Gould, Maitland Goldwin

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Gould, Maitland Goldwin

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Maitland Goldwin Gould was a judge who served in North Bay and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Gould was born on April 17, 1907 in North Bay. In 1912, his family built and moved to a cobblestone house on Queen Street on the shores of Lake Nipissing by the current Amelia Park, and it was there that he acquired his taste for swimming, canoeing, water sports, and outdoor life in general. He attended McIntyre Street School up to Grade 7, walking four miles a day in the process. During the years 1918 and 1919, his family moved several times throughout the United States and ended up in Edmonton where he graduated from elementary school. One of his teachers in Edmonton, who was named Mr. Davidson, got him interested in bird study, a hobby which he continued for the rest of his life. In June 1920, the family moved from Edmonton to Bowmanville, Ontario where his father opened a law practice. Gould completed five years of secondary school at Bowmanville High School, where he met his future wife, Dorothy Bonnycastle. During his years at high school, he was a track champion, debating captain, participant in several drama productions, a member of the soccer team, and graduated with a scholarship in Classics.

Following high school, Gould attended University College at the University of Toronto where he was awarded a silver medal in lifesaving, played a lot of squash, and dabbled in art and sketching. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Classics in 1929 and was awarded the Edward Blake scholarship and the McCaul Medal for the highest standing in Classics. Following that, he entered Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the bar in 1932. He returned for a year to Bowmanville, where Dorothy had begun teaching at Bowmanville High School following her graduation from the University of Toronto. In May 1933, he returned to North Bay and joined the law firm of John H. McDonald, a former law partner of his father's. He joined the Ezylyfe Canoe Club, the Rotary Club, Nipissing Lodge, and the North Bay Ski Club.

In 1937, Gould was appointed relieving magistrate to fill in for the northern magistrates during their summer holidays. He travelled to many northern communities such as Timmins, Kirkland Lake, and Haileybury, and this helped develop his lifelong interest in the North. In August 1939, he married Dorothy and they settled in North Bay where they raised three children over 32 years of marriage. He continued to practise law in North Bay and was appointed permanent magistrate for the District of Nipissing in 1942, with the privilege of continuing his law practice. He also served as Juvenile Court Judge for the District of Nipissing. He became the senior partner in the law firm of Gould Birnie & McMillan and was awarded Queen's Counsel in 1965. As his work became much heavier, Judge Gould removed himself from his law practice to devote his attention to the position of magistrate.

During this time in North Bay, Gould was very involved in the community, serving on many boards such as the North Bay District School Board, the Police Commission, and the Library Board. He continued to develop his unwavering interest in birds, and began to keep meticulous records of all his sightings in the North Bay area as well as on any trips the family took across Canada, the far north, and the United States. For most of his life, Gould was an avid naturalist and bird watcher who kept extremely detailed records of all personal sightings as well as weather observations since the late 1930s. He also had a great interest in the Arctic and travelled extensively in the eastern Arctic, Northwest Territories, and Alaska. He maintained his cottage on Trout Lake even after his move to Sault Ste. Marie, and went out in his canoe most summer evenings to observe wildlife. He also maintained a cottage at Bright Lake in the Thessalon area, visiting it most weekends in the fall, winter, and spring in order to keep records of wildlife sightings in that area.

In 1968, Gould was appointed District Court Judge for the District of Algoma, which required a permanent move to Sault Ste. Marie. His wife Dorothy passed away in December of 1971 and he continued to sit on the bench in Sault Ste. Marie until his death on October 17, 1980. A tribute to Judge Gould was printed in a Canada Law Book publication in 1982 titled "Division of Matrimonial Assets in Ontario." It stated: "Judge Gould was appointed to the District Court of the District of Algoma. He was everything a judge should be. He knew the law and he was content to apply it and not make it. He was polite to counsel and it pained him when counsel were less than polite to each other. He was a Gentleman of the Old School. Judge Gould approached matters with a clarity of thought that sent counsel away wondering why they had ever thought a case was complicated. His ability to deal with issues of credibility and to assess witnesses was unmatched ... Judge Gould's personal notes (of each case) contained the truest summary of the evidence..... His death has removed a Judge of the classic mould."

[Biographical sketch by Nancy Elliott, November 2014]


North Bay, Ont. (born April 17, 1907)
North Bay, Ont. (1907-1918, 1933-1968)
Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. (1968-1980)
Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. (died October 17, 1980)

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Nipissing University and Canadore College Archives and Special Collections

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Created March 19, 2015 by Peter Houston


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