Roots of Urban Toronto
The southwest corner of Front and George Streets is also the southwest corner of the tiny ten-block town laid out by Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe in 1793, an area bounded by today's Front-George-Adelaide-Berkeley. At the time, the site was covered by a thick grove of oak trees. Dense forest and unoccupied space extended from the town site to the fort under construction four kilometres west.
By 1803, there were two red brick Parliament Buildings at Front and Berkeley, 75 wooden houses, and a wooden farmers' market to the east near the current site of St. Lawrence Hall on King Street at Jarvis. Farms stretched far beyond the town, along the major roads north into what was then York Township, west into Etobicoke and east into Scarborough. The sites in this theme will take you to former farms, homes of the founders, and historic landmarks.
Toronto's population of 2.7 million now lives between the borders of Highway 427, the Rouge River, Steeles Avenue and Lake Ontario, an area of 630 square kilometres.
A selection of sites from this theme is laid out in the trail Early Toronto.
Anti-Slavery Lecture Opens Hall , 1851
157 King St. E.
Architect Gets Artistic Revenge on Enemies , 1899
Old City Hall
A Snapshot of 19th-Century Town Life in Scarborough , 1858
1007 Brimley Road
Au Revoir Toronto, Hello York , 1793
Rousseau on Humber
Card-Playing Architect Trumps Competition , 1892
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
City of Churches: St. Michael’s Cathedral , 1848
200 Church St.
Dempsey's and the Birth of Lansing , 1921
Even the Dead Have to Move Sometimes , 1850
200 Winchester St.
First Parliament Buildings Torched by Invaders , 1813
Front St. E. and Berkeley St.
Historic House Reopens to Showcase 1920s and 30s , 1920
285 Spadina Rd.
Landmark Bridge Traverses the Don River , 1918
Living History Museum Opens on Black Creek , 1960
Black Creek Pioneer Village
Osgoode Hall: Rare Treasure in an Urban Rush , 1832
130 Queen St W
Out of the Ashes: University College Rebuilt , 1892
15 King's College Circle
Protesters Shout Down Planners and Save Market , 1971
St. Lawrence Market
Rare Example of Regency Picturesque Preserved , 1837
Colborne Lodge, High Park
Resting Place of Toronto Notables , 1797
Parliament St. and St. James Ave.
Royalty Opens Toronto Union Station , August 06, 1927
65 Front St. W.
Saving Old House Inspires Preservation , April 01, 1972
160 Queen St. W.
Service at St. Andrew's Church , 1849
115 St. Andrews Road
Setting the Standard for Churches in Toronto , 1850
65 Church St.
Stately Manor Becomes First Art Museum , 1910
317 Dundas St. W.
Thomas Montgomery’s Inn - not Tavern , 1837
4709 Dundas St. W.
Toronto’s Oldest House Gets a New Home , 1879