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.

This entry was posted in First Nations, Parkdale. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How Lake Shore Trail Became Queen Street West

  1. Mike Filey says:

    Parkdalians of the future will thank you for keeping the community’s history alive, at least in photos.

  2. Daryl Landau says:

    Impressive work as always, Jack.

Your feedback is important.