of cosmopolitan Montreal and a hind-sight view of the complexities of the love-hate relationship between government and business.
This, the first of two volumes, moves through Canada's period of extensive industrialization to the turn of the century, the impact of World War I and concludes in the post-war years. Throughout this period, the familiar Redpath trademark, a reproduction of John Redpath's signature, is a reminder of the heritage inherent in Canada's business and social history.
Richard Feltoe was born in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England, and initially came to Canada in 1967 at the age of 13. After completing high school in the Montreal suburb of Pointe-Claire, he returned to England in 1971 to undertake advanced (A) level studies and subsequently gained a B.Sc. (Honours) degree in Economics from London University in 1976.
Richard has worked at the Redpath Sugar Museum since 1977 and currently holds the position of Museum Curator and Corporate Archivist. His major published works include A Gentleman of Substance: The Life and Legacy of John Redpath (1796-1869) and the two-volume corporate history Redpath: The History of a Sugar House and Let Redpath Sweeten It, and as well as several shorter monographs, pamphlets, research papers and magazine articles.
In addition to his comprehensive knowledge on the subject of sugar, he also has an avid interest in the military history of Canada, in particular the North American War of 1812-1815, and was a founding member of both the Military Re-enactment Society of Canada and the Upper Canada Living History Association. Since taking up re-enacting as a hobby in 1979, Richard has participated in Living History events throughout Canada, the United States and in Europe. He has also written a number of articles on facets of the war for various publications and is currently in the process of completing two larger military histories about the War of 1812-1815 within Upper Canada (Ontario).
Married in 1976, Richard and his wife Diane have two adult children (Jane and Mark) and live in the Toronto suburb of Brampton, Ontario.