Edmund Morris was born in Perth, Ontario, in 1871. He studied in Toronto under artist William Cruikshank. He then went to New York City where he attended the Art Students' League studying under Kenyon Cox, William Chase, Henry Siddons Mowbray and George De Forest Brush. After New York Morris took off to Paris where he attended the Académie Julian and École des Beaux-Arts under Jean Léon Gérôme.
He traveled to Holland and Scotlandon occassion and returned to Canada in 1896.
Upon his return to Canada Morris settled in Toronto and opened a studio, he also became fairly active in the art groups and societies present at the time. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1897, also a member of the Ontario Society of Artists in 1905, resigning in 1907. He was a founding member of the Canadian Art Club in 1907.
From 1906-07 Morris was commissioned by the Ontario Government to complete portraits of the Ojibway Native Americans and the chiefs of Northwest communities for the Parliament Buildings in Toronto. He made a visit to the James Bay district while completing the portraits.
Morris also painted landscapes, usually inpired by the St. Lawrence River, Québec city, and Isle of Orleans. His landscape works were completed in oil paint.
His works are part of the collections at The National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Morris died in a tragic accident in 1913 while visiting a friend in Québec.