1837 Hawkins: Toronto Military Reserve

Different proposals were put forward for unsold parts of Colborne's subdivision, then changed almost as quickly. This plan is one of a succession that appeared in 1834-37 showing marginal differences from their predecessors. Before the limits of Clarence Square were established, the lands between Brock [Spadina] and Peter Streets were proposed for a new Government House. That idea died when the British Government did not sanction building it. Victoria Square evolved around the military burying ground in use since 1794. Construction of an Anglican church there by the Government for soldiers at the Garrison was mooted for several years, then dropped. The square was then presented as a place where churches could be erected.  McDonell Square [now Portugal Square], named for the first Roman Catholic bishop in Upper Canada, was granted to the Catholics as a church site, requiring the closure of a small cholera cemetery there. The need for a Market Square in the neighbourhood was clear, given the distance from St. Lawrence Market. Municipal buildings and the St. Andrew's Playground occupy the site today.

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Toronto Military Reserve as laid out by Captn Bonnycastle Royal Engineers | Resurveyed by William Hawkins Dy. Surveyor By Order of His Excellency Sir Francis B. Head Lieut. Governor. Certified Febr. 21st 1837. William Hawkins Dy. Surveyor Toronto March 1837.

Image courtesy Toronto Public Library: T1837/4Mlrg]
Winearls, MUC no. 2064 (16)

The following version of the same map was deemed the final official plan for the area, being ‘Approved and ordered to be the plan on which all deeds grants or locations are to be founded’. It is densely packed with the names of lot owners from the previous 4 years of land sales—many of which are worth further scrutiny and investigation. This plan effectively documents a major expansion westward of the City of Toronto.

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Map: Toronto Military Reserve, 18th February 1837, William Hawkins - With Lot owners

Toronto Military Reserve. Resurvey by Wm Hawkins Dy. Surveyor. By order of His Excellency Sir Francis B. Head Lieut. Governor U. Canada &c &c &c as laid out in Town Lots on the east of the Ravine. [Sgd] To the Honble John Macaulay Surveyor General &c &c &c Toronto William Hawkins Dy Surveyor Toronto 18th Feby 1837 [Certified and sgd] R.H. Bonnycastle Captn Royal Engineers Western District U.C. 21st Feby 1837

Source: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Office of the Surveyor General: 348-H24
© 2013 Queens Printer Ontario
Winearls, MUC no. 2064 (15)
See also copy: LAC NMC22828

Next map: 1852 Fleming/Wilkinson/Walker: Plan shewing the Boundaries . . . of the Military Reserve [Detail]
Back to: East of Garrison Creek