History Etobicoke, ON
History is important to Etobicoke. If you were born in Etobicoke to know who first came to Etobicoke, who named Etobicoke, who are the most important people of years gone by relating to Etobicoke. Virtual Walk tries to find the most accurate information describing the history details of who first came to Etobicoke and how Etobicoke came about. These questions should all be answered on Etobicoke's history. If your child had to write an essay on Etobicoke, they'll have no need to look any further than Virtual Walk. When visiting historical places in Etobicoke try combining your visit with entertainment in Etobicoke.
Different groups of First Nations people used the land now Etobicoke at different times. As the Algonquin's gradually moved west from the Atlantic to Lake Erie, it's almost certain they occupied this land at some point. By the time they were mostly settled on the shores of Georgian Bay. The Huron-Wendat were the primary residents of the north shore of Lake Ontario somewhere in the 1600s, they were pushed out by the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people. Continued harassment from the south, a coalition of the Ojibway, Odawa and Potawatomi Algonquin nations, known as the Three Fires, gradually pushed the Haudenosaunee off this land and the Mississauga's settled there by 1695, fishing and growing crops more locally in the summer and hunting further a field in the winter.
The first European to visit Etobicoke was French explorer Etienne Brule around 1615. The name Etobicoke a name derived from the Mississauga word wah-do-be-kang (wadoopikaang), meaning "place where the black/wild alders grow". This being the term to describe the area between Etobicoke Creek and the Humber River. When the Toronto Purchase was made by the British in 1787 the British thought Etobicoke was part of that agreement. However, whether the western boundary of the purchase was the Humber River or Etobicoke Creek is what was in dispute. The dispute was settled when the Mississauga Indians allowed British surveyor Alexander Atkins to survey the disputed land. The dispute was settled with the Mississauga Indians recognizing the purchase as extending to Etobicoke Creek. In turn the British had to pay an additional 10 shillings for the purchase. The first provincial land surveyor, Augustus Jones spelled Etobicoke as "ato-be-coake". On the direction of Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe in 1795 Etobicoke was finally adopted as the official name.
It wasn't until the purchase issue was resolved before the settlers began moving to Etobicoke from Britain. It was mainly the Queen's Rangers who were given land in Etobicoke by Lieutenant Governor Simcoe who became the early settlers of Etobicoke. Queen's Rangers being selected to help protect the new capital of Upper Canada. Honourable Samuel Bois Smith, a captain in the Queen's Rangers received a grant in 1795 of 1530 acres, in Etobicoke extending from Kipling Avenue to Etobicoke Creek, and north to Bloor Street. Sergeant Patrick Mealey of the Queen's Rangers was given Etobicoke's first land patent on March 18, 1797. A plot of land in Etobicoke on the west side of Royal York Road on Lake Ontario. More Etobicoke land was given to the members of the Queen's Rangers between Royal York Road and Kipling Road south of Bloor Road. Etobicoke's population in 1805 was 84 residents. William Cooper built a grist mill and saw mill on the west bank of the Humber river south of Dundas Street. Etobicoke's population by 1809 reached 137. The Dundas Street bridge making the township more accessible was opened in 1816.
Mimico was incorporated on land taken from Etobicoke township in 1911. New Toronto incorporated January 1st 1913. Early in the talks they considered merging Mimico and New Toronto. A 1916 the referendum on amalgamating the two communities was approved by the residents in Mimico, but rejected by residents of New Toronto. In 1920, the village of New Toronto became the town of New Toronto. Long Branch was incorporated in 1931. Etobicoke Township became a part of the newly-formed regional government, the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto ("Metro") in 1954.
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