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Table of Contents

Title Page
Author's Preface
1 The Road through Richmond Hill
2 First Peoples on the Land
3 The European Settlers Arrive
4 From Miles' Hill to Richmond Hill: The Birth of a Community
5 Tories and Reformers
6 Stagecoach Lines and Railway Tracks
7 The Neighbours at Mid-Century
8 Fire Brigades and Fence Viewers
9 Picture Post Card Village of the 1880s and 1890s
10 Rails through Richmond Hill
11 The Flowering of Richmond Hill
12 The Village Transformed
Epilogue
Appendices
Table of Illustrations
Index
community organizations
1  Yonge Street Agricultural Society
Yonge Street
1  Yonge Street Pioneers
2   on a Map: Yonge Street Lots Assigned to French Royalists in
3   Yonge Street Settlers
4   Tracks Block Yonge Street Construction
5   on Carrville Road, west of Yonge Street, built in
6  Yonge Street's Namesake: Sir George
7  Yonge Street By
8   Simcoe: The Man Who Planned Yonge Street
9   Moodie Rides Down Yonge Street
10   bested the radial car for control of Yonge Street.
11   out Yonge Street. C.W. Jefferys, The Picture Gallery of Canadian
12   stagecoach traffic that rumbled along Yonge Street, opening hotel and tavern businesses to serve
13  Yonge Street has left its mark on the history of
14   too, announces its presence along this Yonge Street lifeline. Signs of growth are everywhere.
15   past and present remain strong. As Yonge Street rises in elevation south of Major
16   northeast corner of Lorne Avenue and Yonge Street.
17   automobile dealerships reminds us that Yonge Street brought the automobile as well as the
18   to commemorate the historic role of Yonge Street, the cairn
19   to the final decade of the twentieth, Yonge Street has been the spinal cord of Richmond
20   Line of Yonge Street, showing the various routes between Lake
21   had already decided on the name - Yonge Street, after Sir George Yonge, an
22   the Detroit River. A second road, named Yonge Street, would strike north from Toronto to the
23   Simcoe strengthened his case for a Yonge Street route by adding commercial factors to his
24   crossed to the west of the future Yonge Street around Bond Lake, then to the east side
25   Street after the secretary of state and Yonge Street after the secretary of war. Sir George
26   George Yonge left no children, so Yonge Street is his only legacy to the
27   Yonge Street project was soon underway. Between February
28   Equally important, "half the road on Yonge Street is allotted to settlers." By Christmas,
29   Berczy proved unable to finish his Yonge Street contract within the specified year. Equipment
30   contributed to the collapse of his Yonge Street project himself by flirting with a rival
31   who opened up the farmlands east of Yonge Street in the 1790s; two centuries later these lands
32   the end of May, Yonge Street had been "opened" - that is, a path twenty
33   those initial months of the Yonge Street project, Simcoe and his surveyors relied
34   Hill history as a builder of Yonge Street and a colonizer of adjacent Markham
35   Township and early builder of Yonge Street. John Andre, William Berczy, Co-Founder of
36   Berczy began work on the stretch of Yonge Street from the hill south of Thornhill north
37   53 near Bond's Lake. "The piece of Yonge Street from [Lot] 29 to River Holland which I have
38   Surveyor, who made the first survey of Yonge Street in 1794. Association of Ontario Land
39   the 1790s, in addition to his work on Yonge Street and Dundas Street, the energetic Jones
40   resumed his Yonge Street work on January 4, 1796. More than a surveyor
41   described it as a road or street, Yonge Street in the late 1790s was little more than a
42   "an Indian & a Canadian" travelled the Yonge Street route all the way from Georgian Bay to the
43   report consisted of a "list of settlers on Yonge Street, stating the improvements that have been
44   data for his report by going along Yonge Street and noting activity on the various lots on
45   up Yonge Street with Augustus Jones in the 1790s, then
46   we must leave Yonge Street - the spinal cord of the Europeans'
47   east or Markham Township side of Yonge Street than on the west or Vaughan Township
48   Works on the left or east side of Yonge Street. On November 19, 1896, between nine and ten
49   terminus on the northeast corner of Yonge Street and Lorne Avenue and Toronto's northern
50   paused for breath as it pushed north up Yonge Street - reaching Oak Ridges, Aurora, and
51   was located on the west side of Yonge Street, immediately north of Bond Crescent,
52   for they were now connected directly with Yonge Street. Village teenagers rode the line to high
53   T&Y purchased new radial cars, extended its Yonge Street line to Lake Simcoe in 1907, and converted
54   track was placed along the east side of Yonge Street, the side to the lee of drifting
55   on the Metropolitan line at Yonge Street and Major Mackenzie Drive. City of
56   moving work crews into place along Yonge Street - one crew at Richmond Hill, a
57   56 at the Richmond Hill station, Yonge Street and Lorne Avenue. The first week set
58   Street, along the east side of Yonge Street, from the Richmond Hill bakery
59   the short-distance passenger travel along Yonge Street.
60   and electric rail travel had benefited Yonge Street and the centre of Richmond Hill, the
61   along the Yonge Street line of the Metropolitan Railway
62   Mrs. E.E. (Gamble) Clarke, 12673 Yonge Street
63   dynamo house, smoke stack - 12485 Yonge Street
64   Michael Clarke's house, 12611 Yonge Street
65   12691 Yonge Street, a "cottage" built in 1936 by Robert
66   Toronto, our big green car glides north on Yonge Street, through the pleasant suburban villages of
67   promenade makes a nice approach from Yonge Street to the Pavilion, which is prettily
68   merrily up Yonge Street, the Metropolitan trolleys took dancers to
69   and overhead wires stretching up and down Yonge Street as far as the eye could see, the
70   four electric lights in its waiting room at Yonge Street and Lorne Avenue - the first electric
71   lights would be hung in the centre of Yonge Street, about six metres (twenty feet) above ground
72   business places and residences along Yonge Street, and many of the homes along the side streets.
73   passing under an evergreen arch at Yonge Street and Lorne
74   south on Yonge Street from the roof of the Methodist
75   north on Yonge Street from the roof of the Methodist
76   on the northeast corner of today's Yonge Street and Highway 7. City of Toronto
77   agricultural land, stretching from Yonge Street east to Bayview Avenue and north along
78   public school on the west side of Yonge Street in the core of the village - an ideal spot
79   behind the wheelbarrow. Let us walk along Yonge Street with Dorothy McKenzie Rumble as she
80   the south end of town, and takes us across Yonge Street.
81   National Railway tracks towards Yonge Street. The H.J. Mills greenhouses are top
82   M.L. McConaghy Public School on Yonge Street, the second Patterson School west of
83   Major Mackenzie Drive) west of Yonge Street in 1918. The Women's Institute
84   places of business, the banners across Yonge Street, the parades and bands and speeches and
85   turns off Yonge Street into the park during the 1923
86   the Orange "orphanage" north on Yonge Street. "The changes in this village and district,"
87   Mr. A. J. Hume's residence on Yonge Street, be kind enough to return them, after he is
88   carrying out the improvements to Yonge Street unearthed a bit of local history Tuesday when
89   highways department took a census of Yonge Street traffic. Each day from seven o'clock in the
90   the rubber-tired vehicle now owned Yonge Street. Daily traffic at Langstaff Corner
91   Yonge Street through Richmond Hill in 1927.
92   yet another wave of development along Yonge Street. Long strings of homes sitting on five-acre
93   approach from Yonge Street. Archives of Ontario Parking and picnicking.
94   automobile seriously started to take over Yonge Street. The summer of 1924 witnessed a daily average
95   was that Governor Simcoe's former Yonge Street stump trail passed from county to provincial
96   sold for $60,000. Radial runs on Yonge Street were cut in half and co-ordinated with new
97   plans to end radial service on Yonge Street. Richmond Hill and other communities along the
98   radial cars returned to the stretch of Yonge Street that ran from Richmond Hill south to
99   radial cars still ran along Yonge Street south of the village for another eighteen
100   High School at the southwest corner of Yonge and Wright streets became too small, and
101   strategic role in secondary education along Yonge Street. Half a century earlier, Richmond Hill
102   Loyal True Blue and Orange Home, Yonge Street North, opened in 1923. Roger Carlsen
103   Rustic Inn on the west side of Yonge Street at Nos. 24-28 South. The
104   Iroquoian sites on the west side of Yonge Street suggest "a single community moving through
105   located southwest of the intersection of Yonge Street and Major Mackenzie Drive. It seems to
106   eighty hectares) at the southwest corner of Yonge Street and Major Mackenzie
107   later attention on his uncle's property at Yonge Street and Major Mackenzie Drive. He moved on
108   Mississaugas over his right to run the Yonge Street survey through their lands. 33 That
109   at York and the few settlers along Yonge Street were especially apprehensive. 35 But the
110   his "Report on the Condition of Yonge Street." Jones himself was personally very close to
111   surveyor general for Upper Canada in 1794. "Yonge Street, I suppose, was the intended centre for this
112   as the first to put down roots along Yonge Street within the boundaries of modern Richmond
113   lots were taken up along both sides of Yonge Street through the heart of the future village of
114   north along the east side of Yonge Street, William Bond is identified as the owner of
115   Shaws and Bonds - all these original Yonge Street pioneers were granted lots at the pleasure of
116   Simcoe's Yonge Street plan excluded any Crown reserve or clergy
117   Johnson) These settlers had to meet certain "Yonge Street conditions" in return for their free grants
118   specified hours or even days of work on Yonge Street.
119   surveyor general David Smith of Yonge Street in 1799, "and fit for every purpose of
120   a few consignments for the fur trade along Yonge Street over the next ten years, the 12,000 never
121   of Vaughan Township's thirty-five Yonge Street lots were granted up to 1798, and by 1802 the
122   Upper Canada, finally trekking north up Yonge Street in the spring of 1794. They passed beyond the
123   the entire length of Yonge Street, from York to Newmarket, provincial
124   since no important streams intersected Yonge Street in the core area of the present town, no
125   of Vaughan and the first on Yonge Street." 1
126   at the southeast corner of present-day Yonge Street and Highway 7. But Balsar and
127   the end of June 1797, then travelled up Yonge Street to their land. At about the time
128   building that was later part of 10370 Yonge Street.
129   the northeast corner of today's Yonge Street and Major Mackenzie Drive; four years
130   their cabin, located some distance east of Yonge Street on a pathway charitably described as a
131   we have walked from our own log house on Yonge Street, across rough-cut Langstaff Road to
132   European settlement was not confined to Yonge Street. By late 1794 present-day Bayview Avenue
133   the municipality stretching east from Yonge Street, and named for William Markham,
134   to spend working on the construction of Yonge Street. Many probably regretted leaving comfortable
135   from France who settled farther north along Yonge Street.
136   eventually returned home. Meanwhile, on Yonge Street, "their little clearings were soon overrun
137   on each of his four large farms on Yonge Street, cleared the requisite number of acres, and
138   up Crown land grants along both sides of Yonge Street from present-day Elgin Mills Road
139   Anglican Church, on the east side of Yonge Street just south of Stouffville Road, near
140   settlers farther south along Yonge Street, Bayview Avenue, and Leslie Street
141   That is why they were given lands along Yonge Street, equidistant from existing French-speaking
142   and help open up the northern part of Yonge Street. 15
143   Augustus Jones headed up Yonge Street to look over the properties. Meanwhile,
144   Miles) at the southwest corner of Yonge Street and Major Mackenzie Drive, as it
145   opened at the southeast corner of Yonge Street and Major Mackenzie Drive. It quickly
146   for himself on the southwest corner of Yonge Street and Major Mackenzie Drive. There he
147   of his land on the northwest corner of Yonge Street and Major Mackenzie Drive for a
148   a log settlement house on the west side of Yonge Street, just north of today's Presbyterian
149   to land he owned at the corner of Yonge Street and Major Mackenzie Drive. For
150   town, Miles decided to move to his Yonge Street properties in 1800 - Lot 45 in Markham
151   the North West Company to cart supplies up Yonge Street, had lured people away from the land. "There
152   General Brock was well aware of the Yonge Street farmers' "clamour to return and attend to
153   many of the American-born settlers along Yonge Street faced questions of loyalty and patriotism as
154   tools initially distributed to friendly Yonge Street settlers by the Americans after they had
155  Yonge Street farmers accused of pro-American sympathies
156   be made farther north. During the war, Yonge Street became a lifeline, though a precarious one,
157   North West Company started using the Yonge Street route over which it had dithered for so many
158   and Presbyterian preachers came up Yonge Street and held services from time to time -
159   Miles' property on the west side of Yonge Street, where the Presbyterian Church and its
160   hectares) of his land on the west side of Yonge Street to the church. Parts of this plot not used
161   By the mid-1820s, the community along Yonge Street between Major Mackenzie Drive and
162  Yonge Street was on his itinerary, and in mid-July he made
163   Certainly the Duke travelled along Yonge Street in July 1819, but whether he stopped at
164   by forty feet), located on the west side of Yonge Street a short distance south of the present
165   sisters-in-law who lived south along Yonge Street, "set out in [their] Gloucester boots and
166   Richard Gapper on Lot 40 East (Yonge Street and 16th Avenue). She ended up staying
167   1828, she recorded her first impression of Yonge Street south of the village centre: "You have now a
168   one to two thousand pounds on many parts of Yonge Street." 5 Along the road in the early 1830s, a
169   Twickenham Farm on the west side of Yonge Street just north of Richmond Hill.
170   two-hundred-acre (eighty-hectare) farm on Yonge Street next to the Smith property. Boyd was one
171   Jameson was equally effusive. Yonge Street, she observed, leads "through a well-settled
172   with the advance of civilization on Yonge Street." 13 Differences between these two groups
173   Richard Gapper on the east side of Yonge Street near today's 16th Avenue, later
174   York County farmers to march down Yonge Street and arrive in the
175   travelled up Yonge Street in mid-November to look for proof of support
176   the groups passed. The men coming down Yonge Street through Richmond Hill broke into smaller
177   they felt were needed in their Yonge Street district. With many friends among York's
178   pair represented the true wishes of the Yonge Street communities. Rather, she attributed their
179   Gapper O'Brien, chronicler of Yonge Street life in the late 1820s and early 1830s.
180   marching down Yonge Street to attack Toronto in December 1837.
181   rebel forces earlier that day. While out on Yonge Street to find out what was happening, he was
182   leaping fences, and succeeded in reaching Yonge Street to the south. He fell in with John
183   left Montgomery's and marched down Yonge Street towards Toronto. A truce party met them, and
184   were 1500 strong. They marched up Yonge Street to attack Mackenzie's force of some five to
185   Frances Moodie, Lot 49 East, on Yonge Street, a rallying point for Richmond Hill
186   plaque on the east side of Yonge Street, opposite Levendale. Photo by
187   fence and continue their progress south on Yonge Street. At the same time Francis Boyd arrived
188   Robert Moodie on his ride down Yonge Street in the evening of December 4, 1837. David
189   from the east side of Yonge Street and the back concessions of Markham
190   the west side of Yonge Street and the back concessions of Vaughan
191   So tense was the atmosphere on Yonge Street that most of those present at the funeral
192   two-storey log building on the west side of Yonge Street, between Centre and Richmond streets,
193   helped by the usual deplorable state of Yonge Street. "The road was in such bad condition," writes
194   Vaughan Township side of Yonge Street), from Aaron Munshaw to
195   military engineer, "the vaunted Yonge Street mud road" was little more than a "Slough of
196   the Anglicans built one on Yonge Street, south of the Presbyterians, in
197   sections formed by local ratepayers along Yonge Street both south and north of the village centre
198   activity along the stretch of Yonge Street, as well as new church and school buildings -
199   its houses and shops were strung out along Yonge Street, where Lots 46 and 47 had been subdivided on
200   fair, sponsored by the recently formed Yonge Street Agricultural Society and held on the
201   between two hotels on opposite sides of Yonge Street, while horse races were held along the road
202   church building on the east side of Yonge Street, about a block north of the
203   was a gentleman farmer who lived on Yonge Street north of Richmond Hill village. A
204   and hotels that had sprung up along Yonge Street from Toronto north to Holland Landing.
205   was located on the east side of Yonge Street, south of the Trench Carriage
206   and Raymond on the west side of Yonge Street, Vanderburgh on the east side, Gordon at
207   hotels saw their business boom. But the Yonge Street coach business itself proved extremely
208   Yonge Street to the south, Barnabas
209   grew and commerce increased along Yonge Street, larger frame structures like
210   construction crews worked on improving Yonge Street north from Carrville
211   day's journey by way of Yonge Street was easily accomplished by stage - an old
212   Langstaff Toll-gate, today's Yonge Street and Highway 7 intersection. For many
213   government once more assumed control of Yonge Street, Dundas Street, and Kingston Road. Finally, in
214   before that, however, Yonge Street had been eclipsed by the new transportation
215  Yonge Street had long been recognized as a vital
216   and Napanee, won the contract for the Yonge Street section of the project. For a sum of 1,188,
217   trustees continued work on Yonge Street, financing the project on money borrowed
218  Yonge Street presented special problems, with its
219   1845, government funding for Yonge Street work was exhausted, and all construction and
220   the debt in thirty years. By 1846, however, Yonge Street tolls of 954 for the year were insufficient
221   government announced in late 1849 that Yonge Street, together with Dundas Street and Kingston
222   resumed on Yonge Street during the early 1850s, to the delight of
223   for home, reached the corner of King and Yonge Streetsat exactly 1 P.M. & walked to Finch's in 2
224   bypassing the village and disrupting the Yonge Street stagecoach business. Farquharson On May 16,
225   drew passenger and freight service off Yonge Street and put the Toronto-to- Holland Landing
226   was finally put out of business when Yonge Street's interurban electric railway reached
227   Richmond Hill, challenged Yonge Street's monopoly on north-south trade, dealt a severe
228   horses or drove their carriages west from Yonge Street along Vaughan Sideroad. Two hours after
229   old water route through Lake Erie and the Yonge Street wagon
230   kilometres (about four miles) west of Yonge Street to avoid the steep slopes of Gallows Hill and
231   tap the rich commerce that had poured down Yonge Street from Bradford for the past half-century.
232   because of the continuing importance of Yonge Street as a transportation route. But equally
233   on a wooden sidewalk that stretched from Yonge Street along Vaughan Sideroad (Major Mackenzie
234   where Highway 7 today intersects Yonge Street, stood Langstaff, or Langstaff
235   the site of Toll Gate No. 3 on the Yonge Street highway, Langstaff Corners by
236   on the northeast corner of what are today Yonge Street and Highway 7 was purchased by the City
237   Elgin Mills Road today intersects Yonge Street, was Elgin Mills. So close to
238   Located on the sideroad west of Yonge Street behind the blacksmith shop on the
239   farm stood on the west side of Yonge Street north of Elgin Mills. From 1836 to 1843
240   John's Anglican Church, Jefferson. Yonge Street north of Elgin Mills supported a number
241   Martin Macleod, west of Yonge Street and north of Jefferson
242   prosperity to mill sites rather than Yonge Street travellers. Here, along a headwater tributary
243   was on the west, or Vaughan, side of Yonge Street, with a significant "arm" extending into
244   further complicated by the fact that Yonge Street divided it into two parts. Everything east of
245   residents from the west side of Yonge Street. David Bridgeford served on Vaughan
246   half of the township rather than on the Yonge Street strip along its far western
247   helped pull together the two sides of Yonge Street. Hotels, stores, and churches naturally
248   (today's 10117, 10119 and 10123 Yonge Street), Trench employed some fifteen men,
249   candidates represented a combination of Yonge Street business interests and agricultural concerns
250   or "plank" walkways two metres wide along Yonge Street and one metre wide on side streets. Opening
251   and hardware store on the east side of Yonge Street. The blaze spread quickly to Crosby's dry
252   as the Public School) on the west side of Yonge Street, and "for a time seriously threatened the
253   Church, circa 1900, looking north up Yonge Street, with the spire of the Methodist
254   Bond Lake Hotel. But where once the Yonge Street traveller stopped at one of the town's many
255   over the Robin Hood Hotel, on Yonge Street towards the south end of the village, and was
256   Farther north, on the right side of Yonge Street, the Richmond Hill Methodist Church and
257   one-fifth of a hectare) at the corner of Yonge Street and Centre Street East for a new
258   people have commenced promenading. Yonge Street with its fine stretch of sidewalks affords
259   Hill seemed poised to follow other Yonge Street communities into general economic decline.
260   Carriage Works on the east side of Yonge Street and the Newton Tanning Company of
261   were highlighted by a grand parade along Yonge Street, led by a loud and enthusiastic brass band.
262   agricultural implements along Yonge Street on May 24, 1884 - a time when prospects
263   four attached houses on the east side of Yonge Street at the south end of the village. She and
264   1895. The house was built in 1849, facing Yonge Street; in the twentieth century it was moved to
265   his stately home on the west side of Yonge Street just north of the village core,
266   Saturday night to look up and down Yonge Street and notice the decided improvement the
267   Central Guaranty Trust Office at 10132 Yonge Street), council resumed its regular routine of
268   same year it purchased land east of Yonge Street for a new public park, later

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