Place:Mimico, York, Ontario, Canada

TypeFormer village
Coordinates43.613°N 79.492°W
Located inYork, Ontario, Canada     (1911 - 1967)
See alsoEtobicoke, York, Ontario, Canadatownship in which Mimico located until 1911 and again after 1967
Toronto, York, Ontario, Canadacity into which Etobicoke amalgamated in 1998
source: The Atlas of Canada

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

Mimico is a neighbourhood (and a former municipality) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, being located in the south-west area of Toronto on Lake Ontario. It is in the south-east corner of the former Township (and later, City) of Etobicoke, and was an independent municipality from 1911 to 1967.

Mimico is the oldest of the former Lakeshore Municipalities. The Town of Mimico was established by a plan of sub-division in 1856, but was not sub-divided from the former Township of Etobicoke until 1911. The land area of Mimico originated mainly from three family farms, namely: Stock Estate (North of Portland), Hendry Estate (between Royal York and Queens Ave), Van Every Estate (between Royal York Rd and Dwight Ave). Mimico was an independent municipality until 1967, when it was amalgamated into the new Borough of Etobicoke (later, City of, in 1984), which was itself amalgamated in 1998 into the current city of Toronto.

Today, Mimico is primarily a residential area with two commercial strips; one along Royal York Road and the other along Lake Shore Boulevard West, parallel to the shoreline (from Louisa Avenue to Allen Avenue). There is also a former commercial strip along Mimico Avenue connecting Royal York Road and Lake Shore Boulevard West. Some areas of industrial use exist along the railway corridor. In early 2012, Toronto Life magazine ranked Mimico first on their "Where to Buy Now" list of Toronto neighbourhoods.


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

After arriving in the Toronto area, Elizabeth Simcoe, wife of Upper Canada's first Governor and the founder of Toronto, refers to the large number of (passenger) pigeons after which Mimico is named. The area known as "Mimico" was originally located up the Mimico Creek at Dundas Street, where Upper Canada's early highway connecting Toronto to the west and the community of Mimico were located.

One of Etobicoke's most prominent businessmen, William Gamble, opened a sawmill on the west bank of Mimico Creek up from the lake, and a small settlement for the mill workers was built nearby. With Mr Gamble's patronage Etobicoke's first church, Christ Church (Anglican), was opened on Church Street (Royal York Road). At this time, Mimico was in Etobicoke Township, which had been meeting with the other townships in the southern part of the County of York (what would become Metropolitan Toronto) as the Township of York (excluding the Town of York, later City of Toronto).[1] Mr. Gamble eventually moved his business away, but with the addition of a school at the foot of Church St (Royal York Rd), Mimico would not disappear.

Early development (1850–1905)

By 1850, after the Union of The Canadas, Etobicoke was formally recognised as a Township. The Great Western Railway (originally chartered as the Toronto & Hamilton Railway) was built through the southern part of the Township. The first Mimico railway station opened in 1855, just north of the tracks beside Christ Church on Church St. (now Royal York Rd.). A plan of subdivision was commissioned with side-streets for the 'Town of Mimico'. Mimico was advertised as being '8 minutes' from Toronto (by train), then bordered by Dufferin St. In 1858, a Mimico post office had been opened just south of the Railway Station on Church St. (Royal York Rd.) where St. Leo's Church is today and in 1863, the Wesley Methodist Church was established.

This prompted the original Mimico area on Dundas St. to adopt a new name; Islington. In Tremaine's 1860 Map of York County, the Mimico subdivision is reprinted with all its side streets, however by 1861, the plan had already failed, the area largely returning to agricultural use. Mimico's founding families were therefore mostly farmers: the Van Everys (Loyalists), the Hendrys and the Stocks.

Between 1883 and 1893, there were 13 separate annexations to the City of Toronto which brought the border of that city to the Humber River. In 1890, the Mimico Real Estate Security Company Ltd was formed to divide and sell lots in Mimico. This plan included the subdivision of Mr. Edward Stock's land as far north as the Stock's Side Road (an extension of Toronto's Queen Street, now the Queensway) and a cattle path he had established as a shortcut from Church St. (Royal York Rd.) to Lake Shore Road became Mimico Avenue.

Around that time, the Mimico area was incorrectly shown on some fire insurance plans as extending North of Lake Ontario, West of the Humber River, South of North Queen Street (Delroy Drive) and East of Mimico Avenue (now Kipling Avenue), as the community of Mimico was located in the immediate vicinity of the railway station and post office. A year later a Presbyterian Church was built on Mimico Avenue. Mimico was expected to grow quickly. A second post office was opened in the Town of New Toronto (established in 1890). A small number of Victorian buildings were built on the newly laid out streets assuring that this time they would not simply disappear. Mimico and the other lakeshore communities west of the Humber River were eventually linked by an independent radial railway line run by the Toronto and Mimico Electric Railway and Light Company, which originated in the Sunnyside area. This line was originally intended to link with a line started from Hamilton. However, the western end of the T&M was never completed past Port Credit.

The radial railway line brought many of Toronto's wealthy to Mimico's waterfront area, where several large estates were built. First and most impressive of which was the Featherstonaugh Estate which was shaped like a castle at the bottom of Royal York Rd. This period in which Mimico took shape was also the period in which Mimico's namesake, the passenger pigeon, disappeared from the area, the last known bird dying near the beginning of the next century in the United States. A Mimico resident, Mr. John Kay on noticing the disappearance of this species donated a stuffed passenger pigeon to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto to preserve some of the last evidence of what had been Mimico's namesake.

Incorporation (1905–1967)

Mimico became a police village in 1905[2] and the next year the Grand Trunk Railway's Mimico railway yards were opened. Mimico became a village in 1911[3] electing its first Village Reeve, Robert Skelton. The same year, a second post office named 'Mimico Beach' was established to serve the southern half of Mimico, located on Lake Shore Road. Mimico became the smallest community to obtain a Carnegie Library in which the town council met at first. The first immigrants began to arrive in Mimico and at this time Etobicoke's first Catholic Church was built in Mimico, St. Leo's.

Mimico's largest employer was traditionally the railway (with its yards mostly located in New Toronto), but because New Toronto was planned as an industrial town, many larger industries located there. Nevertheless, a new train station was needed and was built on the south side of the tracks near the north end of Station Road. In 1909, a hotel was established beside the railway called the Windsor Hotel (today the Blue Goose Tavern). Although other 1890s subdivisions in Toronto at Roncesvalles and the Beaches were entirely built up in the pre-war years, Mimico's growth was slow with no street being fully built and some still without any residences built on them. Nevertheless, many foursquare houses were built mostly in south-central Mimico in this period. In 1916, a referendum was held on the question of New Toronto joining Mimico, this was accepted by Mimico voters but rejected in New Toronto. Mimico incorporated as a fully independent town in 1917.

During the First World War, in 1917, Mimico became fully independent and elected its first Mayor, John Harrison, by acclamation. The town also reacted to the sensational execution of British Nurse Edith Cavell by naming Mimico's old Southampton Street in her memory in 1916. Another street was also given this name in Toronto's East End leading to recent attempts by Toronto to rename Mimico's Cavell Ave. At the end of the war, the local chapter of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire, who met at the Carnegie Library, presented the town with two plaques honouring all those from the town who had enlisted and another honouring those who had died.

With the union of the Methodist, Congregational and many Presbyterian churches, the old Wesley Methodist Church on Church St (Royal York Rd) became vacant as a new United Church was built on Mimico Ave.[4] The Town of Mimico purchased the old Methodist Church which served as the Town Hall. In 1922, Mimico's Baptist Church was built. Many bungalow style -storey homes were built in the interwar years, especially south of Mimico Avenue, and most notably, the tree-lined 'crescent' streets (Lake Cres, Eastbourne Cres, Dartmouth Cres and Lake Shore) were developed with large cottage–style homes. In 1928 the local streetcar line merged with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) which at first combined the line with Toronto's 'Queen' line.

Doubts about Mimico's survival appeared during the Great Depression when the Town went deeply into debt and many businesses disappeared. The depression also bankrupted some of Toronto's wealthiest including Sir Henry Pellatt (builder of Casa Loma) who had already built a house in Mimico (Bailey House) which stood at the bend in Lake Shore near Fleeceline overlooking the commercial stretch on Lake Shore. Smaller industries moved into areas around the railway tracks.

Just before the outbreak of World War II, Canada's first 'Limited Access' Highway, the Queen Elizabeth Way, was opened by Queen Elizabeth just north of the Town of Mimico's northern boundary.

Mimico's longest-serving mayor (at different periods from 1936–1948) was Amos Waites, who alternated in this post with Mayor Archibald Norris. About the time of the Second World War many 1-storey houses were built, filling in most of the gaps in the housing especially in northern and western Mimico. Many new immigrants came to Mimico in the 1950s. In 1953, Mimico became one of thirteen cities and towns which formed the new Metropolitan Toronto. The next year Hurricane Hazel struck and while communities around Mimico were some of the worst affected, the storm left Mimico largely untouched. The Town of Mimico saw its future in attracting many more small families and working people to the area and began to tear down older homes that stood on large lots and filled in these and the last remaining empty lots with apartment buildings.

Smaller 3-storey apartment buildings went up on almost every street while larger apartments appeared along much of the Lake Shore on the east side. More commercial space was also built especially on the northern side of Lake Shore Road from Mimico Ave. to Burlington St. A period of church expansion occurred with Christ Church Anglican and St. Leo's Roman Catholic Church[5] building new Churches at this time for larger congregations. St. Leo's new church was built on the site of Mimico's 1858 Post Office which was demolished and shortly after the postmaster's home (Werden House) was purchased to become the new rectory. In 1958, the Presbyterian Church built a new church building beside the old church. A legion hall was established in Mimico in Sir Henry Pellatt's former Bailey House.

Merger with Etobicoke (1967–1998)

In 1967, the Town of Mimico was merged with two other lake shore communities (the Town of New Toronto and the Village of Long Branch) and the Township of Etobicoke to form the Borough of Etobicoke. The Last Mayor of Mimico, who was first elected in 1960, was Hugh Griggs who edited Mimico's official history 'The Mimico Story'. While Canada celebrated its Centenary, the new Mimico Centennial Library was opened. Mimico had torn down the Carnegie Library (the only of Toronto's Carnegie Libraries to be demolished) and two adjacent houses to build the larger Mimico Centennial Library, which was set back from the corner location of the previous library building. The plaque honouring the towns First World War veterans was removed to a new park named 'Vimy Memorial' at Lake Shore Blvd. West and Queens Ave. The legion hall that had been in Sir Henry Pellatt's Bailey house was moved to Eden Court, the former farm residence of the Stock family, when Bailey house was demolished for a street to serve new industries east of Mimico. Bailey House's time as the Legion hall is commemorated in the name of the street it was demolished for: Legion Road.

Mimico began slowly to decline as the children of families who lived in the small houses of the 1940s moved to the growing outer suburbs and the apartments did not live up to the hopes they had generated as they quickly deteriorated. Businesses also continued to fail and many of the small industries moved out. In 1984, Etobicoke became a city and a plan was prepared to rejuvenate Mimico which called for limiting the amount of commercial space by rezoning Mimico Avenue as non-commercial.[6] The same year, Humber Bay Park was opened, consisting of two artificial peninsulas on either side of the mouth of Mimico Creek, with one on the east side and one on the west side (enclosing Mimico's beach to create a harbour) which connect to the main land at the end of Mimico Creek. The creation of the artificial park led to unintended consequences with some of the sandy shoreline in Mimico eroding away.

With declining enrollment at Mimico High School, the building was offered to the Catholic board as the number of Catholics had been increasing with many Italian and Polish immigrants arriving in Mimico. This offer was refused and an Adult Learning Centre was opened there instead. The Centre has since swapped buildings with John English Elementary School. An estate on Lake Shore Boulevard was bought by the Polish government at this time to become their Toronto Consulate. A new railway station was built in the 1970s to service GO trains on the site of the 1855 station on the north side of the tracks just south of Christ Church on Royal York while the old 1916 station fell into disrepair.

Post-amalgamation (1998–present)

In 1998, Etobicoke was amalgamated with Metro Toronto and its five other municipalities into the new City of Toronto. Much of the former industrial land was subdivided for 'Monster Homes' in the 1980s and later for townhouses, a process that continues today. Old plans for rejuvenating Mimico and its waterfront are also slowly being realized. The strip along Lake Shore Boulevard east of Park Lawn, formerly a strip of motels, became an area of numerous condominium apartment buildings. Condominium apartment buildings are also being built within the historic area of Mimico.

Mimico's oldest church, Christ Church Anglican experienced two fires within a short period of time and the remains were demolished leaving the old cemetery and a new park where the church once stood. The possibility of Mimico 'gentrifying' is sometimes mentioned in plans for Mimico but this has only taken place on a very small scale. Greater attempts at preserving Mimico's history are also being made with the historical designation of Eden Court (former home of Edward Stock) and the preservation and ongoing restoration of Mimico's old railway station.

Efforts have also been made recently to prevent the demolition of the Town of Mimico's last municipal building (Firehall at #13 Superior Ave. - now demolished for a condominium) and the Franceshini/Ormsby Estate (Amedeo Garden Court property).

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 the City of Toronto ===
  • 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.
  • History and Genealogy at the Toronto Public Library. Not the easiest website to find one's way around but contains some very useful material. Just looking though the old photographs in the Digital Library can be both interesting and informative.
  • Digital Toronto City Directories. Toronto Public Library has digitized all of the Toronto city directories in its collections that were published between 1833 and 1969. Suburbs and separate villages which have now been part of Toronto for a century or so are included. All the directories can be accessed from this website. Some are PDFs published by TPL itself; others are on Internet Archive (and may be more difficult to access). There are no breaks between letters of the alphabet, and the street-by-street listings precede the alphabetical ones so it may take time to find someone with a surname beginning with L or M.
  • City of Toronto Archives. It has a vast digital collection of photographs online--many taken when roadworks were being planned and show a street's architecture, but the archive is also well worth a visit when in Toronto--it holds assessment records back to 1853, maps of neighbourhoods, and a library of local reference books.
  • Canadiana Library at North York Public Library This library houses a wide collection of local genealogical material, provides microfilm readers for the Canadian census and for local newspapers, and is the home of the Ontario Genealogical Society's own library. This collection has moved to the main Toronto Public Library on Yonge Street north of Bloor Street.
  • There may be many other libraries and museums housing information for genealogical searching in Toronto and York Region
source: Family History Library Catalog
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Mimico. 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.