Willard Garfield Weston was born above his father’s Toronto bakery in 1898, the eldest son of George and Emma Weston. As a young man, he worked in his father’s biscuit factory.
An idealist, Garfield was eager to do his part in the First World War and enlisted at 18 with the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals. Stationed in France, he saw frontline action and drove a six-horse wagon laying telegraph cables for battlefield communications. Garfield spent his army leaves visiting English bakeries to learn more about the business.