Origins of the Military Reserve Surrounding Fort YorkFrom the start Lt. Gov. John Graves Simcoe's plans for Toronto included a large Reserve for military purposes west of the townsite. Initially it was said to be 'about 1000 acres,' but was shown later to likely contain 1040 acres. Usually it was called the Military Reserve, but the name Garrison Reserve was used too. Some preferred Ordnance Reserve. In the 1870s Henry Scadding distinguished between the Reserve west of Fort York, and the Garrison Common between Peter Street and Garrison Creek.
It took two hundred years but the Reserve was whittled away bit by bit until it ceased to exist. The first grants to private owners were made in November, 1810; the last was the transfer of Victoria Memorial Square from the Government of Canada to the City of Toronto in July 2011.
1791 Jones: An Accurate Plan of a Survey [...] of the River Trent (Head) [North shore] of Lake Ontario to Toronto [Detail]
1817 Smith: Plan of York, U.C.
1818 Phillpotts: Plan of York
1827 Walpole & Phillpotts Sketch of the Military Reserve at York shewing the position [...] of the Government Buildings
1834 Chewett: City of Toronto and Liberties
1846 Gray: Toronto, C.W. Sketch shewing the Harbour and Ordnance Property, with the Encroachments...
1848 [Howard: Plan for the Western Park]
1851 Fleming: Topographical plan of the city of Toronto, in the province of Canada, from actual Survey
1852 Fleming/Wilkinson/Walker: Verification Plan shewing the Boundaries as marked on the ground of the Military Reserves belonging to the Ordnance in the City of Toronto, County and Township of York, Canada West
1853 Pilkington: Toronto. Rough Sketch showing tinted Green the portion of the Military Reserve leased to the Corporation [...]
1862 Dennis: Plan of the Ordnance Reserve at Toronto Canada
Proceed to Next Chapter: ‘Old’ Fort York