Purple flowers in front of Grant Hall

Remembering John Weatherall

Business leader and philanthropist John Weatherall is being remembered for his deep ties to the region and his generous giving to Kingston and to Queen’s University. 

Weatherall, the former chairman of TD Asset Management, founder and president of Scarthingmoor Asset Management, and an engaged member of the Kingston community, passed away on Jan. 20 at the age of 91. 

His passion for community drove his interest in and support of local matters.  

“My father was always involved in local things – school boards, local politics, planning boards,” he told the Queen’s Gazette in 2015. As a result of his father’s influence, he felt “a kind of duty” to help others in the community. 

An active and dedicated volunteer, Weatherall’s support helped establish the John Weatherall Visiting Scholar Fund in Economics, by securing a $4 million gift from the Jim Pattison Foundation. The fund has enhanced the Department of Economics' reputation by providing the resources to bring leading economics scholars from around the world to Kingston for week-long visits to engage with students and department faculty members.  

"For many years, John Weatherall was a cherished friend and committed supporter of the Department of Economics,” says Dr. Sumon Majumdar, head of the department. “He regularly attended departmental events and appreciated the stimulating intellectual environment of the QED. John’s support has helped the department to regularly invite leading global experts in different sub-areas of economics, which has contributed to fostering an atmosphere of research vitality. Both students and faculty members much appreciate this support, and we will all miss him.” 

Weatherall also supported the Department of Economics by establishing the Scarthingmoor MA Essay Prize in 2005, which is awarded annually to the author of the best MA essay. It was accompanied by the Scarthingmoor PhD Thesis Prize in 2017, which is awarded to the author of the best PhD thesis during the preceding two years. The valuable awards distinguish the programs from their contemporaries across Canada. 

Queen’s School of Medicine was also important to Weatherall, and he showed his support by providing guidance and advice, especially to former Dean Richard Reznick, in addition to his philanthropic and volunteer efforts for the school. 

“John Weatherall was a dedicated friend to Queen’s, Queen’s Health Sciences and the community,” notes Jane Philpott, Dean, Queen’s Health Sciences. “His generosity, support, and engagement have left a lasting local legacy.” 

Weatherall was born in 1932 in Windsor, England. While attending Eton College, he received an invitation to spend the summer at a family friend’s cottage on the St. Lawrence River, east of Brockville. The visit proved an influential one, establishing his love of the region. He returned to the area in the late 1950s, moving to Kingston to work as a project manager with Alcan Aluminum. 

During this time, Weatherall forged strong connections with the community and Queen’s, including a friendship with Principal William Mackintosh. 

Weatherall moved from Alcan into the investment industry, where he would work for more than 50 years. After retiring as the chairman of TD Asset Management in 1995, Weatherall moved back to Kingston with his wife Diana and founded his own investment firm, Scarthingmoor Asset Management. 

Queen’s was one of many Kingston-area institutions that benefitted from Weatherall’s generosity. He also contributed to the Trinity Anglican Church on Wolfe Island, the Kingston General Hospital, the United Way of KFL&A, the Kingston Symphony, the Kingston Choral Society, and St. George’s Cathedral. 

Weatherall was predeceased by his wife Diana St Barbe Weatherall (nee Harrison) and his brother Robert K Weatherall. He is survived by his sister Karla O’Brien, and his nieces and nephews Robert, Alexander, Helen, and Julia.