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Authority record
Northwest Territories Archives

Glick, Jacob Isaac

  • Person
  • 1899-1973

Jacob Isaac Glick was born in 1899 or 1900, possibly in Galicia or Montreal, and was raised in Montreal in a family of 11 children. He reported that he qualified as a dietician at McGill University in 1920.

During the 1920s and 1930s, he worked as a prospector and fur trader in northern Ontario, living with his wife Sadie and son Harold (b. 1925) in Sudbury. During the 1920s he operated the Glick Mining Syndicate as well as Glick Fur Trading Company Limited. He entered into a fur trading partnership with A. Brown ca. 1925-1926, during which time he was also working as a prospector in the Red Lake district for a Toronto-based mining syndicate. He experienced significant financial difficulties during the Great Depression. By about 1931 he began work in Oba, Ontario on behalf of Glick Mining Syndicate and Troy Consolidated Gold Mine Limited, and appears to have continued this work through 1935 on behalf of Steepe Mining Syndicate.

In July 1935, during a dispute, he shot and wounded William Denomer, an employee, near Horne Payne, Ontario. The case went to trial in August 1935, and after an appeal in September 1935 he was convicted and sentenced to three years in Kingston Penitentiary. Glick maintained that the shooting was in self-defence, and that the trial against him had been laced with anti-Semitism. While incarcerated in Kingston, he attempted to maintain his mining claims and syndicate through correspondence with his wife and brothers, and wrote an autobiography.
He was released from the penitentiary in November 1937, and returned to Oba to pursue his mining claims in December 1937.

In June 1938, Glick was charged with illegal fur dealing in Gogama, Ontario. He was released on bail and then arrested in Rouyn, Quebec, with nearly $10,000 of furs. After he was released on bail in Quebec, the Ontario provincial police launched a search for him by air and land. At that time, there was a moratorium on selling beaver pelts in Ontario, and Glick was purported to be part of an international ring purchasing furs illegally from First Nations hunters and selling them out of Montreal and Winnipeg to markets in the United States and Great Britain. The group used codes and airplanes to conduct their trading.

The first trial took place in Elsas, Ontario, and the second in Sudbury, Ontario in July 1938. G.M. Miller of Sudbury and Harry Sigler of Ottawa served as Glick’s defence attorneys. Glick was convicted on 21 charges (including illegal possession, transport, and export of beaver and other pelts) and sentenced to two and a half years in Burwash Reformatory. Reportedly, he declared that it had been his goal to open a gold mine with his fur dealing profits.

It appears that immediately upon his release from Burwash, Glick shipped out to serve in the Second World War effort. He enlisted in Montreal on June 20, 1940, and went overseas two months later, serving as a cook with the 1st Canadian Survey Regiment through 1944. He was discharged and returned to Montreal in January 1945.

J.I. and Sadie Glick moved to Yellowknife in April 1945 with the encouragement of Hon. Charles McCrae, the president of Negus Mines and former Ontario Minister of Mines who had acted on behalf of Glick during his mining disputes. Upon arrival, Glick worked at Negus Mines as a cook, and the couple spent their first winter in a tent.

J.I. Glick's first business venture in Yellowknife was the operation of the Veterans Restaurant (also known as the Veterans Cafe), which was in operation from approximately 1946-1953. He started the business with the support of Re-Establishment Credits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The cafe was in a building in ‘New Town’ downtown Yellowknife that was formerly Mr. Gerhart's Soda Fountain (Lot 5 Block 31, downtown), which Glick purchased in 1948. His primary income from 1948-1951 was from the restaurant and vegetable sales from a root house under the cafe, but the cafe was not profitable. By 1953 he was reporting income from rentals and a second hand store. He sold the Second Hand Shop in 1955 and ventured more deeply into real estate, owning and operating Central Real Estate from 1954 onward (to 1971 at least).

In 1957 he built the Gold Range Hotel on the same site as the Veterans Cafe, and worked as hotel manager from 1958 onward. He and Sadie owned half of the business, and their business partners were in Edmonton. In 1961 he was “Manager-Director” of the Gold Range Hotel Ltd, and in 1962 he was the “Manager-Owner”. The hotel property was owned by Central Real Estate. Around 1958-1959 J.I. Glick introduced the first telephone that had more than local service. He ran a radio telephone from his office in the hotel that connected out to the south, which locals could use to call out. In 1966 J.I. and Sadie Glick sold their shares in the Gold Range Hotel to Hymie Weisler (Edmonton) for $75,000, and J.I. Glick resigned as manager and director. He stayed on as a salaried public relations manager for the hotel for two years. Glick was also a Director of Premier Electrical, a local utility company, ca. 1967-1970.

Glick was involved as a member of the Yellowknife Ratepayers Association and Yellowknife Town Council in the 1960s, and was also a member of the Northwest Territories Progressive Conservative Association.

J.I. Glick passed on March 20, 1973. A service was held at Park Memorial Chapel on Spadina Avenue in Toronto, and interment took place at Lambton Park Cemetery.