A Brief History of Toronto

Carte des lacs du Canada – Early Map of the Great Lakes, 1744.

The City of Toronto had been called the Town of York prior to 1834 when it incorporated. But before that the first settlers were probably the Iroquoian-speaking Wendat people, who the Europeans called the Huron. These people settled on the north shore of Lake Ontario where they lived in longhouses. Wendat means peninsula-island dwellers this is because of the shape of the land on the north shore. They believed that the world was on an island resting on the back of a turtle.

Map from the attack of York 1813.

The natives used variations of the name Toronto for different areas in the vicinity, as well as for fishing tools that they used. The French then used it again when they named Fort Toronto at the foot of the Humber River. So, when the Town of York incorporated in 1834 it changed its name to Toronto. The legislative council changed York to Toronto because it was a more unique name and because of its native roots.

Drawing of Fort Toronto (uncredited)

Three weeks after Toronto incorporated, William Lyon Mackenzie was elected its first mayor. William Lyon Mackenzie was born in Scotland on March 12, 1795 and came to Canada in 1820. He was a reformer and the editor of the Colonial Advocate newspaper. He was only mayor for one year.

William Lyon Mackenzie (1834).

In 1837, Mackenzie led a rebellion in Upper Canada. The one and only battle took place at Montgomery’s Tavern. Although the battle ultimately lasted only a half an hour, and they lost, because of the rebellion the British Government realized the problems in Canada and made changes.

Drawing from the Upper Canada Rebellion showing the battle at Montgomery’s Tavern

Remaining from the old Town of York, the oldest building in Toronto is John Scadding’s cabin, which was built in 1794. It was located near the Don Valley but was later relocated, as a historical landmark to the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in 1879 by the York Pioneers Historical Society.

John Scadding’s Cabin, past and present

In 1834, the population of the City of Toronto was only 9,254. The boundaries of the city were between Lake Ontario on the South, Parliament street on the East , Bathurst street on the West, and 365 metres North of Lot street (now known as Queen street). The city was only 3.6 square kilometres. Today the population is a whopping 2.6 million people and the city covers 630 square kilometres.

City of Toronto today

by Kate Gendron (age 10)
Givin’s-Shaw Public School
Ms. Stockton’s Grade 4 Class Project
2017

Posted in Aboriginal, Architecture, Canada, Canadian Art, Canadian National Exhibition, CCT Now and Then, Historical, Ontario, Politics, Toronto | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Trudeau was prepared to shake the Trump.

Donald Trump learned the meaning of the word Strong in True, North, Strong and Free at the hands of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when they met in Washington yesterday. Donald Trump’s handshake technique, meant to show his dominance by pulling his co-shakee off balance, failed to achieve its goal with our masterful Mr. Trudeau. Trudeau was prepared for this tactic and met the Donald as the master in each of his attempts.

This was good but I think it would have been funnier if the taller Justin had offered a high-five. Donald Trump would have been there, red-faced and jumping with his little hand flailing in the air trying to make contact. Oh, good times.

I hope they don’t declare war on us now.

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A Million Dollars for your thoughts.

This amazing 1 Million Dollar coin, one of 5, is on display at the Royal Ontario Museum. The Royal Canadian Mint produced this 100kg bad boy in Ottawa in 2007, made of 99999 pure gold bullion, to show off a little. After some big-shots came forward wanting one for their vaults, the Mint made 4 more.

In October 2007, the Guinness World Records recognized the Canadian Million Dollar Coin as the largest gold coin.

Artist and senior engraver Stan Witten design the Tail side of the coin featuring some polished maple leafs, of course. The Head side by Canadian portrait artist Susanna Blunt oddly shows an effigy of Stephen Colbert (not Canadian) in drag, I mean Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (also not Canadian).

 

Not shown is the giant change-purse with a native beaded depiction of the Littlest Hobo in the next room.

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