Maps of the Early Ontario Districts
The Archives of Ontario provides two Maps of the original Districts of Upper Canada as they were in 1788 before Upper Canada was created and three years later in 1791. Note that the only surveyed townships in 1788 were in Mecklenberg and Lunenburg Districts, but by 1791 there were surveyed townships all around the shore of Lake Ontario, and along the St Lawrence and the Ottawa Rivers.
A further series of maps illustrate the growth of the District system across the province.
The Midland District
The Midland District was called the Mecklenburg District from 1788 to 1792. The district was originally bounded to the east by a line running north from the mouth of the Gananoque River and to the west by a line running north from the mouth of the Trent River. Its southern boundaries were Lake Ontario and the St Lawrence River and the northern boundary was the Ottawa River. The district town was Kingston.
The original counties within the Midland District were Frontenac, Addington, Lennox, Prince Edward, Lanark and Renfrew. Parts of Hastings and Leeds were also included. In 1792 Mecklenburgh was renamed the Midland District. The Midland District retained its original composition until the 1830s. In 1831 Prince Edward County was made into Prince Edward District and in 1837 Hastings County was separated out into another District called Victoria. (At that time Hastings included today’s counties of Victoria and Haliburton). The Midland District was comprised of the counties of Frontenac, Addington and Lennox when it was abolished in 1849.
Ontario Districts: an Explanation
When Upper Canada was formed in 1788 it was immediately divided into four districts: Hesse, Nassau, Mecklenburg and Lunenburg. In 1792 these names were changed to Western, Home, Midland and Eastern respectively. The expansion in population of the province, and in the area settled, obliged the number of Districts to increase. By 1849 there were twenty individual districts, each with a number of counties under its jurisdiction.