findings suggest that Native people have lived in this area for thousands of
years. When explorers arrived in Ontario in the 1600s, both Iroquoian and
Algonquin-speaking peoples already lived in the Credit River Valley area.
of the Native groups found around the Credit River was called the Mississaugas.
This Ojibway tribe came to Southern Ontario from Lake Huron and occupied the
land between Burlington Bay and Etobicoke Creek with the Iroquois. By 1700
however, the Mississaugas had driven the Iroquois away. The Europeans called the
area where the Mississaugas lived the "Mississauga Tract".
In 1805, government officials from York, as Toronto was then called, bought
33,995 hectares (84,000 acres) of the "Mississauga Tract" for 1,000 (pounds
sterling). Often referred to as "The First Purchase", this area is the size of
approximately 31,275 soccer fields. The Mississaugas did not sell all of their
land. They kept approximately 1.6 kilometres (1 mile) on either side of the
Credit River. The new owners called the land around this strip 'Toronto
Township'. In 1806, Samuel Wilmot finished surveying the southern half of
Toronto Township, and the area began to open for settlement. The new settlers
called the land the "Home District". The various communities in the Home
District included: Dixie; Clarkson; Cooksville; Port Credit; Erindale; Sheridan
One of the first settlers in Toronto Township was Philip Cody, who arrived
in 1807. He built and operated an inn and tavern on the southeast corner of
Dundas Street and Cawthra Road. Joseph and Jane Silverthorne, the first visitors
to the inn, completed Cherry Hill, their second home in 1822. This house is now
a restaurant and stands at its new location on Silvercreek Boulevard. The
village that developed at Cawthra and Dundas was named after Dr. Beaumont Dixie,
in 1865, in part, because he had donated money to the Union Chapel. The Union
Chapel was built in 1816 on the northeast corner of Dundas Street and Cawthra
Road. Settlers of all Protestant denominations - including Methodist, Anglican
and Presbyterian - worshipped in this Chapel according to their own faith. The
original building was made of logs but a stone church was built 1837 to replace
it. Today, this stone church can be seen in its original location.
was named after Warren Clarkson, who like other settlers such as Thomas Merigold
and Lewis Bradley, arrived from New Brunswick shortly after the Silverthornes
arrived in Dixie. They settled a portion of the Old Survey which became known as
"Merigold's Point". Today, the Bradleys' home is part of the Bradley Museum. The
Clarkson family operated the general store and post office for many years. The
road to Warren Clarkson's house became known as Clarkson Road and the area was
renamed Clarkson's Corners.
was once known as "Harrisville" after Daniel Harris, who was one the earliest
settlers to the intersection of Hurontario and Dundas Street. The village was
renamed in 1836 in honour of its leading entrepreneur, Jacob Cook.
was a mail carrier for Toronto Township. By 1820, Cook was running stagecoaches
as far as Kingston and Goderich for both mail and passengers. When the Great
Western Railway began to build in Toronto Township, the people of Cooksville no
longer needed to ride the stagecoaches to get to Toronto and Cooksville's
economy suffered. In 1852, a fire destroyed most of the settlement's shops and
houses but some were rebuilt. For over a century Cooksville was the centre for
civic, industrial, commercial and educational interests. Mississauga's first
municipal offices were located on Dundas St., just west of Hurontario Street, as
was the Central Library, the offices for the public and separate school boards
and various Federal and Provincial ministries.
Port Credit settlement grew slowly at first. The town plot was laid out in 1834;
however, it was not until the government gave the Port Credit Harbour Company
$11,500 to rebuild the harbour facilities and the settlement really began to
expand. With these improvements, Port Credit was able to export lumber and
grain. Within 15 years the town grew to a population of 250.
permanent structure to have been built in the village was the Government Inn.
Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe had ordered construction of the Inn to
serve as a way station for travellers. In 1855, a branch of the Great Western
Railway opened through Port Credit. Because the railway increased the
exportation business, the village continued to expand.
Later in the 19th
century, Port Credit became known for its stone hooking trade. This trade,
started around 1815, covered the area from Port Whitby to Port Nelson but
approximately half of all the stone hooking schooners were owned by the Port
Credit. These ships set on Lake Ontario to collect stone, mainly Dundas shale.
Workers dragged large rakes along the bottom of the lake to gather stone and
then lifted it into the ship. This stone was used to construct many buildings in
Toronto, as well as in Port Credit and its surrounding communities.
Other industries such as the St. Lawrence Starch Works (1889-1989) and
the Port Credit Brick Yard (1891-1927) provided employment for many local
residents. Port Credit was incorporated as a village in 1914. By 1961, it had a
population of 6'500 and was incorporated as a town.
Although the Mississauga originally kept about 1.6 km (1 mile) of land on
either side of the credit river when they sold the first part of the Mississauga
Tract, they also sold this strip of land to the new government on February 28,
1829. They only kept a small land reserve for their own village. This deal was
called "The Second Purchase".
Between 1820 and 1826, the Mississaugas
lived in various locations throughout the region. In 1826, they lived in a
village built for them by the British Government on the south bank of the Credit
River. The Mississauga Golf Club was built on this site in 1896. In 1847, the
Mississaugas relocated to a reserve in the Grand River Valley near present-day
Hagersville. Today, the only visible reminder of the Mississaugas' Settlement is
the historic plaque outside the gates of the Mississauga Golf Club.
1829, Timothy Street had completed the New Survey and the northern part of
Toronto Township opened to immigrants. The settlements that were established in
the New Survey included : Barbertown; Britannia; Burnhamthorpe; Derry West;
Elmbank; Malton; Meadowvalle Village; Mount Charles; and
there were many settlers in the area now known as Streetsville before Timothy
Street and his family settled there in 1825, the village's growth was stimulated
by the Street Family. As payment for completing the New Survey, the government
gave Street 4,451.7 Hectares (11,000 acres) of land - the equivalent of 28,187
On this land, Street built his family home, a sawmill, a
gristmill and a tannery. These businesses helped the settlement. By 1824,
Streetsville already has two taverns, two stores, two shoemakers, a cabinet
maker, a church and school house, as well as the original gristmill and sawmill.
By 1851, a newspaper ,The Streetsville Review, and the Township's first
highschool had been added. The Street Family house is believed to have the first
brick building in the area. This house still stands today at 41 Mill
In January 1962, Streetsville was incorporated as a town. For
more information, contact the Streetsville Historical
different settlers moved through the area at Old Derry Road West and Second Line
West. In 1819, the first settlers arrived. They were Irish settlers from New
York led by John Beatty.
In 1831, Beatty sold his land to James Crawford
who, like John Simpson, opened saw and carding mills in the village. Francis
Silverthorn took over and expanded Crawford's mill Complex in 1844. In the same
year, George Ball, a local blacksmith, built Meadowvale's first hotel. After
Silverthorn fell into financial trouble, Gooderham and Worts took over his mills
Village became Ontario's first Heritage Conservation District in 1980. Today,
the Ball motel is used as apartments, the Silverthorn house is a private
residence, Gooderham Estates mansion has been newly restored and the Mill ruins
can still be seen.
northeast corner of Toronto Township was first settled in 1823 by Samuel Moore.
During the 1840s Richard Halliday the local blacksmith and innkeeper arrived and
named the settlement Malton, after his home in England. While most people are
acquainted with Malton as the home of Pearson International Airport, few are
aware of Malton's agricultural past and its historic role as a distribution hub
for grain shipments during the 19th Century.
The introduction of the
Grand Trunk Railway in 1854, allowed better access to Toronto markets for local
farmers. The village of Malton was subdivided in 1855 and became the county seat
in 1859, if only for a year. Its economic prosperity in the late 1860s was short
In 1937, Malton experienced a major shift from agricultural to an
industrial economy when 13 farms were selected to become the location and
airport, now known as the Pearson International Airport. The airport provided
wartime prosperity during the 1940s and continued to be an integral part of the
economy in the post-war years.
In 1958, Malton acquired an international
reputation as a leader in aeronautical design and manufacturing. Malton became
home of the famous "Avro Arrow", Canada's first supersonic aircraft, still
believed to have been years ahead of its time. On February 20, 1959, Prime
Minister John Deifenbaker terminated the project and the five completed Arrows
While Malton's product has changed, it remains a hub of
commercial and industrial activity.
May 1822, Thomas Racey, a land speculator, bought a block of land along the
Credit River. He hoped to build mills and start a town, but did not have enough
money. He sold part of his land to settlers who built a post office, saw mills
and the Township's first Anglican church. The first name chosen for this
settlement was Toronto. This name was never officially accepted and eventually
the area became known as Springfield.
Before the Church was built,
Colonel Peter Adamson opened his home twice a year, for the Bishop to perform
services. But in 1825, Adamson and a group of entrepreneurs bought land to build
a church. Adamson used his contacts to find Rev. James McGrath and bring him to
the area as the minister of St. Peter's Anglican Church. McGrath held the first
service in November 1827. The community was renamed Erindale in 1890 after
McGrath's estate, which was named after his homeland, Ireland.
a stone church was built to replace the original wooded building. St. Peter's
still stands in Erindale, and has just celebrated its 170th anniversary of
involvement in the community.
in our Future
of these settlements, except for Port Credit and Streetsville, joined to
together in 1968 to form the Town of Mississauga. In 1974, Mississauga
incorporated as a City, this time including Port Credit and
Mississauga is truly a celebration of past, present and
future. While it continues to celebrate the history of each of its communities,
Mississauga has become Canada's sixth largest city.