1834 HWJ Bonnycastle/Tazewell: City of Toronto

The incorporation of the City of Toronto on 6 March 1834 inspired two remarkable maps of the city, one by H.W.J. Bonnycastle shown here and a second by Alpheus Todd.

Bonnycastle was a son of Capt. Richard Bonnycastle who was instrumental in planning the subdivision of the Military Reserve east of Garrison Creek. He may have worked briefly in the office of the Commissioner of Crown Lands. The Patriot [Toronto], 11 April 1834, reported that his plan of Toronto was about to be lithographed by ‘Tazewell.’

Samuel Oliver Tazewell was the first person in York [Toronto] to undertake lithography. He arrived from Kingston in 1832 and began producing maps of townships in Simcoe County then being opened for settlement. Later he did a few pictorial views. In the face of opposition from key government officials and unable to make a go of it, he quit and left the city. Bonnycastle’s map besides being the first one made of the new City may have been the last one Tazewell printed.

Capt. Bonnycastle had been very supportive of Tazewell's work, and his hand can be seen behind his son's venture into map-making. Undoubtedly the latter had access to the latest proposals for the subdivision of lands  between Peter Street and Garrison Creek, yet the layout he shows is very different from what was approved in 1837. For one, Spadina Avenue ends at Queen, and the pattern of streets and lots between there and Lake Ontario is heavily influenced by lands owned by the Hon. John Dunn and Capt. James Fitzgibbon as well as by a site for a new Government House. For another, Market [now Wellington] Street divides Victoria Square into two unequal parts; the old military burying ground and a proposed church share the smaller half. What became McDonell [Portugal] Square is shown as a burial ground, whereas only a small portion of it was then being used on a temporary basis to bury cholera victims.

A report that Todd’s map had been published appeared in the Colonial Advocate [Toronto], 22 May 1834. That map can be seen here.

Click the map to view a full size version.

CITY of TORONTO: The Capital of Upper Canada 1834
Respectfully dedicated to HIS EXCELLENCY SIR JOHN COLBORNE K.C.B. &c &c &c
H.W.J. Bonnycastle and Lithographed by S.O. Tazewell

Courtesy of the Royal Ontario Museum, © ROM
[955.87.2: : Tazewell map of Toronto, 1834. Lithograph on paper. Map by H.W.J. Bonnycastle]
Winearls, MUC no. 2066

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