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  • Writer's pictureCraig Baird

Pulling Out All The Stops For A British Syndicate

Vermilion pulled out all the stops when the Count De Topor of London arrived in Canada as a representative of British capitalists in June 1920.

He was charged with the control of about $60 million that was going to be invested in Canadian industries.

A lot of money from this syndicate had been put into Vermilion and the area around it, and the Count de Topor had arrived to check out the area and look at possibly expanding more investment into the area.

To welcome him to the area, the Vermilion Board of Trade held a huge banquet at the Vermilion Hotel which was attended by the leading individuals in town. Mayor Morrison also attended and introduced the Count to the crowd after giving a speech.

The Count gave a brief address and stated that he was greatly impressed with the improvements he had seen in the area. He stated he was happy to see so many businesses and banking structure. He added this showed the deep faith people had in the future of the town.

He was also very impressed by the well-cultivated farms in the area and due to the mixed-farming potential, felt that there was a future of untold possibilities for the region.

The Count advised the business owners and farmers to get together to find solutions to the problems that existed for them and work out their common ground to make Vermilion even more prosperous.

The Count wasn’t wrong with his assessment. In the dairy industry alone, there was nothing in the area eight years previous. By 1920, there was an industry worth $1 million, which was no small amount for that time.

In speaking to the crowd, The Count added that he felt like he was coming home and was sentimental towards the town and its wonderful spirit and energy.

With that, he was on the road again, heading to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Kentucky, and New York.

Sharing Canadian history through social media, history columns and on my podcast is what I do for a living. Please consider supporting that by donating at

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