Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board plaques
The Ontario Heritage Trust is a non-profit agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture, responsible for protecting, preserving and promoting the built, natural and cultural heritage of Canada's most populous province. It was initially known as the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board in the 1950s. In 1968, the Sites Board was incorporated into the Ontario Heritage Foundation by the Progressive Conservative government of John Robarts. Its name was changed to Ontario Heritage Trust in 2005
Charles William Jefferys 1869-1951 This house was the residence and studio of one of Canada's leading historical artists. Born in Rochester, England, he came to Toronto about 1880, and first worked as a lithographer's apprentice. He studied art under G.A. Reid and C.M. Manley, and was a pioneer in the painting of distinctive Canadian scenes. Jefferys had an intense interest in history and his reputation rests principally on his accurate and meticulous portrayal of early Canadian life. The best known collection of his historical sketches is "The Picture Gallery of Canadian History". Jefferys was a president of the Ontario Society of Artists and a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
Elizabeth Posthuma Simcoe 1766-1850 The wife of the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, Elizabeth Posthuma Gwillim was born at Whitchurch, Herefordshire, England. Orphaned at birth, she lived with her uncle, Admiral Samuel Graves, and subsequently married his god-son, John Graves Simcoe. She accompanied her husband to Upper Canada where she travelled extensively. Her diaries and sketches, compiled during these years, provide a vivid description and invaluable record of the colony's early life. In 1794, near this site, Mrs. Simcoe and her husband erected a summer house which they named "Castle Frank" in honour of their son. Returning to England in 1796, Mrs. Simcoe devoted her later years to charitable work. She is buried beside her husband at Wolford Chapel, Devon.
C.W. Jefferys 1869-1951 This house was the residence and studio of one of Canada's leading historical artists. Born in Rochester, England, he came to Toronto about 1880, and first worked as a lithographer's apprentice. He studied art under G.A. Reid and C.M. Manley, and was a pioneer in the painting of distinctive Canadian scenes. Jefferys had an intense interest in history and his reputation rests principally on his accurate and meticulous portrayal of early Canadian life. The best known collection of his historical sketches is "The Picture Gallery of Canadian History". Jefferys was a president of the Ontario Society of Artists and a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
Colborne Lodge 1836 Built by John Howard (1803-90), it was named after Sir John Colborne, Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada. Howard, an architect and engineer, emigrated from England 1832 becoming Toronto's first City Surveyor 1834 and City Engineer 1838. He was an art collector, painted scenes of Toronto and devoted himself to improving his estate, which forms part of present-day High Park. In 1873 he offered his property to the city for a public park, but retained possession of the Lodge and 18 ha until his death.
The Bishop's Palace 1818 On this site stood the "Bishop's Palace", residence of Bishop John Strachan (1778-1867), built in 1817-18 while he was the incumbent of St. James' Church. Born in Scotland, he came to Upper Canada in 1799 where he achieved prominence as an educator and churchman and was consecrated first Anglican Bishop of Toronto in 1839. He served as a member of the province's Legislative Council 1820-41 and of the Executive Council 1815-36. During the Rebellion of 1837, the Loyalist forces that defeated William Lyon Mackenzie near Montgomery's Tavern assembled on the grounds of the Palace.
The "Canada First" Movement Originating in Ottawa, in 1868, with informal meetings of a few youthful patriots, 'Canada First' was the name and slogan of a movement to promote nationalist sentiment. Its founding members were Charles Mair, Henry Morgan, William Foster, G.T. Denison and R.G. Haliburton. Two years later the movement created the North-West Emigration Aid Society to encourage British immigration. In 1874 the group, now centred in Toronto, established "The Nation", a weekly journal, entered politics as the Canadian National Association, and founded the National Club as its rallying place. By then 'Canada First' had the support of such influential figures as Edward Blake and Goldwin Smith. Though the movement's political influence soon waned, its expression of a popular Canadian ideal had enduring significance.
Canada's First Victoria Cross Born in 1833 a short distance north of this site, Alexander Dunn was educated at Upper Canada College and at Harrow, England. In 1853 he was commissioned Lieutenant in the 11th Hussars. A participant in the charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava on October 25th, 1854, he saved the lives of two of his regiment by cutting down their Russian attackers, and thus became Canada's first winner of the newly-created Victoria Cross. In 1858 Dunn helped to raise the 100th Royal Canadian Regiment, which he later commanded. In 1864 he transferred to the 33rd (Duke of Wellington's) Regiment, and four years later was accidentally killed while hunting in Abyssinia.
The Church of the Holy Trinity 1847 This church was made possible by a gift from Mary Lambert Swale of Yorkshire, England, who stipulated that 'the seats be free and unappropriated forever'. At that time most other Anglican churches charged pew rentals. John Simcoe Macaulay donated the land, then on the outskirts of Toronto. Bishop John Strachan consecrated the church and Henry Scadding was first rector. Henry Bower Lane, architect, designed the modified Gothic church in the ancient cruciform plan. Bricks were hauled from the Don Valley and timbers from the surrounding forests. The roof slates came as ballast in British sailing vessels. In the twentieth century the church developed a tradition of ministry to the needs of people in the inner city.
Colonel James Givins This school bears the name of, and is located on land formerly owned by, James Givens, who came to Canada after fighting on the British side during the American Revolution. In 1791 he was commissioned in the Queen's Rangers and subsequently served as Indian agent at York from 1797. Appointed Provincial Aide-de-Camp to General Brock during the War of 1812, he was highly commended for the courageous manner in which, in command of a small band of Indians, he resisted American invaders during the attack on York in 1813. He served as Chief Superintendent of the Indian Department in Upper Canada 1830-1837. He died in March, 1846, at 87 and is buried in St. James Cemetery, Toronto.
The Birthplace of Standard Time In a building which stood immediately west of this site, Sandford Fleming (1827-1915) read a paper before the Canadian Institute on February 8, 1879, outlining his concept of a worldwide, uniform system for reckoning time. This was prompted by Fleming's observation of the difficulties imposed upon east-west travellers, particularly over long distances as in North America, by arbitrary variations in local time. Circulated among the principal governments of the world, Fleming's proposal gave rise to the International Prime Meridian Conference at Washington in 1884, at which the basis of today's system of Standard Time was adopted. The Conference also endorsed Fleming's idea of a "Universal Day" or 24-hour clock.
Charles Trick Currelly 1876-1957 Born in Exeter, Huron County, this renowned archaeologist, teacher and administrator was educated locally and in Toronto. Completing his studies at Victoria College, he received his B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1898 and his M.A. in 1901. While in London, England, he met the famous Egyptologist, Flinders Petrie, and accompanied him to Egypt. His work in various parts of the Mediterranean world inspired him with the idea of establishing an archaeological museum in Ontario. With the aid of the University of Toronto, he worked toward this goal and when the Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology was created in 1912, Currelly became its first director. He retained this post, as well as a professorship in archaeology at the University, until his retirement in 1946.
THE KENORA THISTLES, 1907 In January, 1907, a hockey team from Kenora, comprising E.Giroux (goal), A.H. Ross(point), S.I. Griffis(coverpoint), T. Hooper (rover), W. McGimsie (centre), R. Beaudro (rightwing), and T. Phiooips (captain and left wing), defeated the Montreal Wanderers in two challenge games at Montreal to win the Stanley Cup. The team was coached and trained by J.A. Link. The trophy, emblematic of the Canadian championship, had been presented by the Governor General, Baron Stanley of Preston, in 1892. Kenora is the smallest town ever to win the Cup.
The Founding of Uxbridge The settlement of this area was stimulated by the arrival about 1806 of approximately twelve Quaker families from Pennsylvania. About 1808 Joseph Collins completed the first saw and grist-mill around which a community developed. The mill was bought in 1832 by Joseph Gould. A post office named Uxbridge was opened in 1836 with Joseph Bascom as Postmaster. In 1844 Gould, industrialist, land owner and later first member of the Parliament of Canda for Ontario North, erected a large woollen mill. The completion in 1871 of the section of the Toronto and Nipissing Railway between Scarborough and Uxbridge fostered the growth of the community. Incorporated as a village with a population of 1,367 in 1872, Uxbridge became a town in 1885.
On the night of August 12, 1814, seventy seamen and marines, led by Captain Alexander T. Dobbs, R.N., embarked in this vicinity to attempt the capture of three armed U.S. schooners lying off American-held Fort Erie. One of the six boats used had been carried some 40 km from Queenston, while the others were brought overland from Frenchman's Creek. Masquerading as supply craft, the force boarded and seized the "Somers" and "Ohio", the "Porcupine" alone escaping. Two of the attackers, including their second-in-command, Lieutenant Copleston Radcliffe, R.N., were killed. This daring exploit was the last naval action fought on the Great Lakes during the War of 1812.
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