History

Guessing from the age of my Grandfather (Percy Fleming), this picture was taken about 1920 to 1925.  As a young kid (I’m 60 years old now) I met Tom Ross many times and he and Grandpa were good friends and I believe in the same lodge. When Tom was almost 90 years old he and my Grandfather where on the Don Messer show on TV together. A little hokey by todays stardards however, I fond memory for me.”

– Brian Settle, 2008

 

Early Twentieth century
  • 1912: Toronto Police Pipe Band formed; Thomas Ross, the first Pipe Major. Ross tartan is worn by the band in honour of PM Ross.
  • 1913: First public appearance in the summer of 1913 performing at the Police Games at Hanlan’s Point
  • 1919: Royal Command performance Allandale Station, Toronto for HRH the Prince of Wales.
  • 1922: First performance at the Canadian National Exhibition
  • 1924: Pipe Major Leask succeeds Pipe Major Ross; plays before 80,000 at Police Games in Baltimore, USA.
  • 1939: Forced hiatus due to outbreak of Second World War

Mid Twentieth century
  • 1957: Named changed to Metropolitan Toronto Police Pipe Band when 13 Municipal Forces joined to form the larger Metro Force.
  • 1960: Inspector Alexander (Sandy) Johnson, one of the original pipers from the Old Toronto Police Pipe Band, begins immense task of getting the band back together
  • 1965: Reformed Pipes and Drums of the Metropolitan Toronto Police perform November 11 for Remembrance Day services in York Township. Inspector Johnson was the Pipe Major and Drum Major was Inspector Arthur Armstrong, both veterans of the Second World War.
  • 1965: Sergeant William (Bill) McCutcheon succeeds Arthur Armstrong as Drum Major
  • 1966: The Metropolitan Toronto Police Musical Ride was formed under the direction of Inspector Edwin Johnson. It was made up of members of the Mounted Unit on regular duty horses. The basic figures of the ride are the same as those used by the British Cavalry and Royal Canadian Dragoons. By providing musical accompaniment the Pipe Band forms an integral part of the Musical Ride.
  • 1966: Staff Sergeant Robert (Bob) MacDonald, a former member of the Edinburgh Police Department and a piper in its world class band, becomes Pipe Major.

 

Late Twentieth century
  • 1974: Sergeant John MacDonald succeeds Pipe Major Bob MacDonald as Pipe Major (no relation)
  • 1975: Drum Major Bill McCutcheon retired and Police Constable Hugh McConnell became Drum Major
  • 1978: Sergeant Michael Holland appointed Drum Major, a position he still holds
  • 1989: Band wins Cowal (Scotland) Highland Gathering Championship (Grade 2)
  • 1995: CD released: “On the Beat”
  • 1996: Ian K. MacDonald succeeds his father as Pipe Major. Ian K is currently a Sergeant in the Toronto Police Service.
  • 1996: North American Pipe Band Champions (Premier Grade)

 

Recent History
  • 2004: North American Pipe Band Champions (Premier Grade)
  • 2006: North American Pipe Band Champions (Premier Grade)
  • 2008: Competition performance, Georgetown, Ontario : “Variations on a Theme of Good Intentions”, possibly the most controversial selection of competitive pipe band music ever
  • 2008: North American Drum Corps Champions
  • 2009:  The band performs at one of the largest music festivals in the world: France’s Festival Interceltique in Brittainy
  • 2010: Band plays a sold-out performance at Toronto’s historic el Mocambo Club.  Event is recorded and released by Dunaber Music, “Raw and Off the Floor”
  • 2010: In December the record was awarded “Recording of the Year” by pipes|drums.
  • 2015: Sean McKeown takes over from Ian K MacDonald as pipe major, and Craig Stewart as lead drummer.
  • 2016: A fantastic showing for a few members of the Toronto Police Pipe Band in Oban at the Argyllshire Gathering and in Inverness at the Northern Meeting . Pipe Sergeant Ian K. MacDonald made history being the only second Canadian to win the Double – Gold medal in the same year. Pipe Major Sean McKeown was the double-runner up to the Gold Medalist Ian K. MacDonald at Oban and Inverness. Nick Hudson won the Silver medal in Oban, the B-grade MSR at Inverness and the Braemar Gold Medal.