A Generous Life and an Enduring Legacy

Few people can lay claim to building the foundations of a city. Arthur Kennedy is on that short list.

As a lifelong civil servant, Arthur played a pivotal role in developing and overseeing the water system for the Region of Peel, an impressive feat of engineering that continues to serve over 1.5 million residents in Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon to this day, providing 590 million litres of clean, safe drinking water daily.

In 2019, the Lakeview Water Treatment Plant – one of the largest facilities in the world – was renamed the Arthur P. Kennedy Water Treatment Plant, a testament to his remarkable contributions.

Born just before the Great Depression, Arthur grew up on a farm with his six brothers and three sisters. His father died when he was just 12 years old, leaving his mother and siblings to look after the family farm and one another. This commitment to family and community would become a recurring theme throughout his life. 

Arthur graduated from Port Credit High School and received a scholarship to attend the University of Toronto where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering in. Soon after graduation, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and was stationed as a flying officer in London during the war. After V-Day, he volunteered to help with reconstruction in Hamburg, Germany. 

Upon returning to Canada in 1946, he met his wife, Margaret Mathews, with whom he shared three children – Marilyn, Tom, and Neil – as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  

“Family was everything to my dad,” says Marilyn. “He not only cared for own children but also his extended family. He helped many nieces and nephews, supporting them financially to attend university.” 

Arthur’s generous legacy also includes ROM. A member since 1994, he was especially fascinated by the incredible whale research underway at the Museum and contributed to the recovery of the rare skeletons that became the centrepiece of the highly popular Blue Whale exhibition in 2017. 

In addition to donations during his lifetime, Arthur made a provision in his will to support the Museum’s Discretionary Fund, which advances the greatest and most urgent priorities. And much like his water system, his gift will continue to benefit the community for generations to come. 

Including ROM in your estate plan is a meaningful way to create a legacy that will last beyond your lifetime. By making bequests in their estates, donors join the Currelly Legacy Society and gain lifelong access to a full slate of exclusive ROM experiences and opportunities. To learn more, contact Janice Correa at  janicec@rom.on.ca.

img_20190525_111717_0.jpgCelebrating the naming of the Arthur P. Kennedy Treatment Plant.