Interview with James McCreath

James McCreath was born in Toronto on June 8, 1948 to Myrtle Franceschini and Ralph McCreath. Myrtle's father was Vincenzo (James) Franceschini, an Italian immigrant who came to Canada from Abbruzi, Italy (via Ellis Island) in 1905. James started Dufferin Construction, a successful construction company which started as a house building company but flourished by getting into road building. Leonardo Franceschini joined his brother in Canada in 1923 and helped start the family business (Dufferin Construction was officially registered as a business in 1926). James was a great lover of horses and an excellent business man. He made many powerful friends and connections and made and lost several fortunes throughout his life. In 1939 he began making minesweepers for the Canadian government for the war effort from his plant on Fleet Street. In 1940 he was interned at Camp Petawawa. McCreath states that there was no evidence that his grandfather had done anything wrong and that he was detained because certain people held personal grudges against him. Leonardo, as well as the family lawyer, worked hard to get James out of the camp. There were even discussions about his situation in the Globe and Mail and in Canadian Parliament. During his internment, James developed cancer. With the prompting of the camp doctor, as well as Member of Parliament, John Diefenbaker, and Premier of Ontario, Mitchell Hepburn, James was eventually released in 1941. James moved to Mont Tremblant where he continued to run parts of the business but tried to stay out of the spotlight. He died in 1960.