200 Years Yonge: A History by Ralph Magel

By Ralph Magel

The Yonge road as conceived via Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe is widely known, from its starting as a primary Nation’s path, to the Yonge highway we all know this day, extending from Toronto to Innisfil. Augustus Jones, the surveyor assigned via Simcoe, the French, the German pioneers, the Loyalists – all have been to persuade the construction of Yonge road. With the construction of a course got here tolls, hotels, villages, extra immigrants and eventually an road of economic system serving because the key transportation path for the folk, items and companies that signify our province.

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Yonge Street was in York Township when the Home District Council (York City Council) met in offices over the Sheppard store at Yonge and Sheppard Avenue — the store known later as Dempsey Brothers Hardware (See page 115). Yonge Street was still in York Township when the York County League of Women Voters was formed - a powerful policy group for several decades. York Township, the City of York, and life in the Humber region are still linked in many ways to Yonge Street. Howland Mill office c. 1905 1909 Yonge, northeast corner of Davisville Avenue O U L C O T T S H O T E L AND NORTH T O R O N T O TOWN HALL Yonge Street west side at Montgomery Avenue, c.

Contracts were let by auction, with companies to build specific roads and recoup their own costs through tolls permitted at given locations. A kind of t(boom" ensued, with many companies incorporating to bid on and build sections of plank roads. This picture shows No. 1 tollgate on Yonge just north of the concession road (Bloor Street), which hoped to collect from those travelling onYonge into York, from the heavy traffic along Davenport Road diverted onto Yonge, and from Yorkvillers themselves.

3 onYonge. Tolls were not very successful. The plank roads lasted, at best, only ten or twelve years before the planks had to be replaced. The public resented the tolls and went to great pains to avoid them. Some companies failed to recoup their investment and went into bankruptcy. In 1894, the government abolished toll roads and took over management of intercity routes. Except for a few pictures, and one surviving tollkeeper's cottage in fragile condition, nothing remains of the era of plank and toll roads.

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