SCARBOROUGH Township is
situated at the south-eastern corner of the county. It comprises nine
concessions, of which, however, only five extend to the eastern limit of
the county, the rest being broken by the water front, which slopes
inwards from the western side-line. The broken concessions are known as
A, B, C and P, the remaining ones being numbered. The front of the
township was surveyed in 1791 by Mr. Augustus Jones, the name when given
it being "Glasgow." It is bounded on the north by the Township of
Markham, on the south by Pake Ontario, on the east by Pickering, in the
adjoining County of Ontario, and on the west by York. The concession
lines were not run until the year 1833, when the laying out of the
township was continued by Mr. Galbraith, P.B.S. Pi 1850 the western
boundary was fixed by Messrs. William Smith and John Shier, Provincial
Land Surveyors, and in 1854 the eastern limit was established by Mr.
John Shier, P.P.S. The Boundary Pine Commissioners fixed the northern
limits of the townships. There are many irregularities in the laying out
of this township, owing to the surveys having been made by different
parties at long intervals, whereby some of the original landmarks were
destroyed or lost sight of. Mr. F. F. Passmore, P.P.S., in 1864
presented a report to the Township Council in connection with a map of a
re-survey, in which he stated that there were at that time, exclusive of
the exterior road between the township and its neighbours, 126
side-roads, many of them well opened up and travelled. The soil of the
southern portion of Scarborough is light and sandy, as indicated by the
considerable quantity of pine timber intermixed with the hardwood
growths. In the central and northern sections the soil is heavier and
better adapted for agriculture, the timber being nearly all hardwood.
The township is abundantly watered, and the land is generally
undulating, excepting m the neighbourhood of Highland Creek and the
River Rouge, the banks of which are steep and rugged. In the southern
part of the township there are extensive beds of clay, suitable for
brick-making purposes, generally overlaid by sand several feet in depth.
The geological characteristics of the township are not of much interest,
presenting but little variety. Two springs on the 16th lot of the 4th
concession have a local reputation for their mineral properties. Their
waters give, by boiling, a small amount of earthy carbonate, but even
when evaporated to one-tenth they have no marked taste. They contain, in
addition, only sulphate of lime with traces of chloride. Sandstone of
the Hudson River formation is met with along the banks of the streams
near the lake shore.
Traces of the large
aboriginal population which occupied the western portion of this
township, but disappeared before the advent of the white settlers, are
frequently discovered. Their principal settlement appears to have been
near the mouth of the River Rouge, where the site of what was once a
considerable Indian village was indicated by the remains of the logs
which formed a wooden palisade surrounding their habitations. Here have
been discovered from time to time a variety of Indian relics, which, in
the opinion of scientists, show a continuous residence on the spot for
at least a century. Some have all the characteristics of the stone age,
and mixed with the rude weapons and implements of native industry pi are
those of copper and iron, and also glass beads, which were probably
obtained by intercourse with the early French voyageurs and traders.
These relics of a vanished race were found intermixed with ashes and
charcoal. A few yards from the site of the village a number of graves
containing aboriginal remains were discovered.
In the immediate
proximity of this site, and near the present villages of Greenvale and
Claremont, in the adjoining Township of Pickering, other Indian relics
have been found in considerable quantity, showing that aboriginal
villages once existed in those localities. At the site near Claremont, a
large Indian burying-ground was found. These ancient settlements were
connected with the one m Scarborough, and all are believed to have
belonged to the once powerful Huron nation.
The first patents to
land in Scarborough were granted in 1796. The following are among the
original patentees for the years indicated:—
Mayne, John White.
John McGill, William Eadus and others, George Irvine, Amos Merritt,
Eliza Small, John Hewitt.
Dorcas Kendrick, James Malloy, Capt. William Demont, James Ketchem, Owen
McGrath, Elizabeth Davis, James Whitton, Elizabeth Vanderlip, James
David Fleming, Jonathan Ashbridge, John Adair, Andrew Templeton, William
Osterhout, Nicholas Smith, Thomas Hewitt, Elias Thompson, John Weaver,
James Eliot, David Robertson, Samuel Heron, Martin Buckner, Ephraim
Payen, Susannah Harris, John Segar, John Markly, Richard Ilatt, Andrew
Johnston, Archibald Thompson, John Henry Rahman, Eliphalet Hale, Eliza
Small, Margaret Ryok-man, Richard Flock, Eva Bradt, Lieut. Miles
McDonnell, Barnabas Eddy, Azariah Lundy.
jun'r, Ellis Dennis, Samuel Heron, Robert Isaac, Dey Gray, John Smith,
John Winterinute, John Robert Small.
Galloway, Parker Mills, Robert Tait, Nipporah Ro-buck, Jacob Fisher,
Nicholas Macdougal, David Thompson, Andrew Thompson.
John Robert Small.
Benjamin W. Eaton, George Kuck, Helen Fen wick, John Kennedy, sen'r.
In addition to the
patents issued to individuals, King's College and the Canada Company
appear among the early grantees. Many of the names given above are
largely represented among the present inhabitants of the township.
No very early municipal
records have been preserved, the year 1848 being as far back as the
documents now extant reach. In the memorandum of proceedings for that
year, the following names of electors are subscribed to a declaration
that " We, the undersigned, do sincerely promise and swear that we will
faithfully and diligently perform the duties for which we are appointed
for the current year Joseph Pilkey, George Snider, Adam Walton. William
Kennedy, William Fawcett, sen'r, William Mason, Thomas Kennedy, Medley
Robinson, Daniel Kennedy, George Galway, John Palmer, John Warren, Isaac
Christie, Timothy Devenish, John Richardson, Alexander Wilson, George
Stephenson, Abraham Stoner, William Young, William Richardson, William
Westeny, William Anthony, James Saw, Isaac Stoner, Thomas Adams, Thomas
Booth, King Parkes, James Peters, William Chamberlain, Marshall Macklin,
Thomas Adams, jun'r, Isaac Secor, William A. Thompson, James A.
Thompson, James Johnson John Sherburn, James Spring, Thomas Brown, John
Wilson, John Law, William Nelson, Robert Jackson, Andrew Potter, and
The first meeting of
the "Municipal Corporaton" of the township was held at Thomas Dowswell's
tavern, on the 21st of January, 1850, on which occasion were present,
Peter Sucor, reeve; John P. Wheeler, deputy-reeve; William Helliwell,
Christopher Thompson and Edward Connell. The following year Air. Wheeler
attained the reeveship, and Thomas Prown was elected deputy-reeve, and
Stephen Glosson, clerk. In 185 John Torrance became reeve, and William
Clark, deputy-reeve. Air. Wheeler was again chosen reeve in 1855, and
tilled the office for ten years in succession. During three years of
this period, 1861-5, was warden of the county. Among those who have held
the reeveship are Donald G. Stephenson, Thomas Brown and George Chester.
The deputy-reeveship has numbered among its incumbents John Crawford,
Sirnon Mller and William Tredway. Prom 1856 to 1865 James Moyle
officiated as township clerk. He was succeeded by John Crawford, who
still holds that position. The other leading municipal officials for
1884 are : Reeve, John Richardson ; 1st deputy-reeve, A. A. Sucor; 2nd
deputy-reeve, George Morgan.
In 1842 Scarborough
contained 2,750 inhabitants, and had one grist mill and eighteen
saw-mills. The enumeration taken in 1850 showed that its progress had
been very marked, the number having increased to 3,821. It had then
three grist-mills and twenty-three saw-mills, and its agricultural
products from the crop of 1849 were, as follows: 90,000 bushels of
wheat, 101,000 bushels of oats, 29,000 bushels of peas, 56,000 bushels
of potatoes, 5,000 bushels of turnips, 3,700 tons of hay, 14,000 pounds
of wool, 12,000 pounds ot cheese, and 35,000 pounds of butter. The
returns of the latest Dominion census, taken in 1881, show a large
increase in the productive capacity of the township. The leading items
are as follows: Wheat, 85,595 bushels; barley, 132,870 bushels; oats,
160,474. bushels; peas and beans, 35,280 bushels; potatoes, 114,838
bushels; turnips, 283,670 bushels; other root crops, 125,839 bushels;
hay, 10,510 tons.
Latterly there has been
a falling off in the population of the township, largely owing to the
considerable emigration to the North West, which has drawn away many of
the young men. The population in 1871 numbered 4,615, in 1881 It had
decreased to 4,208. The census of the latter year gives the number of
occupiers of land at 588, of whom 412 were also owners. The total
acreage occupied was 43,634, of which 36,225 acres were improved. Of
this, 28,065 acres were devoted to field crops, 6,892 acres to
pasturage, and 1,268 were laid out in gardens and orchards.
Of the total
population, 3,233, or more than three-fourths, are of Canadian birth,
though mostly of recent British origin, as the LT. E. Loyalist element
in the population is small. Smith's Q Canada, Past, Present and Future"
says on this point: "The Township of Scarborough is said to be occupied
almost exclusively by natives of the British Isles, who have obtained
some considerable degree of local celebrity as ploughmen.' It is
interesting to note that after the lapse of a generation the yeomen of
Scarborough still retain their well-won pre-eminence in this department,
notwithstanding many a well-contested match in which the representatives
of other townships have sought to wrest their honours from them. Mr.
James Patton, residing near Scarborough Junction, is the pioneer
ploughman of the county, and one of the most active in promoting
competitions. On the 17th of June, 1884, the veteran ploughman was
presented with an address and testimonial, in recognition of his
services in promoting the cause of prize ploughing.
The report of the
Ontario Agricultural Commission furnishes some valuable details
respecting the condition ol agriculture in the township. The report
states that the area was all settled in about forty years after the
entrance of the first settlers in 1798. The general character of the
soil is described as a clay loam, but about one-nineteenth is a heavy
clay, and ten per cent, in the middle of the township is a sandy loam ;
there is a little gravel which is considerably scattered, and about ten
per cent, of the soil is black loam; none of the land is too stony or
rocky to be profitably cultivated, but about one-fourth is so hilly as
to interfere with tillage ; the remaining three-fourths is rolling land.
Only about one-fortieth is low, bottom lands, one-fourteenth swampy, and
one-fifteenth wet and springy. One-halt the total area is considered
first-class land, the quantity of second and third class being estimated
at one-quarter each. Water is obtainable, by digging, at from fourteen
to ninety feet. The average price of land is from §80 to $110 per acre
for first-class land, from $50 to $80 for second-class, and from $10 to
S50 for the third-class quality. About half the land is under
first-class fences, the material employed being generally rails and
posts. Two-thirds of the dwellings are of brick, stone, or first-class
frame, the remaining one-third being log or inferior frame. Two-thirds
of the outbuildings are also reckoned first-class. A third of the farms
are under-drained, principally by means of tile drains.
The acreage devoted to
the leading crops, and the average yield of those crops per acre, as
nearly as can be estimated, are given as follows:— Fall wheat, 5 per
cent., 20 bushels;' spring wheat, 10 per cent., 10 bushels; barley, 12
per cent., 30 bushels; oats, 10 per cent., 45 bushels; peas, 5 per
cent., 20 bushels; potatoes, 2 per cent., 130 bushels; turnips, 2 per
cent., 500 bushels; other root crops, 1 per cent., 500 bushels ; hay, 20
per cent., 1˝ tons per acre; 15 per cent. is in pasture lands, and 3 per
cent, in orchards. The portion of the township about the fiats and banks
of the Rouge River and Highland Creek are pronounced better adapted for
raising than for
grain-growing purposes. The kinds of stock most extensively raised are
Clydesdale horses, Durham and Ayrshire cattle, Cotswold sheep and
Berkshire pigs. A good many of the" Clydesdale horses are imported
stock. Among the principal owners of thoroughbred stock are John Little,
Alexander Neilson, J. and J. Neilson, Stephen Westney, William Westney,
John Crawford, William Crawford, and John LaW.' The proportion of the
township still under timber is estimated at about eight or ten acres to
the hundred. The principal varieties of timber are cedar, maple, beech,
and pine. The exact number of acres is 43,019^, of which 33,760 are
cleared. The cattle number 2,371, the horses 2,198,"the sheep 951, and
the hogs 1.329.
The township is well
traversed by highways and railroads, securing the farmers a ready access
to the leading markets. The Kingston Road, the old thoroughfare between
Toronto and Kingston, rims along the front of the township near the lake
shore in the western portion, but striking further inland as it proceeds
eastward. The scenery in the neighbourhood of Scarborough Heights, which
lie between the road and the lake-shore, near the eastern boundary of
the township, is extremely wild and romantic. 'The Heights, which are
about 320 feet above the level of the lake, present an extensive view
over the water and surrounding country. They form a thickly wooded
elevation, and their masses of foliage rising from the shore present a
beautiful view from the lake. There is a steep ravine to the west of the
Heights, encircled on every side by densely timbered banks, abounding in
swampy recesses where ferns, mosses, and creepers of all sorts grow in
rank luxuriance. It is a charming and delightful spot to all lovers of
picturesque natural scenery. Within a short distance is Victoria Park,
one of the most pleasant and popular of the summer resorts of Toronto,
which is within an hour's sail of the city, and throughout the summer
attracts large numbers of pleasure-seekers and wearied citizens in
search of a brief respite from the toil and worry of urban life. There
is a broad, sandy, shelving beach, running back to a high clay bluff'.
The front portion consists of a smooth, grassy expanse, fringed with
trees, overlooking the lake. A summer hotel and pavilion have been
provided for the accommodation of the public. To the rear is the park
proper, sloping gradually upwards, retaining most of the natural
characteristics of the forest, except that the underbrush has been
cleared away in places, and winding paths have been made in every
direction. The country outside of the Park presents attractions of which
many of the wealthier citizens of Toronto have availed themselves, a
number of summer residences having been built in the neighbourhood.
Scarborough Village is
situated in concession D, about midway between the eastern and western
limits of the township. It is distant about ten miles from Toronto, and
has a population somewhere in the neighbourhood of three hundred. It is
an attractive and pleasant neighbourhood. A more considerable village,
four miles further east on the Kingston Road, is Highland Creek,
situated on the stream from which it takes its name. It has a population
of about six hundred. The Danforth Road enters the township about one
mile north of the lake shore, and runs in a northeasterly direction
through the small Village of Danforth, from which it takes its name,
unti1 the Village of Woburn is reached, which
is situated about one mile due north of Scarborough Village, on the road
to Markham. The Danforth Road then takes a southward turn to Highland
Creek. Malvern Village is the most central hi the township, and Armadale
is located near the northern boundary. The Grand Trunk Railway, in the
western part of the township, runs for some distance almost parallel to
the Kingston Road, about half to three-quarters of a mile to the north
of it, but crosses it near Scarborough Village, and reaches the lake
shore and the township boundary at the Village of Port Union. At
Scarborough Junction, about a mile and a half north of the lake, the
Toronto and Nipissing Railway diverges from the Grand Trunk, and crosses
the township due north and south at a distance of about two miles from
its western line. The Ontario and Quebec Railway, which was opened for
traffic on the nth of August, 1884, traverses Scarborough in a
north-easterly direction, having a station at the Village of Agincourt,
near the centre of the township.
Scarborough possesses a
flourishing Mechanics' Institute, the head-quarters of w hich are at the
Village of Ellesmere, in the western part of the township. It was
established on the 7th of April, 1834, heing then known as the "
Scarborough Subscription Library." The following were the first
subscribers:—J. George, T. Patterson, A. Johnston, A. Glendirming, Wm.
Glendinning, S. Thornton, P. Johnston, W. D. Thomson, J. Thom, J.
Gibson, S. Cornell, C. Thomson, J. Brownlee, Wm. Forfar, jun'r., Wm.
Paterson, James A. Thomson, G. Scott, D. Brown, T. Brown, R. Hamilton,
WTm. Hood, J. Muir, R. D. Hamilton, A. Bell, J. Stobo, D. Graham, J.
Davidson, J. Findlay, Wm. Elliott, J. Elliott, J. Tingle, Alex. Jackson.
A. Patterson, T. Whiteside, J. Martin, George Thomson, J. Glendinning,
John Thornbeck, B. Ferguson, M. Macklem, R. Tackett, Wm. Crone, T.
Walton, sen'r., Wm. Findlay, Wm. Scott, J. Carmichael. The entrance fee
was fixed at five shadings currency, and the annual subscription at the
same figure. A general meeting was held half-yearly for the purpose of
choosing managers, inspecting books, and deciding upon additions to the
library. A substantial frame building was erected in 1846, which is
still in good repair. The Institute was incorporated in 1878, at which
time the library comprised 1,108 volumes in good condition. No public
aid was received until 1879, when a Government grant of $400 was voted
to the Institute; and in 1880 a grant of $25 was made by the Township
Council. There are 1,737 volumes in the library of the Institute, which
has a membership of about sixty. The number of volumes issued last
official year was 1,825. The total amount of Government grants paid the
Institute from 1879 to 1883 amount to $560.64. The Government Inspector
in his last official report bears the following strong testimony to the
admirable condition and efficiency of this important factor in the
diffusion of intelligence among the people of Scarborough:—"The books
are well-arranged. 1 know of no library anywhere that is better kept. It
is really a credit to the municipality and its managers." The office of
librarian was held by David Martin from 1852 until 1882, when he was
succeeded by Sidney C. Thomson. There are few, il any, rural communities
in Canada where a public library has been so successfully carried on for
a lengthened period, and the fact speaks very highly for the
intelligence and public spiiit of the people of Scarborough.
The Township of
Scarborough contains eleven public schools, the situations of which are
apparent from the following table :—