Mount Dennis is an "urban community" in the former York Township, York County and since 1998 located in the City of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. It is located northwest of West Toronto Junction and southeast of the village or town of Weston.
Mount Dennis is a working-class neighbourhood in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was part of the former City of York before the amalgamation of Toronto in 1998. The area is bordered by Clouston Avenue (north of the intersection of Jane Street and Weston Road) to the north, and Black Creek to the east and south, as the creek curves parallel to Alliance Avenue before crossing under Jane Street on its way to drain into the Humber River, which creates a natural border to the west. Eglinton Avenue West is a major transportation corridor within Mount Dennis. Had Metropolitan Toronto's planned municipal expressway system been completed, the neighbourhood would have been bisected by the Richview Expressway.
The area gets its name from the Dennis family (led by John Dennis (1758–1832)), Loyalist shipbuilders who owned the property, as well as a boatyard on the Humber, at the turn of the 19th century. It remained largely rural, with orchards, gravel and clay pits and a few market gardens. Kodak Canada moved its factory to a site at Eglinton Avenue and Weston Road, along the rail line running next to Weston Road, in 1913. This factory complex, known as "Kodak Heights", was a major employer for Mount Dennis' residents until it was shut down in 2005.
The area became what urban geographer Richard Harris described as an "unplanned suburb" in his book, Unplanned Suburbs: Toronto's American Tragedy 1900 to 1950. Workers at Kodak and the nearby stockyards once located at Weston Road and St. Clair Avenue, as well as CCM, Willys Overland and other factories north and south of Mount Dennis built their own homes before municipal services were in place, and small developers built "infill" homes, gradually filling the streets with the current housing stock of former cottages and small, fully detached homes, among the most affordable housing stock in Toronto for recent immigrants and first-time homeowners.
The area is a classic example of Toronto's diversity, with dozens of ethnic groups represented, however the largest ethnic group by far are from the Caribbean and West Africa with the vast majority of visible minorities of Jamaican descent. With respect to religion, there are many black store front churches representing the many faiths of the African and Caribbean communities as well as Western-European, Middle Eastern and Asian faiths such as Christian, Roman Catholicism, Pentecostalism, Seventh Day Adventist), Muslim, and Buddhist. Among the languages spoken are Spanish, Vietnamese, and Portuguese.(Source: Statistics Canada 2006 Census).
The primary source for basic documents (vital statistics, land records, wills) for people who lived in the Province of Ontario is the Archives of Ontario, 134 Ian Macdonald Blvd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M7A 2C5.
Civil registration did not begin in the province until 1869. Before then there may be church records of baptisms and burials. For the most part these are still held by the denomination who recorded them. Copies of marriage records made pre-1869 had to be sent by individual clergymen to the registrar of the county in which the marriage took place. These marriage records are available through Ontario Archives, on micorfilm through LDS libraries, and on paid and unpaid websites, but because they were copied at the registrars' offices, they cannot be considered a primary source.
Vital Records after 1869
Birth, marriage and death registrations are not open to the public until a specific number of years after the event occurred. Births to 1915 are now available [October 2014]; dates for marriages and deaths are later. Birth and death registration was not universally carried out in the early years after its adoption. Deaths were more apt to be reported than births for several years. The more rural the area, the less likely it would be that these happenings were reported to the authorities.
Land Records and Wills
Information on how to access land records and wills is best sought on the Archives of Ontario website. An ancestor's land holding might be found on Canadian County Atlas Digital Project if he was in occupancy circa 1878.
Association for the Preservation of Ontario Land Registry Office Documents (APOLROD). A list of Land Registry Offices for all Counties of Ontario.
The original censuses are in the hands of Library and Archives Canada, known to Canadians as "LAC". Copies of original microfilms are online at the LAC website for all censuses up to 1911. Each census database is preceded with an explanation of the geographical area covered, the amount of material retained (some census division material has been lost), the questions on the census form, and whether there is a name index. Census divisions were redrawn as the population increased and more land was inhabited. The 1921 census is only available through Ancestry.ca, but it is free-to-view.
E-books and Books
Websites with more local information on the City of Toronto