1851 Map of Toronto

This detail from an 1851 map of York Township shows the varied stages of development of the Park Lots nearly 60 years after they were first granted. The shaded yellow line enclosed the City of Toronto and Liberties—which in 1850 included the area from today’s Dufferin Street in the west to the Don River in the east, and from the Toronto Harbour north to Bloor Street. Only the most southerly 400 feet of the Park Lots 1 to 18 were within the actual city limits. The Liberties included Park Lots 1 to 28.

While not all existing buildings are shown on this map, you can see the emphasis on development at the southern end of the lots. Compare this map to the Patent Plan above, and you can see how the Town of York spread east and west, inhibited by the private ownership of the Park Lots.

The map also shows the peninsula that protected Toronto Harbour. The narrow neck was washed away by storms in 1858 to create today’s Eastern Gap—and the Toronto Islands.

(The original map can be seen at the Toronto Reference Library, call number 912.71354b68.)

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