Samuel Edward Weir Q.C. (1898-1981), a man both loved and reviled with scorn, was born in London, Ontario. Descended from pioneer stock, with roots in both Ireland and Germany, Samuel Weir possessed incisive wit, exceptional intelligence and a passionate zest for any subject that caught his eye. Over a period of sixty years he built an extraordinary collection of approximately one thousand works of outstanding art and sculpture. This extensively researched biography of a talented yet quixotic lawyer who contributed much to Canada's heritage begins in the early 19th century and covers well over a hundred years of our nation's growth, until his death at his home, River Brink, in Queenston, Ontario. Today, River Brink is the gallery in which The Weir Collection is exhibited and housed.
Mary Willan Mason was born in Toronto into a prominent musical family and graduated from University College at the University of Toronto. A lifelong and dedicated student of fine art, she has written extensively on the subject. The Consummate Canadian is her first biography of a collector.