Alfred Piddington was born in Warwickshire, England, in 1829. He is the son of George and Elizabeth (Fifield) Piddington, both natives of England. Mr. Piddington was at a very early age (when twelve years old) apprenticed to a trade, and was almost entirely deprived of the advantages of a schooling, but he schooled himself to a certain extent. His early life was one of severe toil and he became a man in thought and action at an age that more favored youths devote to boyish occupations. In 1859 he immigrated to Toronto. There he commenced work as a bookbinder, a trade he had taken up as an amateur. His strong will and determination to succeed soon enabled him to become a practical workman, and in 1859 he started a small business of his own as a bookseller and binder. This he gradually increased by his sound business principles, coupled with his untiring energy, until he gradually rose to be the sole proprietor of one of the largest book establishments in Toronto. These years of close application to business pursuits had so impaired his health that, in 1883, Mr. Piddington recognized the absolute necessity of suspending his labors and seeking a southern climate. In that year he came to California, visiting many places in search of health. He finally visited Ontario, and so pleased was he with its climate, soil, etc., that he purchased a thirty-acre tract on the corner of Euclid Avenue and Sixth street. In 1884 he commenced improving the lands, planting trees and vines. Some three or four acres he planted in oranges; ten acres in vines, and the remainder in prunes and other deciduous fruits.
Finding the cares attendant upon the proper cultivation of such a place more than he was willing to devote to horticulture, in 1887 he sold that place, and the same year erected his present comfortable home. This home is upon a comfortable villa tract, corner of Euclid Avenue and First Street, and is one of the most desirable and beautiful residence properties in Ontario. His two-story house is of pleasing architectural design and fitted with the conveniences and luxuries of a modern home. Ornamental trees and rich floral productions add beauty and comfort to the place, while his grounds of one and one-half acres in extent provide a large variety of citrus and deciduous fruits for family use. He is a believer in Ontario, and has considerable real-estate interests there, besides his home. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and also of Ontario Lodge No. 345, I. O. O. F. Mr. Piddington was married in Toronto, 1858, to Miss Jane Burns, a native of Ireland, but of Scotch descent. She came to Canada in her childhood, in 1840. Her parents were James and Eliza (McAdams) Burns. By this marriage there are the following children, all residents of Ontario: Eliza J., now Mrs. Oliver Holmes; Alfred A., Martha and Willie W.