1788 Mann “Plan of Torento Harbour with the proposed Town and part of the Settlement”

“This earliest detailed proposal for the town the British planned to build near the natural harbour was never laid out as it was too large and elaborate for a pioneer community. It was also applied to the site with little regard for its natural features.

This plan is similar to the model plan, authorized by Governor Lord Dorchester the following year, for townsites in townships fronting on water. The mile square town was surrounded by a government and military reserve on the waterfront and by a public common. Beyond this were 24-acre "town parks" for the private use of some residents of the town.”

- Isobel Ganton & Joan Winearls, MAPPING TORONTO'S FIRST CENTURY 1787-1884

Click the image to view a full-size version (pdf).

Plan of Torento Harbour with the proposed Town and part of the Settlement, Gother Mann

Plan of Torento Harbour with the proposed Town and part of the Settlement
Signed 6th Dec. 1788, Gother Mann Captain of Command, Royal Engineers
Scale: One mile to two inches

Image courtesy Library and Archives Canada: NMC4434/5(4433?). (U of T has this scan.)
Winearls, MUC no. 2011 (2)

Ruins of a trading fort = the french Fort Rouillé, burned in 1759.

“... This 1788 plan provides the perfect graphic representation of the British Government’s attempt to impose eighteenth-century rational order on the Canadian wilderness. It is a view of Toronto as a tabula rasa, a canvas on which to project grand plans and and hoped-for futures.”
“As can be seen in the illustration, the plan includes a central square containing military and government buildings surrounded by a common, which, in turn, is enclosed to the north, east and west by a residential area. The whole territory is bounded by the modern High Park, Broadview Avenue, and Bloor Street. The old Carrying Place [cf. the Toronto Purchase map -N.] is there, but shown as a road leading to Lake la Clie, a misspelling of lac aux Claies, the name usually given to Lake Simcoe as the former ‘lac Toronto’ fell into disuse.

The plan is what one might expect of a military engineer and may go back in origin to the gridiron settlements that Roman engineers designed for coloni, or pensioned veterans in garrison towns. In Roman terms, Mann’s square of public buildings becomes a forum and the residential squares a setting for the houses of the discharged soldiers [...] The idea of public buildings in a neat British square separated in perpetuity from the residential area by a green common with shade trees and sheep quietly grazing is quite delightful, but fantastic and unrealistic when one considers the rising terrain and the deeply penetrating ravines. These topographical problems would hardly be appreciated in London, where Mann’s plan of ‘Torento’ was forwarded with the colonial correspondence in 1790.”

- Eric Ross Arthur & Stephen A. Otto, Toronto: No Mean City

Gother Mann (1747-1830), a graduate of the Royal Military Academy, commanded the Royal Engineers in Canada from 1785 to 1791 and from 1794 to 1804. Returning to England, he later commanded the whole Corps of Engineers, and ended his career as a general and Inspector General of Fortifications.”  - Ganton/Winearls, ibid.

John Collins, the Deputy Surveyor General -- also present the previous year at the Toronto Purchase -- was responsible for this similar map, dated the same year:

Click the image to view a full-size version.

1788 Plan of Harbour of Toronto, John Collins

Plan of the Harbour of Toronto with the proposed town and settlement. [the above image is a John Ross Robertson reproduction I believe]
‘Copied from a plan of Mr. Collins, it does not agree with the survey made by L. Kotte in 1783 (Plan 1.24) Engr. D. R. Kotte's survey agrees with one taken in 1793 by J. Bouchette Chateau. In Lord Dorchester's No. 48 to major Genl. Simcoe.’

‘Explanation : The lots round the common are called town parks. The lots beyond are farm lots A.A.A. reserved lots for public purposes. A on map refers to situation in Capt. Mann's report of the 6th December 1788, as appearing proper to be occupied for the defence of the entrance of the harbour.’

The top of the map corresponds roughly to where Finch Avenue now runs. The map was used to demonstrate land that should be held in reserve where such reserves may probably be required for Public purposes.

Image courtesy TPL: T1788/4Mlrg. See also LAC.
Winearls, MUC no. 2010

See also this version (alas, all I have been able to obtain is this b&w scan):

Plan of the Harbour of Toronto with the Town and Settlement, 1788
Winearls MUC no. 2010
Image via University of Toronto Map and Data Library [I believe this scan is of the original]

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