Owen Staples arrived in Hamilton from England in 1872 and soon after moved to Rochester, N.Y. He worked as a boy at the Rochester Art Club and began his art training with Horatio Walker and Harvey Ellis. In 1885 he moved to Toronto and studied under George Reid and worked at the Toronto Telegram (1888-1908) as a staff artist, reporter and political cartoonist. Staples moved back to Philadelphia in 1886 to study under Thomas Eakins and Thomas Pollock Anshutz at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1905 Tom Thomson’s cousin, Dr William Brodie, became friends with Staples and the three of them would go on trips. Thomson was intrigued by Staples who was a master watercolourist. He was an active member of the Arts and Letters Club. He became a well-known for his book illustrations, executing commissioned murals and producing many paintings, watercolours and etchings. A large historical painting hangs in Toronto’s New City Hall.