1817 Smith: Plan of York, U.C.

In June, 2013, this important early map of York was offered at auction in London as part of a large collection of papers that once belonged to Sir John Coape Sherbrooke, lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia during the War of 1812 and later governor-in-chief of British North America. In spirited bidding that went well beyond the pre-sale estimates, the lot was purchased by Library & Archives Canada.

What distinguishes the map from a succession of plans of York drawn about the same time (1813 Williams, 1814 Williams, 1818 Phillpotts) is that it goes further in identifying public works and fortifications at the capital such as the lighthouse at the harbour entrance and blockhouses on Gibraltar Point and in Trinity- Bellwoods Park; in labeling the estates of eight of the town's leading citizens; and in showing most streets and roads in the vicinity. Present-day Queen Street is titled 'Dundas Street,' a reminder that it led via what are now called Ossington Avenue and Dundas St. West to a crossing of the Humber River at Lambton and eventually to the rising village of Dundas at the Head of Lake Ontario.

Click the map to view a full size version.

Plan of York, U.C. Surveyed by E.A. Smith, 1817

Plan of York, U.C. / Surveyed and Drawn August 1817, by Lieut. E.A. Smith, 70th Inf'y
Image courtesy Library and Archives Canada

[This plan does not have a corresponding Winearls MUC no.; however, a similar, later version by Smith is held by the William Inglis Morse Collection: Plan of York. Surveyed in 1817 by Lieut. Smith 70th Regt. E.A. Smith pinxit. Winearls, MUC no. 2014. Acadia University: 1931.004-WIM/58. A high-resolution scan of the latter may be viewed here.]

Next map: 1818 Phillpotts: Plan of York
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