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Art and Audrey Evans

  • CA BWGPL OS10882
  • 1977

Art Evans, former mayor of Bradford, and his wife Audrey. Art followed Frank Allan as Reeve in 1953 until the village became a town in 1960, and served as Mayor for 1 year, then a Conservative M.P.P. until 1977.

Art Evans

  • CA BWGPL OS10671
  • 1977

Art Evans, former mayor of Bradford, and his wife Audrey. Art followed Frank Allan as Reeve in 1953 until the village became a town in 1960, and served as Mayor for 1 years, then a Conservative M.P.P. until 1977. This photo appeared in the Bradford Witness and was found in the Bradford Womens Institute's scrapbooks.

Art Evans is Honored

  • CA BWGPL PH25663

Municipality :
Community : Barrie
Lot :
Concession :
Description : Art Evans is Honored
By John Slykhuis

BARRIE - They came to say thank you to Arthur Evans last Friday, almost 1,000 strong, including cabinet ministers, politicians from all parties, and a small portion of the thousands of friends he has made over the years.

They came to say thank you for the 17 years he held the Simcoe Centre riding for the Progressive Conservatives, and the 20-odd years before that he held political offices.

Almost a life-time of dedicated service to the people in his riding.


Art Evans and his wife Audrey arrived by limousine at Barrie Raceway to the deafening cheers of the people gathered on a cold, snowy evening.

Among the podium guests were chairman for the evening George Taylor, who succeeded Mr. Evans as MPP, Lorne Richardson, minister without portfolio, James Taylor (energy), and John Rhodes (housing).

Each had personal reminiscences about Art and paid tribute to his dedication, common sense, and honesty.

Telegrams poured in, including one from Premier William Davis who wrote, "You are one of Simcoe County's finest citizens...the accolades are well-earned."


James Taylor commented, "I came to respect the common sense and good judgement of a man who served you so well for so many years...I feel honored to have known you."

Political colleague and friend William Hodgson, MPP for York North, recalled the first time he and Art met, during the Hurricane Hazel disaster.

Art was reeve of Bradford at the time, and Mr. Hodgson deputy-reeve of King Township.


He recalled that Art, organizer of the hurricane relief effort, almost single-handedly created order out of the chaos that Hazel wrought.

John Rhodes followed with a warm speech sprinkled with humourous anecdotes.

"I'm here to tell you the truth about Art Evans," Mr. Rhodes began, "It's fitting you held the ceremony here (at Barrie Raceway). Art's been going around in circles for years.

"Arthur was responsible for getting me elected and I've never forgiven him."

Mr. Rhodes paid a special tribute to Art Evans' wife Audrey for her unswerving devotion and support.

"For all the hours we put in, our wives put in just as many, " Mr. Rhodes said. "Arthur was successful because he had a good wife."

He concluded joking, "You've inflicted George Taylor on us, but we'll see what we can do."

Ken Tupling, Arthur Evans' campaign manager, presented a bouquet of roses to Audrey Evans and gave a summary of Mr. Evans' long and distinguished career.

He began his political career as a member of the Public Utilities Commission of Bradford, followed by terms as councillor, reeve, Simcoe County Warden, and as Bradford's first mayor in 1959.

In 1960, Mr. Evans gained the Simcoe Centre seat left vacant after the death of George Johnson, and held that seat until his retirement earlier this year.


His toughest fight, Mr. Tupling recalled, was that first provincial election in which he defeated his Liberal opponent by a slim 600 votes.

During those hectic years, Art and Audrey raised four children, John, Donald, Robin, and Cathy.

Art and Audrey received several gifts along with the accolades last Friday.

They included a grandfather clock, framed campaign poster and cartoon, and a scrapbook spanning his career.

Mr. Evans, 62, now works as a loan consultant with the Municipal Savings and Loan Corporation in Barrie.

"I don't know how I lasted the 17 years," Mr. Evans concluded. "It's a tough racket; it really is."

Art Kneeshaw

  • CA BWGPL OS10883

This photo of Art Kneeshaw accompanied an article in the Bradford Witness about his role in the growth of the Bradford area. The photo is also in the Bradford Women's Institute Scrapbooks.

Art Kneeshaw Helps Plan Area Growth

  • CA BWGPL PH25666

Municipality :
Community : Bradford West Gwillimbury
Lot :
Concession :
Description : He Helps Plan Area Growth

Art Kneeshaw was appointed to the Bradford planning board in 1969, just when growth began to surge in town.

The appointment to the Bradford board was followed two years later by his being named to head the joint planning board with West Gwillimbury.

"The idea behind joint planning is to make Bradford and West Gwillimbury work together," Mr. Kneeshaw said recently in an interview.

The pressure on the town of Bradford to develop never lets up, he said.

"With gas prices so high, commuters to the north are suffering," he said. "People are moving closer to Toronto. Because we're not that far away, we're getting hit by that."

The Simcoe-Georgian Task Force has suggested that the population of the town of Bradford should grow to 12,000 by 1991.

"Even at the present rate it's going to be ahrd to hold it," Mr. Kneeshaw said. "Right now we have enough development approved to take us up to 7,800 people."

The official population for Bradford in 1975 was 4,566. "We're still in the process of going from 5,000 to 7,500," he said. "It's going to be busy for the next two or three years anyhow."

The main limit to growth right now is the delay in approval of the proposed sewage plant extension. Council asked the Ministry of Housing for approval 18 months ago.

"It appears we're getting in more industry than we should," Mr. Kneeshaw said. "The plan is set up for 75 percent residential and 25 percent industrial."

"This town can someday handle 20,000. We're very fortunate that we'll never have to annex for years."

When asked what has been the toughest problem he has faced while sitting on the planning board, Mr. Kneeshaw replied:

"The time element. A developer always feels there is a time delay from the time he makes application until he get approval to go ahead."

An area resident all his life, Mr. Kneeshaw is the Land Registrar and Master of Titles for the County of Simcoe.

He has worked for the county for 25 years.

He and his wife, Ruth, have two grown children, Brian and Faye.

Mr. Kneeshaw's numerous interested include curling, golf and the Bradford Lions Club.

Arthur Evans

  • CA BWGPL OS10653
  • 1976

After many years of distinguished service, Simcoe-Centre MPP Arthur Evans, a Bradford resident, announced his retirement from public office. This photo appeared with a group of others in The Witness entitled "Bradford's year in photos."

Arthur Evans

  • CA BWGPL OS10820
  • 1977

Retiring after 17 years as MPP. The long and distinguished career of Simcoe Centre MPP Arthur Evans officially ended earlier this month when Premier Bill Davis called an election. Mr. Evans served as the Progressive Conservative member of parliament for almost 17 years before announcing his retirement last summer.


  • CA BWGPL OS10678

A highlight of the Beeton Centennial celebrations held last weekend was the mammoth steam and gas engine parade. Area steam engine buffs exhibited their machines in the parade. A float from Beeton senior citizens was also entered despite the inclement weather.


  • CA BWGPL OS10275

(From the left) Deputy-reeve Milt Hambly, Councillor Sandy Hudson and Reeve Ken Wood of Bradford were present at the opening of the Professor E.A. Smith Natural Resources Educational Centre last Wednesday. The centre is located on the ninth concession east of Highway 11. The 600-acre conservation area will be used to teach students from separate and public school boards about flora and fauna of the surrounding forest.

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