Was the Toronto community of Brockton named for War of 1812 hero Sir Isaac Brock?
Well, no. As Stephen Otto tells us in a new article for the Simcoe’s Gentry project, it was named for Sir Isaac’s not-so-famous cousin James Brock who was granted Park Lot 30.
An officer with the 49th Regiment of Foot and private secretary . . . → Read More: A widow leaves her mark on Toronto
Not much is known about Joseph Dainty, but he petitioned twice for land from Lt.-Gov. Simcoe. On July 10, 1793, he requested a lot in the new town being developed at Toronto as well as a 200-acre farm close by, and this request was granted three days later. A month later, he made a specific request . . . → Read More: The Mysterious Joseph Dainty
Park Lot 5, shown in gold.
While not the original owner, William Allan did much of the early subdivision of Park Lot 5, which was bounded by Sherbourne Street to the west to George and Huntley Streets to the east. Originally a poor Scots immigrant, Allen had become one of the wealthiest citizens of York. . . . → Read More: Allan Gardens: Legacy of an Early Park Lot Owner
In 1793, the area along the Lake Ontario shoreline just west of the Don River was surveyed as the Town of York, the new capital of Upper Canada. To encourage “suitable” government officials to move to the new town and undertake the work of establishing homes and businesses there, John Graves Simcoe, the newly-appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Upper . . . → Read More: Toronto’s Park Lots: The Granting Process
Research for the Simcoe’s Gentry project has given us some intimate glimpses of what life was like in the early Town of York for the Park Lot owners.
For instance, we know from the diary of Alexander Macdonell (Collachie), that on January 2, 1799—“a fine, clear, cold day”—that he had both lunch and dinner in the officers’ . . . → Read More: Warming up cold January nights… in 1799
The fire at Yonge and Gould Streets yesterday consumed the upper stories of a 19th century commercial building that was built in 1888 by William Reynolds on property he purchased in 1847. Reynolds was one of the first bakers in Toronto and his shop was situated at the corner of Yonge and Gould. This morning, The . . . → Read More: Gould Street Fire consumes a bit of Toronto’s past
Have you ever wondered why so many east-west streets in downtown Toronto are crooked? Did you realize that this is an artifact of the way the original land was first surveyed and granted to the original landowners in the area? Might you be related to an early family that settled in now-downtown Toronto?
Intersection of Dundas . . . → Read More: Simcoe’s Gentry: the Park Lots of Toronto