From: "The Storied Province of Quebec Past and Present"
Ed. Col. William Wood, Dominion Publishing Company, Limited, Toronto 1931
Long one of the outstanding business men of Montreal and this region of the Province of Quebec, Robert Mitchell Ballantyne was president of Lovell and Christmas Ltd. (Canada), butter and cheese exporters. In his work in that connection, and, indeed in all his many undertakings, he held a place of prominence and esteem; and his achievement brought him the confidence and respect of all who knew him. At the same time his public-spirited nature led him to take part extensively in many different types of civic enterprise; and his deep understanding of human nature and his warm sympathy with men and their aspirations placed him anong the outstanding individuals of his place and day. His career was useful, his life well lived, his death a cause of widespread and sincere regret.
Mr. Ballantyne was born at Stratford, Province of: Ontario, on August 20, 1859, son of the Hon. Thomas Ballantyne, a widely known business leader of Ontario and one of the Province’s outstanding dairy-men. The father was also a memhcr of the Ontario Legislature, and was from 1890 to 1894 Speaker of the Lower House to that body ; he lived and died in Stratford. The Ballantyne family was of Scotch descent.
In the schools of his native place, Robert Mitchell Ballantyne received his early education; and here, too, he studied in the high school. Later he began his business career as a clerk with the Merchants’ Bank of Canada, at Stratford, Ontario; and still later he became associated with the Canadian Bank of Commerce, at Woodstock. In 1883 he became a partner of his father in the cheese and butter exporting business, and remained with the elder Mr. Ballantyne until 1900, when he came to Montreal. Here he accepted a position as managing director in Canada for the firm of Lovell and Christmas, Ltd. In 1924 he was elected president of this company, an office that he successfully filled until his death. His offices were situated at No. 112 King Street, Montreal; and the company also had quarters in London, England.
Along with his work in this organization, Mr. Bailantyne was active in other business circles, having been president of R. M. Ballantyne, Ltd., knit goods manufacturers, of Stratford, Ontario; director of the Lake of the Woods Knitting Company, Ltd., of Montreal; director of the Sterling Coal Company, Ltd., of Toronto; and director of the North America Collieries, of Alberta.
A worshipper in the Presbyterian faith, he was a member of the congregation of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul. Public-spirited as a citizen, successful as a business man, he was known, too, for his numerous acts of charity and benevolence. He was fond of outdoor life, and of healthful games and diversions, and especially of fishing. He was happy among trees and flowers, was a lover of nature and took particular pleasure and considerable pride in the beautiful garden surrounding his summer home -on Dorval Island in the St. Lawrence River, a few miles above Montreal.
He had a fine city home in Forden Avenue, Westmount, which he built, and which also boasted of a very fine garden and some very large and beautiful trees. Aside from home and family, he was devoted principally to his friends, who were legion. He listed among his close acquaintances the members of several prominent social organizations of this Province, Including the St. James’ Club, of Montreal; and the Forest and Stream Club. In 1908 he served as vice-president of the Board of Trade of Montreal. He also belonged to the Canadian Club.
His Interest in the beauties and wonders of nature naturally led him toward a deep appreciation of art and the arts. And, indeed, he was a man who devoted some time to the study of the works of the masters in pictorial art. And not the least of his studies was that of the art of life, not in a superficial sense, but in its deepest significance. Living, for him, had a meaning, was a thing worth while. So did a unified outlook upon men, the world and all things make his life one that was beautifully and finely lived. Mr. Ballantyne’s home commanded a beautiful view of the St. Lawrence River and the south shore, as well as of Montreal and Westmount. To this home and all that it represented to him, and to the family that shared its advantages and happiness with him, he ever gave his fullest measure of devotion.
Robert Mitchell Ballantyne married, in Stratford, Ontario, Carlotta Linton Scott, a native of that place, daughter of Charles Scott and Margaret Linton. Her father was a barrister of Stratford. On both the Scott and Linton sides of her family, Mrs. Ballantyne is of Scotch descent; and she, like her husband, is a member of the Presbyterian Church.
To Mr. and Mrs. Ballantyne there were born four children:
2. Nelo Carlotta Ballantyne, who became the wife of Sladen Harrison, son of Dr. F. C. Harrison, recent principal of Macdonald College, Montreal; he is with the Sherwin Williams Company, Ltd., of this city; they have a child, Shirley Linton Harrison.
3. Margaret Doris Ballantyne, who
died in childhood.
The death of Robert Mitchell Bailantyne occurred at his home in Westmount,
Quebec, on March 29, 1929; and he was laid to rest in Mount
Royal Cemetery, Montreal. His passing was a cause of profound sorrow,
for he had contributed much to his city and Province, not alone through
what he accomplished in the world of business, but also through the influence
of his thoughts and the spirit of kind-liness and generosity that emanated
from him in all his human relationships. His memory will live, a source
of encouragement, joy and inspiration to others in the years yet to come.