Dr. Alexander Joseph Finlayson was born on the 18th of May, 1906 in Plummer Township, Ontario, the son of Gregor John Finlayson and the former Hannah May Torence. His parents were farmers near Rydal Bank. He had an older sister named Rebecca and 3 younger siblings; Anna, John and Gordon.
Prior to completing his education, Dr. Finlayson worked as a farmer, a miner and a lumberjack before going to Albert College in Belleville to complete his high school education. Dr. Finlayson attended Queen’s University for 1 year before transferring to The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine. Between his school terms he eared money for his university education by working in a mine. He graduated in 1938.
Dr. Finlayson served as a surgeon in the Royal Canadian Air Force during WWII. Dr. Finlayson married Beatrice Pearl Abbs on the 14th of October, 1941 in Clarkson, Ontario. Mrs. Finlayson was born on the 3rd of September, 1919 in Toronto, the daughter of Herbert and Edna Abbs. She had an older brother named Edward and an older sister named Ethel.
Dr. and Mrs. Finlayson had 3 daughters; Ruth, Donna and Susan.
Dr. Finlayson practiced medicine in Toronto and St. Catharines before moving to Dallas, Texas in 1951. The Finlayson family resided at 642 Genoa Street in Dallas.
Dr. Finlayson and his family returned to Ontario and he was the first Superintendent of the Ontario Hospital School in Cedar Springs when it opened on the 7th of June 1961. The Huronia Regional Centre in Orillia was overcrowded and the Ontario Hospital School (also known as the Southwestern Regional Centre) was built to relieve some of the pressure on the Huronia Regional Centre. Dr. Finlayson had concerns that there weren’t enough fully trained staff to accommodate the 1200 patients that the facility was constructed for. He made sure that the hospital was not rushed into accepting all the applicants until the staff was properly trained and able to care for the patients. Only 390 patients were admitted in the first year the Ontario Hospital School was opened.
Dr. Finlayson moved on to a family practice in Brantford in 1964. He retired from medicine in 1990. Dr. Finlayson was a founding shareholder of the Oaks of St. George Golf Club in Brampton, which opened in 1992.
Dr. Finlayson died on the 27th of May, 2000 at the age of 94. At the time of his death Dr. and Mrs. Finlayson resided in Paris, Ontario.