Emma Scott (1880-1940) was the daughter of Methodist minister Reverend James Scott and spent her childhood in Owen Sound, Ontario. She studied art in Toronto before moving to Colorado to teach painting, where she met William Raff. They married, and Emma gave birth to a daughter, Dorothy Raff, shortly before William’s sudden death.
Scott returned to Toronto and continued her studies at the Conservatory of Music. From there, she took post-graduate work at the Curry School of Expression in Boston and at the Gower St. Academy in London. Eventually she returned to Toronto, where she worked at the Conservatory of Music and also at Victoria College, teaching courses in expression.
In 1901, she opened her own School of Expression at the corner of Bloor and Yonge streets in Toronto, and established herself as Principal of Elocution, Oratory, Physical Culture, and Dramatic Art. One of her first pupils was Margaret Eaton, wife of Timothy Eaton, founder of the Eaton Company. The Eaton family acted as benefactors of the school, and eventually it was renamed The Margaret Eaton School of Literature and Expression. Scott continued as principal of the school until 1925.
Her public performances of classic literature and her enthusiastic advocacy for drama and music made her a prominent figure in the cultural world of Toronto in the early 1900’s. As founder of The Margaret Eaton School, she provided a valuable education to women at a time when women’s educational options were very limited.