The subject of this brief sketch is truly one of the representatives of the self made and successful business men of Toronto, and an eminent example of the rewards of industry and perseverance, when supported by upright and manly qualities.
Robert Beaty, banker, broker, and real estate dealer, is a native Canadian of Irish descent, and was born at Ashdale Farm, township of Trafalgar, county of Halton, Ontario, on the 28th of July, 1824. His ancestors, parents, and items of interest relating thereto, will be found in the sketch of his brother, Mayor James Beaty, Jr., Q.C., D.C.L., which appears elsewhere in this volume:
The early life of Robert was spent upon the old homestead, and the influence of his home was eminently fitted to prepare him for a prosperous and honorable career. As stated previously in his brother’s sketch, habits of industry and strict morality were rigorously enforced, and a continued and careful educational training was kept up by well directed reading and conversation.
When of suitable age, Robert attended the common schools in Trafalgar, and in 1842 he entered Upper Canada College, where he spent three years in acquiring a good business education. On leaving college in 1845, he entered commercial life in the employ of his uncle, James Beaty, ex M. P. for Toronto, who at that time was engaged in the leather business. In 1852, the Toronto Leader was started by his uncle. The arduous task of managing and conducting the paper devolved upon our subject, and the success which crowned the enterprize during his management, attested the faithfulness and assiduity with which he performed his responsible duties. In 1867 Mr. Beaty severed his connection with the Leader, and established the present firm of Robert Beaty and Co., doing a banking and brokerage business. To this Mr. Beaty has added a real estate business which has grown to be the most important branch of the transactions, carried on principally upon his own responsibility, buying and selling for himself. He gives to his business personal supervision directed with energy and integrity, and has therefore been successful. Though a public spirited citizen, and interested in that which pertains to the public weal, he has ever avoided office of all kinds, though frequently solicited to allow his name to be submitted to the voters.
He has been connected with several commercial enterprises, but at present is interested with none outside of his own, except the Western Assurance Company, of which he was one of the stock holders when it was incorporated in 1851, and in which he has been a Director since 1862.
In politics he has always been a Conservative, taking an active interest in the affairs of that party, and firmly believing in its prominent tenets. He is, however, far from being a partisan, and counts among his warmest friends, many who are opposed to his own views politically. But this fact is owing doubtless to his honesty of purpose, for with him principles are fixed by convictions of duty, and that which he believes to be right, he advocates openly and fearlessly. Religiously he is a Disciple of Christ, and a zealous worker for the cause of christianity; and though a firm believer in his own views, he is characteristically tolerant of the opinions of others.
Mr. Beaty was married in March, 1850, to Miss Sarah Carroll, a native of Ireland. The result of this union was three children, of whom but two survive, John William, who begins a commercial career in his father’s office, and Elizabeth Eleanor, wife of Dr. R. B. Nevitt, a practicing physician in Toronto.