1834 HWJ Bonnycastle/Tazewell: City of Toronto: The Capital of Upper Canada

Act to Incorporate the City of Toronto, March 6, 1834
Act to Incorporate Toronto
Courtesy TPL: 352.07135 T5916 BR
“The Town of York was incorporated as the City of Toronto on March 6, 1834, and this map was produced to record the event. It was the first separately published map of the city. The boundaries of the city and its liberties — areas appended to the city to provide room for expansion — are shown in the small inset map. The northern boundary of the city proper was 400 yards north of Queen Street [aka Lot Street -N.], an indication that the southern part of the park lots had been developed by the early 1830s.

Note the clusters of public buildings: those of municipal significance east of Yonge at the edge of the Old Town and the provincial buildings in the New Town. The "Lands Reserved for a Public Pleasure Ground" and a "Proposed Esplanade" on the waterfront indicate an early interest in keeping the area for recreational uses.”

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

I am extremely pleased to present this map for general inspection, with the gracious permission of its archival guardian, the Royal Ontario Museum. Thanks also to the Friends of Fort York for their tenacious assistance in re-discovering this original plan, absent from public view for nearly thirty years.

Click the image to view a full-size version.

Map: City of Toronto, 1834, by HWJ Bonnycastle. Lithographed by Samuel Tazewell.

CITY of TORONTO: The Capital of Upper Canada 1834
Respectfully dedicated to HIS EXCELLENCY SIR JOHN COLBORNE K.C.B. &c &c &c
H.W.J. Bonnycastle and Lithographed by S.O. Tazewell

Courtesy of the Royal Ontario Museum, © ROM
[955.87.2: : Tazewell map of Toronto, 1834. Lithograph on paper. Map by H.W.J. Bonnycastle]

Winearls, MUC no. 2066

The following version was drawn in 1919 by Wm. R. Gregg, and may assist in discerning specific details on the map. Note how the orientation of the map has been flipped to the conventional direction we are familiar with today.

Click the image to view a full-size version. 

1834 Bonnycastle/Tazewell City of Toronto - redrawn version by WR Gregg

Image courtesy of Toronto Public Library: An Act of Incorporation.

An additional commentary for this plan of Bonnycastle and Tazewell’s may be found here.

Samuel Oliver Tazewell, formerly a Kingston watchmaker and jeweller, introduced the new art of lithography to Canada and produced his first lithographed map in 1831.

Lithography is a method of printing from an image on the surface of a stone. Requiring less skill than copper-plate engraving, it was ideal for maps because the draftsman could draw directly on the stone or transfer a map from paper to the stone.

Tazewell built his own press and used local stone, both of which may have contributed to the roughness of his printing (note the map to the left). However, the newspapers of the day (see the Patriot, 11 Apr. 1834) hailed the new printing method for its speedy production of multiple copies and noted its particular usefulness. for advertising lots for sale.”

“Henry William John Bonnycastle (1814-1888) was the son of R.H. Bonnycastle, and the 1834 map of Toronto that he drew is closely related to the 1833 plan prepared by his father. Educated at Upper Canada College and Sandhurst, he served as a Brigade Major during the 1837 Rebellion.”

- Ganton/Winearls, ibid.

This following map drafted by J. G. Chewett was drawn up 3 years later, and similarly runs from the Military Reserve to the Don River, north to Lot St. Chewett, the senior draftsman at the time, was the instigator behind many difficulties for Tazewell, as the latter’s cheaper lithographic method threatened Chewett’s expensive hand drawn approach (see the Tazewell bio for an account of their rivalry).

Click the image to view a full-size version.

Toronto. by J.W. Macaulay. Surveyor General's Office Toronto 12th June 1837

Toronto. [Sgd] J.G. Chewett S.G. Office 12th June 1837; Surveyor General’s Office Toronto 12th June 1837 J.W. Macaulay Survr Genl
Image courtesy Toronto Public Library: MsX.1921.2. Winearls, MUC no. 2072

See Also
1834 Chewett Plan of the City of Toronto and Liberties
1834 Alpheus Todd Engraved Plan of the City of Toronto

Please ‘Like’ and Share these maps with other Toronto history enthusiasts! (+1s are also welcome!)