Atkinson, Joseph E. National Historic Person
1 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario
Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
1865 to 1948
Atkinson, Joseph E.
Influential owner and editor of the Toronto "Star", philanthropist
Existing plaque: Mounted inside on wall of Toronto Star Office 1 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario
One of Canada's most influential newspapermen, Atkinson became managing editor of the Toronto Star in 1899, and its majority owner by 1913. Originally hired by supporters of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, he sought to make the daily an instrument of social reform. His many and often sensational innovations changed the face of Canadian journalism, and made the Star Canada's largest circulation newspaper by the 1930s. A tough taskmaster in life, he generously bequeathed his fortune to the Atkinson Charitable Foundation, which endows an array of cultural, medical and educational institutions in Ontario.