Act of Incorporation

The rapid growth of the town of York, whose population of 720 in 1816 increased to over 9,000 in less than 20 years, necessitated a new civic structure and improved delivery of municipal services.

page 1 of Act

An Act to extend the limits of the town of York.
352.07135 T5916 \B BR
p. 1

"Whereas from the rapid increase of the population, commerce and wealth of the Town of York, a more efficient system of Police and municipal government than that now established has become obviously necessary."

The Act of Incorporation extended the town of York’s boundaries from Bathurst Street to the west to Parliament Street to the east and from just above Lot Street (later Queen Street) to the north, with the Lake Ontario shoreline forming a natural southern boundary for the newly formed City of Toronto. Parliament Street was so named as the site of Upper Canada’s first Parliament buildings, which were destroyed by fire by the Americans during the War of 1812.

map: City of Toronto, the Capital of Upper Canada, 1834

Toronto was small, with an area of less than five square kilometres (or two square miles) and a population of 9,254. The city consisted of five wards: St. Andrew, St. David, St. George, St. Lawrence and St. Patrick, names which evoke its ties to Great Britain. Toronto of 1834 was primarily British in ancestry, Protestant, and Tory-leaning although political discontent was on the increase, culminating in the unsuccessful rebellion of 1837 in Upper Canada.

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Source: Special Collections, Toronto Public Library.