A City in the Making: Progress, People and Perils in by Frederick H. Armstrong

By Frederick H. Armstrong

A urban within the Making examines certian of the occasions that came about within the 19th century Toronto, paying specific awareness to those that carved a thriving city out of the frontier submit that was once town of York. (1989)

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Many of these businesses, of course, were ephemeral, but others were to grow and play a leading role in the city for decades. Whether the new stores were wholesale or retail, Montrealcontrolled or Toronto-owned, importers from England or from the United States, or both, they all had one thing in common: the desire to develop business both in the city itself and in its hinterland. Their newspaper advertisements frequently contained specific instructions for local papers in other parts of the province to copy them.

If we accept Gras's terminology, the city had gone beyond the first stage and entered phases two and three of metropolitan economic growth, even though the great boom in both these stages would not come until the railways were completed in the mid-1850s. The city was also the centre of a growing hinterland which extended throughout most of the settled areas of the province to the north and 47 west, and financially, to an extent, as far as Kingston in the east. Leaving Gras's terminology aside, we may say that by 1834 Toronto was already much more to Upper Canada than simply the political capital; it was also clearly the prime focus of its business.

Gibson left us on last Thursday week and had not returned — he left a young man his apprentice who also left on Tuesday morning without giving any reason so that I have been left entirely without assistance — The young man also locked up the Level — so that I was left no choice but to go on with 2 labourers and to lay out and stake of[f] and measure but the road, and return and level it (a short process) when I get Capt. Bonnycastle's level. Adding that he was now near the Ridge (Oak Ridges), he closed with a plea for more money.

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