26th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
January 24, 1997 to March 7, 2002.
Hilary Weston was installed as Lieutenant Governor of Ontario on January 24, 1997. Prior to serving in public office, Mrs. Weston was deputy chair of Holt Renfrew (1986-1996) and participated in the charitable activities of the W. Garfield Weston Foundation. She also founded the Ireland Fund of Canada and is coauthor of two books: In a Canadian Garden and At Home in Canada. Born in Ireland, Mrs. Weston came to Canada in 1972.
Ontario’s 40th Lieutenant Governor since John Graves Simcoe arrived in 1792, she is only the second woman to have been appointed to the viceregal role in the province. Mrs. Weston served during an unprecedented time when the Governor General and seven Canadian Lieutenant Governors were female. She completed five years and forty-one days in office until March 7, 2002.
At her installation, the Lieutenant Governor made a commitment to focus on celebrating volunteers, youth, and women. As Mrs. Weston’s mandate coincided with the new millennium, she continually explored new ways of making the role more contemporary, accessible, and relevant to Ontarians. As part of this effort, she instigated several new initiatives.
She created the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Awards to honour unsung heroes in the community and student volunteers. She donated her salary as Lieutenant Governor to the Hilary M. Weston Foundation for Youth, which funded initiatives such as the First Connection program to provide business internships for 88 Ontario students and job training for street youth. Mrs. Weston was the first Lieutenant Governor to hold major holiday celebrations in communities outside the capital in alternating years. She also initiated exhibitions of contemporary Ontario art in the Lieutenant Governor’s Suite, in partnership with leading arts organizations.
Mrs. Weston wrote of her experiences as Lieutenant Governor in No Ordinary Time (PDF, 12 MB).