1817 Smith: Plan of York, U.C. & 1818 Plan of the Town of York

This military reconnaissance map of York was surveyed and drawn by Lieut. E.A. Smith of the 70th Infantry, and provided to Sir John Coape Sherbrooke, the Governor General of British North America at the time (via the Quartermaster General’s Office, Upper Canada).

Numerous key structures are noted, including the Garrison, Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, the Government House, and the ravine Blockhouse (roughly where Trinity Bellwoods Park is). As well, the estates of several leading citizens are indicated. The Smith map was part of a historically significant collection of Sherbrooke’s papers purchased at auction in June 2013 by Library and Archives Canada. It is my hope that at some point the map will be scanned in high resolution.

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Plan of York, U.C. / Surveyed and Drawn August 1817, by Lieut. E.A. Smith, 70th Inf'y E.A. Smith pinxit
Image courtesy of Library and Archives Canada

Another, later version of this map was prepared by Smith for Sherbrooke’s successor, Lord Dalhousie (George Ramsay). Slightly smaller in coverage than the 'Sherbrooke' iteration, this plan is worth scrutiny as there are a small number of subtle differences that invite further reflection.

Based on the indication of Chief Justice William Campbell’s residence (Campbell House, at the head of Frederick on Duke Street), it is likely that this copy was created around 1821-1822 or after (Campbell purchased the land in 1821; the residence was built in 1822).

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Plan of York. Surveyed in 1817 by Lieut. Smith 70th Regt. E. A. Smith pinxit

Image courtesy of Acadia University, William Inglis Morse Collection: Accession no. 1931.004-WIM/58
Winearls, MUC no. 2041

Note: The Morse Collection label, bottom left, is slightly incorrect, as Lord Dalhousie was appointed Governor-in-chief of British North America in April, 1820.

The Smith maps should also be compared with the two Williams plans, and the 1818 Phillpotts Plan of York.

The next plan from 1818 shows the names of lot owners for the town, including park lots.

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Plan of the Town of York W.C. [9 June 1818]
Image courtesy Toronto Public Library: T1816-3/4Mlrg. Winearls, MUC no. 2044

The names are interesting to contrast with those found on the [David] Smith plans for the enlargement of York, two decades previous—some names have changed, while others remain the same.

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