John P. Robarts fonds

Reference Code: Fonds - F 15
Title: John P. Robarts fonds
Date of Creation: [ca. 1900] - 1982
Physical Description:

11 metres of textual records

1444 photographs : prints and negatives

68 drawings

1 artifact

1 poster

32 rolls of motion picture film (approx. 2 hours, 15 minutes) : 8mm and 16mm

19 audio cassettes (approx. 14 hours, 45 minutes)

4 audio reels (approx. 2 hours, 45 minutes)

Scope and Content:

Fonds consists of the political and personal records of John Parmenter Robarts. Fonds includes correspondence, speeches and subject files created and collected by Robarts in his capacity as Minister of Education and Premier of Ontario. Fonds also contains materials from his Progressive Conservative leadership campaign in 1961.

In addition, the fonds contains Robarts' personal records such as correspondence with family members concerning his service in World War II, trips and family matters.

Also included are records created by Robarts' in his capacity as Chancellor for the University of Western Ontario and York University, and as a corporate director for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Bell Canada.

Fonds also includes 29 photo albums and 477 loose photographs. The photographs document Robarts' career as a Progressive Conservative politician, Minister of Education and Premier of Ontario. Photographers include Gilbert Milne and Yousef Karsh. Fonds also contains some personal Robarts family photographs.

In addition, there are 24 drawings and 1 engraved printed plate of various cartoons from Toronto, London, Windsor, and Winnipeg newspapers. Also included are: two charcoal sketches of Robarts, a 1950 Robarts election campaign poster, and 42 drawings by Robarts himself which he doodled while speaking on the telephone in the Premier's Office. Some of the latter drawings appear to relate to current government business matters; others not. One is a drawing of his Cabinet colleague, Al Lawrence.

Films include 8mm home movies, probably filmed by John Robarts, that show family events and fishing trips to Moosonee, Newfoundland and Labrador; and 8mm footage of the opening of a highway to Atikokan and Noden Causeway in the Rainy River District in 1965, as well as Robarts at an historical plaque unveiling in Niagara-on-the-Lake and military tattoo at Fort York. Films also include 16mm films of Premier's Christmas 1970 and New Year's 1971 messages; 1961 interview with John Robarts on his qualifications for the PC Party leadership; Robarts, Minister James Auld and others at Upper Canada Village on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1969; and compilation reels of film footage depicting events and highlights of Robarts years in the Premier's Office.

Sound recordings include recordings of media interviews with Robarts (1970, 1976); recordings of reports of the House of Commons Special Committee on the Disabled and Handicapped (1981); and a recording of the 1973 funeral of Leslie Frost, Robarts' predecessor in the Premier's Office.

Administrative History or Biographical Sketch:

John Parmenter Robarts (1917-1982) was the Progressive Conservative Premier of Ontario between 1961 and 1971.

Click on the link(s) below for more information.

Robarts, John P. (John Parmenter), 1917-1982

Finding Aid:

An inventory is available for this fonds. Sound and moving image materials are listed separately; this list can be requested through a Reference Archivist.

Structure of Collection:

View how this material is structured within its collection. Select items to navigate through the different available levels of description, including online series, sub-series and listings.

Restrictions on Access:

Access to the records in Series F 15- 5 and F 15-6 is restricted for 40 years after the date of their creation. Until this period expires, permission of the donor is required for access. Access to the remainder of the fonds is open.

How to order these records:

Reading Rooms: First consult Inventory for F 15 in order to narrow down your search.

Reading Rooms: For information on how to request access permission to restricted Series F 15-5 and 15-6, please contact a Reference Archivist.

Terms For Use and Reproduction:

Copyright held by creator. There are no restrictions on reproduction for the purpose of research and private study. Permission of the copyright owner(s) is required for use other than research and private study; submit a Request for Permission to Publish, Exhibit or Broadcast Form to the Archives.

Immediate Source of Acquisition: Fonds was acquired by the Archives of Ontario in 1984 from Mrs. Katherine Robarts. The 42 drawings doodled by Premier John Robarts were donated to the Archives in 2004 by Murray Johnson, nephew to a former secretary of the Premier, Gladys Armstrong, who had retained the drawings.
Availability of Other Formats:

Some of the photographs from this fonds are available in digital format in the Archives of Ontario Visual Database. Search using reference code F 15.

Related Material:

For Office of the Premier records of the Robarts administration, please consult the following series, identified here by reference code: Series RG 3-26 to RG 3-29; RG 3-41 to RG 3-48; RG 3-84; RG 3-102; and RG 3-103.


Title based on contents of the fonds.