The county was first surveyed in 1791 and was originally called Dublin Township. Its name was changed several years later by Governor John SIMCOE to honour the Duke of York. East York was a municipal township in York County. Early settlements in East York included the communities of Leslieville, Norway, Doncaster and Todmorden.
An area of the township close to the eastern branch of the Don River was the site of several early industries built to supply York (what Toronto was then called), the first of which were a sawmill and gristmill built by the brothers, Aaron and Isaiah Skinner. Prominent industrialist families included the Helliwells, who erected a brewery and distillery, and the Taylors with paper mills. Carding and woollen mills were also located here. Todmorden Mills Heritage Site presents this part of Toronto's industrial heritage.
The area was a prosperous agricultural area between 1840 and 1880, growing wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, peas, beans and turnips. Urban encroachment on the township began shortly thereafter. With the annexation of North Toronto in 1912 and the separation of Leaside in 1913, the east and west sections of the county were isolated. In the 1920s further pieces of the county were split, including the suburban township of East York. In 1967 the township of East York was reunited with the town of Leaside to become the borough of East York. Today East York is an integral part of Toronto.
Author DEBORAH WELCH and MICHAEL PAYNE
Links to Other Sites
Toronto in Time
Peer into Toronto's past through a fascinating collection of "then and now" photographs and stories featured in the "Toronto in Time" app (available on iOS and Android devices). From The Canadian Encyclopedia and the Historica-Dominion Institute.
The official website for the City of Toronto, Ontario.
See notes about the Frontenac and Durant automobiles on page 53 in the book "Leaside." From Google Books.