York County, Ontario

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York County
Dissolved County
York County c.1880s
York County c.1880s
Country Canada
Province Ontario
Incorporated1792 created from parts of Home District
Dissolved1971 - Regional Municipality of York
County seat
Administrative seat
York, Upper Canada 1792-1834
Toronto 1834-1953
Newmarket, Ontario 1953-1971
Area
 • Total2,392.17 km2 (923.62 sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))

York County is a historic county in Upper Canada, Canada West, and the Canadian province of Ontario. It was organized by the Upper Canada administration from the lands of the Toronto Purchase and others.

Created in 1792, at its largest size, it encompassed the area that presently comprises the City of Toronto, the regional municipalities of Halton, Peel, and York as well as portions of Regional Municipality of Durham and the City of Hamilton. However by 1851, York County only consisted of the areas presently comprising Toronto and Regional Municipality of York. In 1953, York County was split again, with the area south of Steeles Avenue forming the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto.

York County was formally dissolved in 1971, with its remaining municipalities forming the Regional Municipality of York.

History[edit]

York County was created on 16 June 1792[1] and was part of the jurisdiction of the Home District of Upper Canada. It originally comprised all of what is now the City of Toronto, the regional municipalities of Halton, Peel, and York as well as portions of Regional Municipality of Durham and the City of Hamilton. The Town of York/the City of Toronto served as the initial seat for the county.

In 1816, Wentworth and Halton counties were created, with portions of York County transferred to the new counties. In 1851, the western portions of York County was separated to form Peel County. In the same year, the eastern portions of York County was separated forming Ontario County.

In April 1953 the Metropolitan Toronto Act, 1953 was passed in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. The Metropolitan Toronto Act saw municipalities south of Steeles Avenue severed from York County, with the severed counties reforming the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto. As a result of this separation, the county offices for the County was moved from Toronto to Newmarket.

At a meeting in Richmond Hill on 6 May 1970, officials representing the municipalities of York County approved plans for the creation of a regional government entity to replace York County.[2] In 1971, the remaining portion of York County was replaced by the Regional Municipality of York also known as York Region.

Historic municipalities[edit]

19th century[edit]

In 1816, the western periphery of York County was transferred to Halton, and Wentworth County.

In 1851, eastern and western portions of York County were severed to form to new counties. Sections of eastern York County were severed to form Ontario County, whereas sections of western York County were separated to form Peel County. The western portion of York County that formed Peel County included the following municipalities at the time:

  • Township of Albion - incorporated as a township in 1819, the former township is situated in Caledon
  • Township of Caledon - incorporated as a township in 1819, the former township is situated in Caledon.
  • Township of Chinguacousy - incorporated as a township in 1819, the former township includes areas in Brampton, and Caledon.
  • Township of Toronto - incorporated as a township in 1806, the former township is situated in Mississauga.
  • Township of Toronto Gore - incorporated as a township in 1819, the former township includes areas in Brampton and Mississauga.

Seceded in 1954[edit]

In 1954, the municipalities south of Steeles Avenue were severed from the county to form the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto. The portion of York County south of Steeles Avenue, that formed Metropolitan Toronto included the following municipalities at the time:

  • Township of East York - incorporated as a township in 1924 from the Township of York.
  • Township of Etobicoke - incorporated as a township in 1850.
  • Village of Forest Hill - incorporated as a village in 1924.
  • Town of Leaside - incorporated as a town in 1913.
  • Village of Long Branch - incorporated as a village in 1930 from Township of Etobicoke.
  • Town of Mimico - incorporated as a town in 1917. The town was previously incorporated as a village in 1911 from Township of Etobicoke.
  • Town of New Toronto - incorporated as a town in 1920. The town was previously incorporated as a village in 1913 from Township of Etobicoke.
  • Township of North York - incorporated as a township in 1922 from the Township of York.
  • Township of Scarborough - incorporated as a township in 1850.
  • Village of Swansea - incorporated as a village in 1926.
  • City of Toronto - incorporated in 1834. Prior to its incorporation as a city, the municipality was known as the Town of York (settled in 1793).
  • Town of Weston - incorporated in 1914. The town was previously incorporated as a village in 1881.
  • Township of York - incorporated as a township in 1793.

The former towns, townships, and villages of Metropolitan Toronto were eventually amalgamated into the City of Toronto.

Municipalities at dissolution[edit]

In 1971, York County was dissolved, with its remaining municipalities forming York Region. The following were municipalities located within York County at the time of its dissolution:

  • Town of Aurora - incorporated as a town in 1888. The municipality continues to operate as a town.
  • Township of East Gwillimbury - incorporated as a township in 1850, the former township includes areas in present-day East Gwillimbury, and Newmarket.
  • Township of Georgina - the former township is situated in Georgina.
  • Township of King incorporated as a township in 1850, King continues to operate as a township.
  • Town of Newmarket - incorporated as a town in 1880. The town was previously incorporated as a village in 1857. The municipality continues to operate as a town.
  • Township of North Gwillimbury - the former township is situated in Georgina.
  • Village of Markham - incorporated as a village in 1872. The village was previously incorporated as a township in 1794. The former township includes areas in Richmond Hill, and Markham.
  • Town of Richmond Hill - incorporated as a town in 1957. The town was previously incorporated as a village in 1873. The municipality continues to operate as a town.
  • Village of Stouffville - incorporated as a village in 1877. The former village includes areas in Whitchurch-Stouffville.
  • Township of Vaughan - - incorporated as a township in 1850. The former township includes areas in Richmond Hill, and Vaughan.
  • Township of Whitchurch - incorporated as a township in 1792. The former township includes areas in Newmarket, and Whitchurch-Stouffville.

Governance[edit]

The seat of government for York County was situated in Toronto (named York prior to 1834) from 1792 to 1953. After the creation of Metropolitan Toronto in 1953, the seat of government for York County was moved to Newmarket.

County offices[edit]

Offices used by York County included:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "York's first major overhaul since 1850". The Era. 13 May 1970. p. 17. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  2. ^ Lott, John (13 May 1970). "Approval, relief first reactions of politicians". The Era. pp. 1, 2. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  • Middleton, Jesse Edgar; Landon, Fred (1927). Province of Ontario — A History 1615 to 1927. Toronto: Dominion Publishing Company.
  • Boylen, J.C. (1954). York Township: An Historical Summary 1850-1954. Toronto: Municipal Corporation of the Township of York and the Board of Education of the Township of York.
  • Sawdon, Herb H. (1961). The Woodbridge Story. pp. 13–14, .

Coordinates: 43°51′25″N 79°25′23″W / 43.857°N 79.423°W / 43.857; -79.423