5 Important Heritage Events!


June 21, 5:30 pm, First Nations at Peace Garden.

June 20, 6 pm, Parkdale Land Trust, Info. 

June 26, 7 to 9 pm, Parkdale & WQW HCD Reveal! 

Aug. 5, 12 noon & 2:30 PM History On The Humber, 6 Theatrical Performances. Stay Tuned.

June 21, 5:30 pm, First Nations Event at The Peace Garden.

The Three Sisters Mound project

It is a small but significant event for National Aboriginal Day on June 21. The Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden will plant a Three Sisters Mound to symbolize the Haudenosaunee people’s ties to this land. 

The Three Sisters Project is the beginning of relations between Roncesvalles Village and Six Nations of the Grand River, relations that we intend to hold with respect, and nurture. 

For this project we went to Six Nations, where we participated in a community planting, and learned how to plant a Mound. We were given white corn seeds, and learned much about the significance of corn, beans, squash agriculture.  We look forward to a harvest in the fall with an Elder or Haudenosaunee teacher to lead in a harvest ceremony. 

The date and time are: Wednesday June 21, at 5:30 pm.  It will be 45 minutes to an hour, no more. We will share what we learned about Three Sisters Mounds. The heavy work is 1 Two Row Wampum Belt smalldone already. You may do a little symbolic planting, or perhaps you will sit in the leafy shade and enjoy watching others take turns. This is a community event. Abby Bushby DundasRoncesvallesPeaceGarden.com

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June 20, 6-8 pm, Parkdale Land Trust, Information Night

At St Mark Church Sanctuary – 201 Cowan Avenue. Please RSVP here  The Parkdale Community Economic Development (PCED) Planning Project would like to invite you to a two part learning series on community development that will:  Make you aware of the increasing influx of development in Parkdale and prepare you to gain greater community control and Inform you about current development and planning processes in the neighbourhood.

The panel: Benjamin Hoff, Urban Strategies, Clara Stewart-Robertson, Jane/Finch Comm. & Family Centre and Claire-Helene Heese-Boutin, PNLT, Moderated by Emily Paradis, University of Toronto. Back to top.


June 26, 7 to 9 pm. WQW HCD Update by City, Heritage Conservation Planning

Monday, June 26, 2017, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, 1115 Queen Street West – The Theatre Centre

The presentation from City Staff will include:

  • Brief summary of the report from Heritage Preservation Services regarding the West Queen West and Parkdale Main Street Heritage Conservation Districts;
  • Background on the Planning Study;
  • Summary of applicable planning policies;
  • Summary of building guidelines and approaches to main street development;
  • A discussion of the type of development that may be possible on West Queen West; and,
  • Next steps in the Planning Study process.

Discussion: The second half of the meeting will open the floor to questions and comments. Input from that meeting will help the Planners to continue our work on the Planning Study.

The WQW Planning Team looks forward to seeing you at the meeting.
Thank You, Graig Uens, MCIP, RPP
Senior Planner, Community Planning, 416-397-4647
 guens@toronto.ca , http://www.toronto.ca/planning/

City’s Heritage Report on History and Plans   GREAT READ!!
I recommend you download these to your computer to read them to fully appreciate the rich historical record the city planners have carefully made for us. The mind set is still, unabashedly, British Colonial. Beautiful old Architecture but less beautiful old mind set. We are on land taken from, but not given by, the Mississaugas between 1764 and 1848.


Direct link to the same information on the City Web Site. http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2017.PB24.2

My Concern: Will we have to accept glass and steel pouring up from the roves of our heritage buildings? Intensification vs Heritage. What do you think?

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Properties that we Recommend for listing and Eventual Designation

The Sunnyside Historical Society has agreed on this list of Properties that we recommend for immediate listing and eventual designation. We considered all of Roncesvalles to Dundas and across Dundas to Sorauren plus some nearby areas. Toronto City Council has decided to list all Toronto heritage properties worthy of consideration for designation so potential demolition can be delayed while closer consideration of these selected buildings is made. You may have heard of the demolition of the Bank of Montreal building on Yonge north of Eglinton. It was not listed so the demolition was legal and unstoppable. If you would like to help with this task in the Parkdale general area please contact me jack@pvhs.info.

Descriptions precede pictures.

Other Streets near the Roncesvalles Dundas Study area contain surprising heritage treasures.

We discussed numerous other properties. For example the first block or two south of Howard park is itself a heritage area but we were trying to select individual properties and could not choose.  Your comments and suggestions would be appreciated. As always information or stories about buildings are valuable.

View or download a PDF of this report here

Posted in Architecture, Brockton, Buildings, Parkdale, Roncesvales, Sunnyside | Leave a comment

Sunday June 11 @ Lambton House

Sunday June 11 @ Lambton House

C a n a d i a n  J u n c t i o n
Town, City and Country.

Reading of a new one-act play by Neil Ross.   Guest Speaker, Christopher Moore!canad-a



Sunday, June 11, 2017
Lambton House 2:00pm
4066 Old Dundas Street, York
(TTC bus 55 from Jane station stops at the door)
Doors open 12:30pm * Refreshments

 Coming August 5, 2017!  A diverse village and town becomes a city and joins Toronto as an equal (in its heart). Featuring Eileen Jensen as Mrs. Brown, Mikaela Cordero as Anna Leung, and Neil Ross as AB Rice. With more foreshadowing of Walk the Six West: History on the Humber. Follow us at @historyonhumber. Information Line: (647) 675-1792.

l-5 l-0nl-ont-2

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A Sacred Trust Revisited June 8 Carolyn King

The story of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation
in Toronto and the Great Lakes area with Carolyn King, former Chief, 
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Doors open at 7:00pm, Talk at 7:30pm

Refreshments * Free will offering appreciated
Lambton House
4066 Old Dundas Street, York, M6S 2R6
TTC bus 55 from Jane station stops at the door.
(416) 767-5472

Be sure to attend June 8, 7 pm at Lambton House!



Treaty of Niagara 1764 PDF
Since the wording of the Royal Proclamation 1763 was unclear, Treaty of Niagara in 1764 is clearer.

Pontiac’s War 1763 1766

Our Shared Paths, (an article containing related history)

Wendat People
There were about 30,000 Wendat on first European contact. They more numerous than Iroquois. Great losses due to disease and British guns sold to their enemies. Now they are fragmented and widely dispersed, even using numerous national names.

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How Lake Shore Trail Became Queen Street West

In 1793 The Mississaugas were protesting the felling of trees and the larger than agreed expansion of British presence on their land. This may have been Toronto’s first demonstration, described on page 22, of ‘Spadina a Story of Old Toronto’, by Austin Seaton Thomas, 1975 Pagurian Press Ltd. Toronto.

I quote Austin: “Despite the constant ‘beat of drums and crash of falling trees’ as Mrs. Simcoe put it, his Excellency, colonel John Graves Simcoe, Lieutenant-governor of the Province of Upper Canada presided over the first land granting meeting held in infant York on Sept 2, 1793.”

TorontoToronto is an Iroquoian word meaning ‘trees in the water’. Toronto refers to the trail to a fishing weir (trees in the water) north of Lake Simcoe. We call this trail ‘Carrying Place’.   The Iroquoian language was shared by the Wendat (Huron) Neutrals, Seneca (Six Nations), Susquehanna and some other First Nations. The Mississaugas and British used ‘Toronto’ until Simcoe changed it to ‘York’ in 1792. It was, of course, later changed back to Toronto.

Because Fort York and the military reserve blocked the lake shore trail between our Bathurst and Roncesvalles, travel was diverted north to our Queen St West. To the west of Parkdale the name reverted back to Lake Shore Road.

The following pictures take you along Queen St in Parkdale from end to end. The dates jump around to make the ‘walk’ continuous, but that is part of the fun. Comments and additional pictures would be most appreciated.

Slide Show:

Comments most welcome.

Posted in First Nations, Parkdale | 2 Comments

Liberty Village Heritage is much older than the Distillery District

Are we overlooking our oldest and most valuable Heritage in Liberty Village? Heritage Tourism, large or small, is coming to West Liberty Village.

This material was presented to the Liberty Village BIA 2017-04-20. It was standing room only. Three representatives of the Developer were in attendance and ARA Architects spoke.  A lively discussion followed. Liberty Village BIA clearly values heritage.

Just an observation: We employ architects to evaluate Heritage. This approach appears to skip over First Nations and anything covered by stucco.

2015-10-08 ERA Architects 25 Liberty

Heritage Toronto Report in 5 parts:
Introduction  2016-01-19 Toronto 1-of-5.pdf
Map 2016-01-19-Toronto-2-of-5.pdf
Picture 2016-01-19-Toronto-3-of-5.pdf
Description (good read) 2016-01-19-Toronto-4-of-5.pdf
Full Report (best read) 2016-01-19-Toronto-5-of-5.pdf

Old Time Trains aerial photos of Liberty Village.
Petition by local residents to save the block has 663 signatures

Your feedback is appreciated. Please comment below.

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Liberty Village, Parkdale | 1 Comment

Our Shared Paths

We share paths that are thousands of years old, used by the Wendat (Huron), Haudenosaunee [pronunciation] (Iroquois), Ojibway (Mississauga), French and British. Marked on the following map in grey are the trails and gathering places of these earlier people. Dotted lines are guesstimates. Blue lines are streams and shorelines. The Mississaugas made clearings in Parkdale, Liberty Village and Exhibition Place for their seasonal villages and trade fairs. The Dundas trail from top left ran past General Givens’ house near today’s Ossington, then along Garrison Creek to the lake shore path.

The following slides show how I compared the accurate 1818 Philpotts map to the current map. Slide Show, with controls.

The following 1814 sketch of Fort York shows the lake shore trail used as a road.

This 1817 map by Lieut E A Smith shows that Dundas Street included Ossington and Queen Streets and was once York’s western highway.

Dundas became the main Western Colonial Highway. In 1850 this stage coach approaches Brockton road west bound on the Highway to Dundas.

The following 1813 Williams sketch shows clearings and trails into Parkdale. The left side of the map west of Fort York is not very accurate. The clearing on the left would have been somewhere south of Dunn Ave. The next clearing to the right contains the remains of Fort Rouille.

Below I have overlaid the previous 1813 map over an 1851 map. The shoreline in the 1851 map is accurate but unchanged, in Parkdale, from 1813. You can see that west of Fort York things do not line up. This led me to estimate the locations of the clearings and paths west of Fort Rouille.

Who Lived Here and walked these Paths? When  Bouchette mapped the harbour in 1792 he found a blacksmith , the remains of fort Rouille and a native hut. Slide Show follows.

The Wendat (Huron) lived here when Etienne Brule passed through in 1615 on the ‘Toronto’ trail, now called Carrying Place Trail. Toronto is an Iroquoian word for trees in the water, referring to a fishing weir at the north end of Lake Simcoe. Wendat and Haudenosaunee all spoke Iroquoian. They lived in cities of two to five thousand, farmed communally and had representative and participatory democracies. We made this successful model illegal shortly after Confederation.

 Notice that Lake Simcoe is labeled ‘Toronto’. Click the small map to verify. 

By 1650 the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) had wiped out the Wendat using Dutch and British guns. This brought more of the lucrative fur trade to the British, who were then in New York. The Seneca, a Haudenosaunee nation, lived at Baby point about 1650 to 1670 when they were drawn away by more wars.

About 1690 the Mississaugas pushed south from the north shore of Lake Superior. They settled around present Toronto and Mississauga. Each spring they gathered for maple sugaring, then came to the river mouths for larger summer gatherings. In the fall they harvested some crops and dispersed for winter hunting in family territories. They took pride in leaving mother earth clean wherever they had been, ‘leaving only the holes of our tent pegs in the ground.’ They were and are a peaceful people.

In 1701 the Great Peace of Montreal was signed by 40 First Nations and New France. The Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee were among the signatories. The treaty appears to have embodied the spirit of the Two Row Wampum Belt. It resulted on a period of greater peace for the Mississaugas, who extended a friendly welcome to the British when they began arriving. Slide Show.

European Wars in the land of the First Nations caused great suffering.

The Seven Years War, 1756-1763, drew in all of Europe and the North American colonies. Britain won New France from the French and in claiming the Indian Territory touched off a war with Pontiac around Detroit that the British won. Did that make it theirs? Slide Show.

1763-1787 the American Revolution
Depleted financially by the seven years war, Britain taxed the 13 Colonies, triggering the successful American Revolution that in turn forced large numbers of refugees, United Empire Loyalists, into present Ontario. These Loyalists included British, Haudenosaunee and other First Nations. The Mississauga, accustomed to the Great Peace of Montreal, kindly accepted British allied refugees in large numbers, with disastrous consequences.

The new American government, under Washington, allowed colonials to settle illegally on Native land then attacked the First Nations when they forcibly evicted them. In this fashion the Americans were able to demonize the natives and take their land piecemeal.

1789-1792 the French Revolution

The French Monarchy incurred a huge debt supporting the American Revolution. Their attempts to make the other estates pay for this was a major flash point in triggering the French Revolution.

1797 Historicist: The Murder of Wabakinine http://torontoist.com/2015/05/historicist-the-murder-of-wabakinine/

“In war and peace, Wabakinine, head chief of the Mississaugas who made their home on the north shore of Lake Ontario, was a strong friend and ally of the British in the late 18th century. … He was murdered in York in 1796 at the hands of British soldiers one of whome was trying to assault the chief’s sister. The murder of such a widely respected leader shocked the First Nations of the colony, touching off a local crisis as the underlying tension between the Mississaugas and the settlers reached a boiling point.” Worse, the charges were not perused to any serious degree and the rapist and murderer went free. Trust was replaced with intimidation.

1803-1815 The Napoleonic Wars
After the French Revolution there was no clear agreement on how to govern. Napoleon was able to seize power and use invasions for profit. As Napoleon invaded more and more countries Britain was drawn into the wars. Britain first won at sea then gradually defeated Napoleon. As a result successful British military veterans, like Colonel O’Hara, settled in Parkdale. Slide Show.

The War of 1812
The Americans, although ostensibly neutral in the Napoleonic wars, were actually helping the French. This led to war with Britain and was disastrous for the First nations who mostly allied themselves with Britain. Tecumseth created a wide federation to ally with Britain including the Haudenosaunee Six Nations and Mississaugas. Notices how shocked the other officers are to see Brock shake the hand of Tecumseth.

Britain did not arm, feed or defend its First Nations allies. After fighting to a stalemate, Britain and America kept their original boarders and divided the First Nations land between themselves. During the American invasion of York, General Givens and the First Nations took up the most dangerous position directly opposing the American Landing on the present Sunnyside Beach. Many seriously wounded First Nations were taken back to Givens house to be stitched up by his wife. As the British retreated to Kingston and the Americans headed for Givens house intent on killing all First Nations prisoners. The First Nations had to carry their wounded into the night along Dundas. Given’s house: The Americans later cordially returned some library books to the British, that they had taken while occupying the town.

After the war of 1812
After 1812 the British embraced the American policy of ignoring all First Nations governments, rights and status as citizens or humans while prosecuting them criminally if they defended themselves in any way. Once this policy was established things became much worse. This situation has not yet been fixed.

Time for Change.

The Two Row Wampum Belt http://www.wampumchronicles.com/tworowwampumbelt.html
Mississaguas of the New Credit First Nation, Our Historyhttp://www.newcreditfirstnation.com/our-culture.html
Maps http://oldtorontomaps.blogspot.ca/p/index-of-maps.html
Parkdale in Pictures: http://static.torontopubliclibrary.ca/da/pdfs/339490.pdf
How to pronounce Haudenosaunee https://www.howtopronounce.com/haudenosaunee/
Givens and First Nations 1812 https://www.thestar.com/news/2007/05/03/bloodstained_floor_told_the_tale.html
Historicist: The Murder of Wabakinine http://torontoist.com/2015/05/historicist-the-murder-of-wabakinine/
Great Peace of Montreal https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Peace_of_Montreal
French Revolution https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Revolution
Napoleonic Wars https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleonic_Wars
Queen Annes War https://www.britannica.com/event/Queen-Annes-War
Beaver Wars https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaver_Wars

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