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Toronto Purchase

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File:Map of the Toronto purchase (normal orientation).jpg
A map of the Toronto purchase. notable is the British surveyor's insistence on using a grid, instead of using the natural features to demarcate boundaries, such as Etobicoke Creek.

The Toronto Purchase was the surrender of lands in the Toronto area from the Mississaugas of New Credit to the British crown. An initial, disputed, agreement was made in 1787, in exchange for various items. The agreement was revisited in 1805, intended to clarify the area purchased. The agreement remained in dispute for over 200 years until 2010, when a settlement for the land was made between the Government of Canada and the Mississaugas for the land and other lands in the area.

1787 purchase

The 1787 purchase, according to British records, was conducted on September 23, 1787, at the "Carrying-Place" of Bay of Quinte. The British crown and the Mississaugas of New Credit met to arrange for the surrender of lands along Lake Ontario. In the case of the Toronto area, the Mississaugas of New Credit exchanged Script error: No such module "convert". of land in what became York County (most of current Toronto and the Regional Municipality of York bounded by Lake Ontario to the south, approximately Etobicoke Creek/Highway 27 to the west, approximately Ashbridge's Bay/Woodbine Avenue-Highway 404 to the east and approximately south of Sideroad 15-Bloomington Road to the north) for some money, 2,000 gun flints, 24 brass kettles, 120 mirrors, 24 laced hats, a bale of flowered flannel, and 96 gallons of rum.

At the time, the Mississaugas believed that the agreement was not a purchase extinguishing their rights to the land, but a rental of the lands for British use in exchange for gifts and presents in perpetuity.[1]

1805 indenture

An Indenture (a revision) of the deal was made on August 1, 1805. Both the 1787 Purchase and its 1805 Indenture were registered as Crown Treaty No. 13.

The Purchased was signed by Sir John Johnson, William Claus (deputy superintendent of Indian Affairs representing the Crown). Witness consisted of:

File:Ratification of Toronto Purchase, 1805.jpg
Ratification of Toronto Purchase, 1805


  • Captain JW Williams of the 49th Regiment
  • P Selby
  • JB Baufruze

First Nations

  • Chehalk
  • Queneperion
  • Okemaperesse
  • Wabensse
  • Kenebonecence
  • Osenego
  • Acheton

The land sold consists of:

For this revision, the Mississaugas were given the amount of ten shillings.

The Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation also claimed the Toronto Islands, which was not part of the purchase as the agreement only went to the Lake Ontario shoreline.

2010 settlement

Starting in 1986, the Mississaugas opened a land claims settlement process with the Government of Canada to rectify its grievance over the Toronto Purchase and a smaller plot of land near Burlington Bay.[2] In 2010, Canada agreed to pay $145 million for the lands, based on the ancient value of the land, extrapolated to current dollars. The money was distributed to the band government, with each of the 1,700 present day Mississaugas receiving $20,000, with the rest placed in trust for future generations.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Smith 1987, p. 26.
  2. ^ "Fact Sheet - The Brant tract and the Toronto Purchase specific claims". Government of Canada. Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  3. ^ Edwards, Peter (June 8, 2010). "Shrugs greet historic $145M Toronto land claim settlement". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  • Smith, Donald B. (1987). Sacred Feathers. Toronto, Ontario: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-6732-8. 

External links