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Thursday, 27-Apr-2017 06:51:05 EDT
whitchurch stouffville, town profile

HISTORY
On September 23, 1787, 1,035 square kilometres were purchased from the Mississagua Indians for £1,700 cash, a number of bales, and boxes containing cloth, blankets, laced hats, pieces of ribbon, brass kettles, mirrors, tobacco, fish hooks, ammunition, tools, and three hundred litres of rum. This agreement later became known as the 'Toronto Purchase'. Misunderstandings between Upper Canada Officials and the Indians about land alocation resulted in tense resentment until 1797 when the Mississaguas – with the assistance of the leader of the Grand River Iroquois and Honorary Mississagua Chief – withdrew in defeat to the Peterborough and Niagara areas. The Western part of Whitchurch and the Toronto Purchase were left to the European settlers.

Between 1800 and 1802, John Stegman completed a survey of the township which created a system of land concessions. This allowed for the distribution of land to settlers that remains visible today.

In the early 1830s, large parts of the area's forrest was cleared to lay way for the old Stouffville Road, connecting York (now Toronto) and Brock Township. A post office was opened in 1832 and the name Stouffville was standardized. The hamlet of Stouffville grew rapidly and by 1849, it had one physician, one surgeon, two stores, two taverns, one blacksmith, one waggon maker, one oatmeal mill, one tailor, and one shoemaker.

Intensive forestry in Whitchurch Township led to large-scale deforestation, eroding the soils, and reducing the wooded areas to merely 7 percent by 1910. Vivian Forest, a large conservation area, was successfully established in 1924.

On January 1, 1971, Whitchurch Township and the Village of Stouffville were merged to create the Town of Whitchurch–Stouffville.

TODAY
One of the nine municipalities nested in York Region, Whitchurch-Stouffville is divided into six wards and incorporates various communities such as Ballantrae, Bethesda, Bloomington, Gormley, Lemonville, Lincolnville, Musselman's Lake, Pine Orchard, Pleasantville, Preston Lake, Ringwood, Vandorf, Vivian, and Wesley Corners fifty kilometres north from the downtown core of Toronto. Its motto is 'Country Close to the City'.

Ballantrae
Named for the village of Ballantrae in South Ayrshire, Scotland, the community is centred around the intersection of Aurora Road (York Regional Road 15) and Hwy 48.

Bethesda
The hamlet is centred at the intersection of Warden Avenue and Bethesda Road in the south-eastern region of Whitchurch–Stouffville.

Bloomington
The hamlet is centred at the intersection of 9th Line and Bloomington Road near the eastern boundary of the town of Whitchurch–Stouffville.

Gormley
The area of Gormley overlaps parts of Richmond Hill and Whitchurch–Stouffville. It was divided into two parts due to the construction of Highway 404.

Lemonville
The hamlet is centred at the intersection of McCowan Road and Bloomington Road, in the geographical centre of Whitchurch-Stouffville. The town was named after George Lemon, who was granted land at this location in 1805.

Musselman's Lake
Musselman's Lake is part of the Oak Ridges Moraine, with much of the area forested, deviding Lake Ontario and Lake Simcoe. Residential areas are around the two lakes and on a few other large lots within Musselman's Lake.

Pine Orchard
The hamlet is centred at the intersection of Warden Avenue and Vivian Road in the north-western region of Whitchurch–Stouffville. The founder of the hamlet was Isaac Phillips, who arrived from Muncy County, Pennsylvania in 1802.

Pleasantville
A hamlet consisting of mainly farms, residential homes and horse ranches.

Preston Lake
The community is centred around Preston Lake, a natural glacier kettle lake, immediately north-east of the intersection of Bloomington Road and Woodbine Avenue, east of Hwy 404, near Aurora.

Ringwood
The hamlet is centred at the intersection of Stouffville Road and Hwy 48, on the Little Rouge River, a tributary of the Rouge River on the Oak Ridges Moraine. It was named Ringwood in 1856 by George Sylvester, postmaster and owner of a general store, after the town of Ringwood, in Hampshire, England.

Vandorf
This small hamlet is the most westerly settlement within the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville. Downtown Vandorf is located on Woodbine Avenue, approximately 2 km north of Bloomington Road and just east of Hwy 404.

Wesley Corners
The hamlet is located at the intersection of Woodbine Avenue and York Regional Road 15. It was originally known as Hacking's Corners, after Rev. James Hacking who settled in the area in 1817. The hamlet eventually became known as Wesley, in honour of the founder of the Methodist movement, John Wesley.

Web page content last updated Thursday, February 21, 2013

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