William Riggs

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Bill Riggs
26th Mayor of Windsor, Ontario
In office
Preceded byJohn Wheelton
Succeeded byFrank Wansbrough
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded byDavid Croll
Succeeded byM.C. Davies
Personal details
Born(1896-09-21)September 21, 1896
Bournemouth, England
DiedDecember 20, 1973(1973-12-20) (aged 77)
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Political partyCCF
OccupationNewspaper printer

William Charles "Bill" Riggs (September 21, 1896 – December 20, 1973) was a politician in Ontario, Canada. He was a CCF member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1943 to 1945 who represented the southwestern Ontario riding of Windsor—Walkerville, he was a long time municipal councillor and he briefly served as Mayor of Windsor in 1969.


Riggs was born in 1896 in Bournemouth, England,[1][2] but moved to Belleville, Ontario, where he was educated,[3] he joined the Canadian Field Artillery in 1915, and spent nearly three years in France during World War I.[3] Riggs trained as a printer in Belleville.[2] Riggs moved to Windsor in 1921,[3] where he worked for 42 years as a linotype printer at the Windsor Star, and retired in 1961, he was highly active as a trade unionist, holding many offices within the Windsor Typographical Union and the Windsor District Trades and Labor Council.[2][3] Riggs was one of the first members of Ontario's Labor Party in the 1930s.[3] In 1935, he accepted his first public position was on the Windsor Library Board.[2]

Riggs was married to Gladys and had two sons and two daughters.[4][3] An apartment building in East Windsor is named after him: Riggs Manor at 4365 Wyandotte Street East.

Provincial politics[edit]

Riggs was elected in a CCF sweep in 1943, defeating the Liberal candidate, David Croll;[3] as an MPP, he served on several Legislative Committees including Printing, Game and Fish, Municipal Law, Education, and Labour. He lost his seat in 1945 to the Progressive Conservative candidate Rev. M.C. Davies.[5][3] He was again selected as the CCF candidate for the Windsor-Walkerville riding in the 1948 Ontario election,[5] but lost again to Davies,[2] he subsequently ran for the CCF in the 1949 federal election in Essex East against cabinet minister Paul Martin, Sr.[2] In 1964 he finished second in a provincial election in the riding of Windsor-Sandwich.[2]

Municipal politics[edit]

In the 1940s, he was defeated in his first election for alderman in Windsor's Ward 4,[2] he was elected as alderman for Ward Three in Windsor in 1946 and was acclaimed in 1948 and 1950.[2] He was defeated in 1952 and 1954 elections for the Board of Control, but was re-elected as alderman in 1956, a position he held for the following 13 years.[2]

When John Wheelton resigned as mayor of Windsor in 1969, Riggs replaced him for a period of five months. Four alderman received two votes each during the city council vote for a replacement. Riggs won the job by drawing a queen from a pack of cards, the method used to break the tie,[2][6] he was the first mayor to lead the Windsor Santa Claus Parade.[7] He was replaced by Frank Wansbrough at the beginning of 1970.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Shields, Bill (August 2, 1969). "Bill Riggs calls shots". The Windsor Star.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "William C. Riggs". The Windsor Daily Star. June 25, 1949.
  4. ^ "Deaths- Riggs, William Charles". The Windsor Star. December 20, 1973. p. 49.
  5. ^ a b "Nominations Given Riggs and Lauzon". The Windsor Daily Star. May 6, 1948.
  6. ^ "Ex-mayor of Windsor dead at 77". The Montreal Gazette. December 21, 1973.
  7. ^ "Windsor Jaycees Santa Claus Parade - History".

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