York County, Ontario

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York County
Dissolved county
(Restructured as regional municipality)
York County c. 1880s
York County c. 1880s
Colony/Province
Incorporated1792 (created from Home District)
Dissolved1971 (reorganized into the Regional Municipality of York)
County seat
Administrative seat
Area
 • Total2,392.17 km2 (923.62 sq mi)
 The following figure was the size of the county from 1851 to 1953
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (Eastern)

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 reorganized as 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 the Regional Municipality of Durham, and the City of Hamilton. The town of York, later incorporated as the City of Toronto in 1834, served as the initial seat for the county. Once Toronto was incorporated, it was severed from York County, although county offices remained located in Toronto.

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 were separated to form Peel County. In the same year, the eastern riding of York County was separated from York to form Ontario County.

In April 1953, the Metropolitan Toronto Act was passed in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. This saw municipalities south of Steeles Avenue severed from York County and forming the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto. As a result of this separation, the county offices for York County were moved from Toronto to Newmarket. The Act went into effect on 1 January 1954.

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 dissolved by restructuring it into the new Regional Municipality of York.

Historic municipalities[edit]

The following table is a list of historic municipalities that were at one point situated within York County.

Type of municipality[note 1] Name of municipality Year severed from York County Present municipality Present upper-tier government
Township Albion 1851 Town of Caledon Peel Region
Town Aurora 1971[note 2] Town of Aurora York Region
Township Caledon 1851 Town of Caledon Peel Region
Township Chinguacousy 1851 City of Brampton
Town of Caledon
Peel Region
Township East Gwillimbury 1971[note 2] Town of East Gwillimbury York Region
Township East York 1954 City of Toronto[note 3]
Township Etobicoke 1954 City of Toronto[note 4]
Village Forest Hill 1954 City of Toronto[note 5]
Township Georgina 1971[note 2] Town of Georgina York Region
Township King 1971[note 2] Township of King York Region
Town Leaside 1954 City of Toronto[note 6]
Village Long Branch 1954 City of Toronto[note 7]
Village Markham 1971[note 2] City of Markham York Region
Town Mimico 1954 City of Toronto[note 8]
Town New Toronto 1954 City of Toronto[note 9]
Township Nelson 1816 City of Burlington Halton Region
Town Newmarket 1971[note 2] Town of Newmarket York Region
Township North Gwillimbury 1971[note 2] Town of Georgina York Region
Township North York 1954 City of Toronto[note 10]
Village Oshawa 1851 City of Oshawa Durham Region
Township Pickering 1851 City of Pickering Durham Region
City Richmond Hill 1971[note 2] City of Richmond Hill York Region
Township Scarborough 1954 City of Toronto[note 11]
Village Stouffville 1971[note 2] Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville York Region
Village Swansea 1954 City of Toronto[note 12]
Township Thorah 1851 Township of Brock Durham Region
Township Toronto 1851 City of Mississauga
City of Brampton
Peel Region
Township Toronto Gore 1851 City of Brampton
City of Mississauga
Peel Region
Township Trafalgar 1816 Town of Oakville Halton Region
Township Uxbridge 1851 Township of Uxbridge Durham Region
Township Vaughan 1971[note 2] City of Vaughan York Region
Town Weston 1954 City of Toronto[note 13]
Township Whitby 1851 Town of Whitby Durham Region
Township Whitchurch 1971[note 2] Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville York Region
Township York 1954 City of Toronto[note 14]

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]

From the 19th century to 1900, the offices of York County were held in various court houses. York County offices were first held at the First York County Courthouse on Front Street and Parliament Street from 1800 to 1813. The First York County Courthouse also housed the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada.[3])After the Battle of York, the county officials and legislative assembly met at the home of Major Alexander Montgomery Jr., located on north side of Richmond Street between Yonge and Victoria Streets (now Confederation Life Building). From 1824 to 1845, the county's offices were located at the Second York County Courthouse on Church Street and King Street. From 1852 to 1900, the county offices were located at the Adelaide Court House.

From 1900 to 1953, the municipal government of Toronto shared its office space with York County at Toronto's Old City Hall.

After the southern portion of York County was severed to form Metropolitan Toronto in 1953, the county's offices were relocated to the Old Newmarket Town Hall and Courthouse. In 1957, the York County Administrative Offices was also opened at 62 Bayview Parkway.[4]

Representation in colonial legislatures[edit]

Upper Canada[edit]

York County was represented in the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada by several ridings, initially grouped with neighbouring counties, then for the town of York (York, Upper Canada) and rural parts or York County:

Year Riding(s) Notes
1792 Durham, York & 1st Lincoln single riding representing Durham County, York County and Lincoln County
1800 Durham, Simcoe & 1st York and West York, 1st Lincoln & Haldimand 2 ridings created with Haldimand County joining Lincoln County and western part of York County
1809 West York, 1st Lincoln & Haldimand, East York & Simcoe West York and 1st Lincoln & Haldimand become separate ridings, Durham County breaks from York and Simcoe to form Durham and Northumberland; 1st York renamed as East York
1817 East York & Simcoe West York riding disappears
1821 York & Simcoe, York, York (town) East York & Simcoe becomes York & Simcoe, two new ridings - covering York County outside of Town of York and another covering on the Town of York only
1829 York, York (town) York & Simcoe separated with York County outside of Town of York represented by single riding
1835 Toronto, 1st York, 2nd York, 3rd York and 4th York after City of Toronto created in 1834 the riding is renamed Toronto, the rural York riding is broken into 4 separate ridings

Province of Canada[edit]

York was represented in the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada from 1841 to 1867 with rural and town (city after 1834) ridings:

Year Riding(s) Notes
1841 Toronto, 1st York, 2nd York, 3rd York, 4th York Ridings carried over from former Parliament of Upper Canada
1848 Toronto, York East, York West, York North, York South Rural York County ridings renamed by dropping numbering
1857 Toronto, York East, York West, York North York South dissolved
1860 East Toronto, West Toronto, York East, York West, York North Toronto ridings renamed

Most members were residents in Toronto and did not necessary represent a specific geographical area of York County.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The type of municipality displayed is from the year the municipality was severed from York County, not its present type
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k In 1971, York County was dissolved, and reorganized into the Regional Municipality of York.
  3. ^ East York Township was merged into Metropolitan Toronto in 1954, becoming the Borough of York. It was severed from York Country in the process.
  4. ^ The township of Etobicoke became the Borough of Etobicoke when it became part of Metropolitan Toronto in 1954, thereby being severed from York County.
  5. ^ The village of Forest Hill became the Borough of Forest Hill when it became part of Metropolitan Toronto in 1954, thereby being severed from York County. The borough itself was dissolved in 1967.
  6. ^ The town of Leaside became part of Metro Toronto in 1954, thereby being severed from York County.
  7. ^ Long Branch was originally part of Etobicoke Township. It was merged into Metro Toronto in 1954, thereby being severed from York County.
  8. ^ Mimico was originally part of Etobicoke Township, later becoming a town on its own within York County. When Metro Toronto was formed in 1954, it was merged into Metro, thereby being severed by York County. The town itself was dissolved in 1967.
  9. ^ New Toronto was originally part of Etobicoke Township, later becoming a town on its own within York County. When Metro Toronto was formed in 1954, it was merged into Metro, thereby being severed by York County. The town itself was dissolved in 1967.
  10. ^ North York was originally part of York Township, later becoming a township on its own within York County. When Metro Toronto was formed in 1954, it was merged into Metro, becoming the Borough of North York, thereby being severed by York County. It later became the City of North York, within Metro.
  11. ^ The township was merged into Metro Toronto as the Borough of Scarborough in 1954, thereby being severed from York County.
  12. ^ The village of Swansea became part of Metro Toronto in 1954, thereby being severed from York County. The village itself was absorbed into Old Toronto in 1967.
  13. ^ Weston was merged into Metro Toronto in 1954, thereby being severed from York County.
  14. ^ When the City of Toronto (Old Toronto) was incorporated in 1834, the portion of the township encompassing the City was severed. York Township continued in that part of the county north of the new City. It became the Borough of York, part of Metro Toronto in 1954, thereby being severed from York County.

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.
  3. ^ "Biography – MONTGOMERY, JOHN (d. 1879) – Volume X (1871-1880) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography".
  4. ^ "'I certainly am going to miss it': York Region's former HQ coming down this week".
  • 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