Place:Holland Landing, York, Ontario, Canada

NameHolland Landing
Alt namesSt Albans (pre 1800)source: Wikipedia
Coordinates44.15°N 79.7°W
Located inYork, Ontario, Canada
See alsoEast Gwillimbury (township), York, Ontario, Canadatownship in which Holland Landing located
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names

Holland Landing is a village in the former Township of East Gwillimbury in York County (since 1971 the Town of East Gwillimbury in York Region).


The text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

In 1793, Governor John Graves Simcoe came across what would be the future site of Holland Landing, then known as St. Albans, and believed this area would make an ideal shipping and defence point between York (now Toronto) and Georgian Bay. Holland Landing was named after Samuel Holland, first Surveyor-General of British North America, who had served on HMS Pembroke, under Captain John Simcoe, for whom Lake Simcoe is named.

Holland Landing was the northernmost point on the original alignment of Yonge Street. North of the town the Holland River is easily navigable, and the location was selected as a well sited inland port for Lake Simcoe, via the river. It was intended that Yonge Street, in combination with the similar Penetanguishene Road further north, would provide access to the upper Great Lakes from the city of York. Holland Landing would be a major point on this route.

However, it never served this intended role in any real capacity. The closest it came was during the War of 1812, when the British decided to retake the entire lake system through the construction of a number of first-rate ships in Kingston and Penetanguishene. A large anchor, over fifteen feet (roughly 4.6m) long and weighing approximately 4000 lbs (about 1816kg), for the frigate under construction at Penetanguishene was shipped from England and had made it as far as Holland Landing when the war ended. Today it serves as the gate guard at Anchor Park.

The town proper was not formed until the early 19th century, settled by the same Quaker immigrants as nearby Newmarket and Aurora. In 1815, a population of settlers from Selkirk, Manitoba arrived in Holland Landing after a conflict between them and the Métis.

Samuel Lount, a martyr of the 1837 Rebellion led by William Lyon Mackenzie, farmed and operated a smithy here. Lount was captured later, convicted of treason, and hanged on April 12, 1838.

The idea for a canal linking to Lake Simcoe and the Trent-Severn Waterway was approved and construction started in 1906. Holland Landing would connect Newmarket and Bradford. It was almost complete in the summer of 1912 – three lift locks, three swing bridges and a turning basin – when the new government of Robert Borden cancelled the project.

The project was abandoned, earning it the name "The Ghost Canal". It continues to serve as a historical landmark and popular tourist location.

Research Tips

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.

Early Records

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.
Images and indexes of civil registrations for the "viewable" years can be found on paid websites, and indexes only on FamilySearch. The FamilySearch Wiki on Ontario Vital Records explains how these records are organized and their availability.
In September 2014 announced that its paid website has been subjected to a "houseclean" of its Ontario BMD database, adding data that had been omitted and making many corrections. Its provision now includes

  • Births, with 2,172,124 records covering 1869-1913.
  • Marriages, with 3,393,369 records for 1801-1928 including Ontario county, district and Roman Catholic origins as well as province-wide civil registration.
  • Deaths, with 2,190,030 records comprising Ontario civil registrations of deaths, 1869-1938 and registrations of Ontario overseas deaths for 1939-1947.

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 1921. 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.
Other websites, some paid and some free, also provide Canadian census originals and/or indexes online. One can also view censuses on microfilm at the LAC, at the Archives of Ontario (see address above), or at large libraries throughout Canada.

Hard-to-Find Places

E-books, Books and Newspapers

  • The Internet Archive, particularly texts from Canadian universities, can contain interesting material
  • Our Roots is a Canadian website similar to The Internet Archive
  • Global Genealogy is an online bookshop specializing in Ontario material who will ship anywhere in the world.
  • The Ancestor Hunt is a blog listing old Ontario newspapers that are available online, both free and pay websites. This is a very extensive list.

    === Websites with more local information on York County (York Region) ===


  • Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. Serves the current City of Toronto including Etobicoke, York Township, Weston, Long Branch, New Toronto, Mimico, Swansea, Forest Hill, East York, Leaside and North York as well as the original City of Toronto. Contains a table of links to Toronto City Directories to be found online. Many other services and publications.
  • Heritage Toronto has a large website and newsletter outlining Toronto's history and includes a series of links to other organizations.
  • There may be many other libraries and museums housing information for genealogical searching in York County or York Region including others with more of a Toronto bias.
source: Family History Library Catalog
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Holland Landing, Ontario. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.