In 1793, a man by the name of John Graves Simcoe plotted out the land that would become the City of York. Bordered on the west by the Humber River, this town, over 200 years later, would extend further out, changing, evolving and eventually in 1998 would amalgamate with the City of Toronto.
Over the years, the former City of York has held onto its unique charm, its historical value and its dedicated inhabitants.
Read on to experience the history of the City of York as told through Heritage York's Bryce Collection. Accompanying the images in this special collection are photographs from the collections of the Toronto Archives, the Toronto Public Library and contemporary views.
Pictured to the left is Dundas Street (Now called Old Dundas Street), in 1898. This photograph shows a view from the west looking east up the road. Pictured is the Howland and Elliot General Store. Lambton Hotel (turned Tavern, turned House) is pictured just to the right.
This area along the Humber River had been becoming a growing community thanks to an industrial boom. There is evidence of settler-colonial families settling in the Humber Valley as early as the 1810s. Today, it is home to many residents of all backgrounds and incomes; a quiet, residential community just outside of the bustle of Toronto.
Heritage York, Bryce Collection, LMA 030.
In this view of Dundas West Street looking westward, you can see streetcar tracks well embedded into the roads, with many businesses lining the streets.
Street view of St. John's Road and Dundas West. Mid-20th century. Heritage York, Bryce Collection, LMA070.
This intersection still remains a commercial one, however it has become much more residential over time.
Dundas Street West and St. John's Road, 2019.
Bloor Street West at High Park, looking west, 1914. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 18.
In this scene from Bloor Street, we see the streetcar running down from the west, through the intersection of Keele and Bloor Street. High Park is visible to the left.
Bloor Street West at Indian Grove, mid-20th century. Heritage York, Bryce Collection, LMA 159.
Wintertime at Humbercrest United Church; built in 1925 in the Baby Point neighbourhood. Heritage York, Bryce Collection, LMA075.
In this closeup, you can see the detail that goes into colourizing lantern slides. The artist here has added small touches of red to emphasize the wearers' scarves. This pop of colour adds life to the otherwise wintery scene, amidst the brown tones of the building.
Scroll to see The Humbercrest United Church in 2019. With summer in full bloom, the church is enveloped by the large trees which bare fans of green leaves. Besides the growing trees, not much has changed this church over the past seventy years.
In 2019, Eglinton and Dufferin once again is changed drastically to welcome the new crosstown train. With construction pushing on for the next couple years, this intersection will surely continue to remain dynamic.