Previous Index Next




The early history of the Jesuit settlements in Ontario, which might find a Kentuckian parallel in tales of " the dark and bloody ground," lie outside our subject, being dealt with by Professor A. F. Chamberlain, the best authority on the Indians of this region, in a special paper. The geological basis for the history of Toronto has also been made the subject of an article by Professor Coleman. In that article it appears that from far distant ages the neighbour-hood of Toronto was distinguished as the embouchure of a great river from the Northland, discharging the waters of the vast inland seas of that early era into a lake which was much larger than the present Ontario. Had this river remained to our time Toronto might have been already a second Chicago. But the oldest records say that the site was a well-known Indian trading-post and centre of exchange, one of the most popular etymologies for the name being " a place of meeting," and a place of meetings Toronto has certainly been. Two great trails crossed here, one from the north, the other from the west ; and danger and honour have met more than once at the crossing.*

The first reference to Toronto quoted by Dr. Scadding in his delightful volume of " Collections and Recollections," is found in a Memoir on the state of affairs in Canada, transmitted to France in 1686 by the Governor of the day, the Marquis de Denonville.

Referring to preparations for meeting a hostile ad-

* " Send danger from the east unto the west, So honour cross it from the north to south,

And let them grapple."—Shakespeare, I Hen. IV, I: iii.


Previous Index Next