In undertaking some recent research into local land records, I stumbled across a great collection of heritage resources put together by the Regional Municipality of York. Entitled Built to Last: Heritage Properties from York County through to York Region, it includes a number of historic maps, miscellaneous historical information and a collection of heritage properties from across the region.
The site was created as a Canada 150 project and can be found at https://ww4.yorkmaps.ca/canada150/.
One of the most fascinating parts of the site (I think) is a “spyglass” that you can drag over a recent satellite view of York Region, which has been overlayed on the 1860 Tremaine Map of the County of York, Canada West, published by George R. Tremaine. Tremaine published a number of large county maps in the 1850s and 1860s, which have become invaluable for researchers across the province. Not only do they provide the standard information found on such maps, such as roads, churches, post offices, land owners, etc., but also small illustrations of notable buildings. It also serves as a form of business directory, with businesses and subscribers listed around the map itself.
If you would like to see the full 1860 Tremaine map, it can be viewed online by visiting York University’s website. We also have copies of the Tremaine map in the Richmond Hill Public Library’s Mary-Lou Griffin Local History Room, located on the 4th floor of Central Library at 1 Atkinson Street.
McMaster University has some great information about the Tremaine map of the County of Peel, including a fascinating video on its restoration. Visit McMaster University’s website at https://brighterworld.mcmaster.ca/articles/newly-conserved-rare-map-provides-vivid-snapshot-of-life-in-19th-century-ontario/ to learn more.
Learn more about built heritage in York Region by visiting Built to Last.