James McIntyre


1828 – 1906


Who was James McIntyre?

James McIntyre, called The Cheese Poet, was a Canadian poet.

McIntyre was born in Forres, Scotland and came to Canada in 1841 at the age of 14. He worked as a hired hand to begin with, performing pioneer chores that formed the basis of a number of his works. Later, he settled in St. Catharines, Ontario, where he dealt in furniture. There he married and had a daughter and son.

He later moved to Ingersoll, Ontario, then a town of 5,000 on the banks of the Thames in Oxford County, the heart of Canadian dairy country at the time. He opened a furniture factory on the river as well as a store which sold furniture, along with such items as pianos and coffins.

He was well loved in the community, from which he often received aid in hard times, due in part to his poesy and oratorical skills—he was called on to speak at every kind of social gathering in Ingersoll. The region seems to have inspired him, and it was in celebration of the proud history of Canada, the natural beauty and industry of the region, and especially its cheese, that the majority of his oeuvre was written.

The ancient poets ne'er did dream

That Canada was land of cream,

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May 25, 1828
  • Canada
Lived in
  • St. Catharines
  • Ingersoll
Mar 31, 1906

on July 23, 2013


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