Henry Oscar Waffle

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Henry Oscar Waffle
28th Reeve of Etobicoke
In office
Preceded byBev Lewis
Succeeded byJohn Palmer MacBeth
Personal details
DiedMarch 7, 1980
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Henry Oscar (Ozzie) Waffle (1919/1920 — March 7, 1980) was a municipal politician who was reeve of Etobicoke, Ontario from 1957 to 1963.[1]


He started out as owner of a small Automobile repair shop before becoming a founding partner of Thorncrest Motors Ltd, a large Ford Motor Company in Toronto.[2][1]

Waffle was elected deputy reeve (the term for mayor in townships) in 1954, for a two-year term, before being elected reeve in the 1956 Toronto municipal December 1956 municipal election, taking office in January 1957.[3]

As reeve, he urged the merger of the Township of Etobicoke with the small municipalities of New Toronto, Mimico, and Long Branch, Toronto. This would end up occurring in 1967 with the creation of the Borough of Etobicoke.[2] During his tenure as reeve, Etobicoke's population grew from 100,000 to 170,000.[4] He called the formation of Metropolitan Toronto in 1953, "the greatest single thing that happened" in the area.[4]

Waffle was criticized for remaining a director of Thorncrest Motors during his tenure as reeve and for being in an alleged conflict of interest because the township purchased nine dump trucks at a cost of $25,000 from Waffle's dealership while he was reeve; the township solicitor ruled that there was no conflict of interest since, as reeve, Waffle did not vote on the contract as reeves only voted to break a tie, and there was none in that vote.[5] As reeve, Waffle was a member of Metropolitan Toronto Council in 1961 when Thorncrest Motors successfully bid to sell the Metropolitan Toronto Police 95 cars.[6]

Waffle opposed the construction of the Line 2 Bloor–Danforth subway and instead advocated the construction of a monorail linking Etobicoke with the rest of Toronto.[7][8]

After six years as reeve, Waffle did not run in the 1962 municipal election and left office.[3]

Though no longer in office, Waffle remained an influential behind the scenes player in Etobicoke politics and was described as the "power behind the throne" due to his friendship with his successor as reeve, Edward Horton (politician).[9][5] In 1973, as a private citizen, Waffle sought and obtained a court order unseating newly elected Etobicoke mayor Dennis Flynn, disqualifying him from being elected mayor as he was a city of Toronto employee at the time of the 1972 Toronto municipal 1972 election, contrary to the Municipal Elections Act. A new election was ordered at a cost of between $60,000 and $80,000 which Flynn, who had by then resigned his job as a municipal employee, won with a larger majority than in the election that had been overturned.[10] Waffle's actions raised suspicions that he was acting on behalf of Etobicoke's political establishment, which Flynn had challenged when he ran against and almost defeated Horton in the 1969 Toronto municipal 1969 election.[11]

At the height of the Cold War, Waffle was chairman of the Metropolitan Civil Defence Organization, and its successor, the Metro Emergency Measures Organization, responsible for encouraging residents to build fallout shelters in their backyards and basements.[2]

During World War II, Waffle had been a fighter pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force.[1]

Waffle suffered from multiple sclerosis for more than a decade, and died of the illness in 1980, at the age of 60.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Henry Oscar Waffle", The Globe and Mail (1936-2016); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]08 Mar 1980: 4.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Henry Waffle - he ousted Flynn", Toronto Star (1971-2009); Toronto, Ontario [Toronto, Ontario]09 Mar 1980: C16.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Waffle Makes Exit From Etobicoke Office", The Globe and Mail (1936-2016); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]11 Dec 1962: 5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Boomtown", Toronto Daily Star (1900-1971); Toronto, Ontario [Toronto, Ontario]24 Oct 1963: 3.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Disqualified mayor dares attacker to oppose him in brough election", Toronto Star (1971-2009); Toronto, Ontario [Toronto, Ontario]26 Jan 1973: 3.
  6. "Metro Cuts $10,750 Off Claim", The Globe and Mail (1936-2016); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]22 May 1964: 5.
  7. "Metropolitan Toronto: The Reeve, Persistence and Monorail", by Scott Godfrey, The Globe and Mail (1936-2016); Jun 19, 1962; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Globe and Mail pg. 7
  8. Bradburn, Jamie (May 11, 2013). "Historicist: Opposing the Subway". The Torontoist. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  9. "Flynn's not the only winner in Etobicoke", by Michael Best, Toronto Star (1971-2009); Toronto, Ontario [Toronto, Ontario]14 Mar 1973: 8.
  10. "Jubilant Flynn back as Etobicoke mayor in landslide victory", The Globe and Mail (1936-2016); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]13 Mar 1973: 1
  11. "Waffle says he acted as concerned citizen", by Alden Baker, The Globe and Mail (1936-2016); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]27 Jan 1973: 5.

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