1797 Bouchette: Plan of York Harbour

This map, engraved for publication in 1815, is based upon Bouchette’s 1792 manuscript map of Toronto harbour. But it has been updated to include information known to the end of the 18th century. For example, it shows the blockhouse of 1797 on the east side of Garrison Creek, though maybe not Government House of 1800 on the west side. While it’s hardly surprising the map is weak in depicting features where Bouchette lacked special knowledge, such as the town plot and the mouth of the Don, it provides information not found elsewhere, about things he knew intimately. These include Fort York and the raising of H.M.S. Schooner Anandaga [sic] in 1794, for which he was promoted to Second Lieutenant though barely twenty years old.

Bouchette was more familiar with Toronto harbour than anyone else at that time. When Governor and Mrs. Simcoe traveled to Toronto aboard the Mississaga on 29 July 1793 to establish Fort York and found the town, he was at the ship’s helm to bring it into harbour safely. Later he would draw this map, and later still produce a sketch of Fort York to decorate the border of a map found in the U.S. National Archives.

Here he shows crescent-shaped earthworks west and south of Fort York, the latter where the Government House bastion and its successor, the present-day semi-circular bastion, were located. Within the fort, a long feature parallel to the shore presumably was meant to indicate barracks. The Military Reserve and road along the lake are drawn clearly.

Click the map to view a full size version.

Plan of York Harbour by Josh. Bouchette
Published by W. Faden Charing Cross Augst 12th 1815. J. Walker Sculpt.
via Joseph Bouchette, A Topographical Description of the Province of Lower Canada, oppp605 (London: W. Faden, 1815)
Image courtesy Toronto Public Library: T1815/fold
Winearls, MUC no. 2013 (4)

Next map: 1813 Williams: Sketch of the ground in advance of and including York Upper Canada & 1814 Williams: Plan of the Town and Harbour of York
Back to: ‘Old’ Fort York