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  #21  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2019, 6:33 PM
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When the Toronto area was first explored by Europeans it was occupied by the Iroquois, who had established several settlements in the area - the largest of which being Teiaiagon on the banks of the Humber River, home to an estimated 5000 people.


https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/up...ge-500x293.jpg


It and the other settlements were abandoned when the the Mississaugas displaced the Iroquois in 1701 however. The French were next to establish trading posts in the area, Fort Douville in 1720 on the Humber, and Fort Rouillé in 1750 on what are now the Exhibition grounds, but they too were abandoned shortly thereafter when the British conquered New France.

The beginnings of the current city start when the British founded the town of York in 1793 to be the new capital of Upper Canada. It was a pretty minor outpost for the first few decades though, with the population maxing out at around 1,500 people until the town was sacked and burnt to the ground in the War of 1812.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/York,_...:York_1803.jpg


Where the city's urban history really begins is in the 1830s. This is when it was incorporated as Toronto, and the population boomed as tens of thousands of Irish immigrants arrived (Toronto's population was over 90% Irish at the time), the city modernized, and experienced events like the Upper Canada Rebellion.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:K...onto-1840s.jpg


Not much of this era remains though the beyond the street grid that was established - it was the 1880s where the modern, industrial city really emerged in earnest, with the population more than doubling from 80,000 to 190,000. Much of the original Georgian city was swept away over the coming decades and replaced by the new Victorian one which still defines much of the cityscape.

From this, in the 1850s:


https://www.blogto.com/city/2011/01/..._of_the_1850s/


To this a few decades later:


https://torontolife.com/culture/art/...n-photo-essay/
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  #22  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2019, 6:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Denscity View Post
So what is the defining measure of a city's age?
I'd say, it starts at the point where there's a permanent population and a street grid. For Castlegar that's probably ~1900...?

How would you define it?
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  #23  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2019, 8:11 PM
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London

Settlement 1793 by Simcoe who had a home near the forks of the Thames River. He founded the settlement hoping it would become the capitol of Upper Canada {this is how London got it's name as Simcoe hoped that such a name would help in his efforts to make London the capitol} but by 1826 that honour went to Toronto. The first major public building was the court house which burnt down and a new one was built.............the iconic Old Courthouse we see today which is a replica of McMalihide Castle in Dublin and it was completed by 1827. By 1835 London had 3600 people and due to the War of 1812, the Battle of Longwoods was in the London District so the British built a permanent garrison in 1838 and it's future was secure. By 1855 London became an official city as it's population hit 10,000.

Contrary to popular belief, although London is a very green city with a lot of major and large parks and a green canopy, that is not why the city is called "The Forest City". That nickname began nearly as early as the first settlement but came about because the city was designed to become a capitol and then regional centre but London had no navigatable waterways and little road connection so it was joked that in order to get there you had to battle your way thru forests and the name stuck.
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  #24  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2019, 10:17 PM
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In Halifax, the original town layout influenced where some burial grounds are today. 20,000 people got buried where those red outlines are, just outside the original walls. Today this land is partly still cemetery, partly developed, and partly parkland. In the past there were problems with erosion causing skeletons to pop out of the ground.


Source


(1) is the nice burial area with some elaborate tombstones and monuments while (2) is where you got dumped in a mass grave if you were poor. The end of the yellow lines roughly corresponds to where the shoreline was originally. The rest is fill.
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  #25  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2019, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
I'd say, it starts at the point where there's a permanent population and a street grid. For Castlegar that's probably ~1900...?

How would you define it?
Ok let's go with that.
I'll look up when castlegar was first planned out.
Let's go with your definition.
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  #26  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2019, 10:36 PM
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Wiki says we were planned in 1897, and the CPR arrived in 1902.
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  #27  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2019, 10:55 PM
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Cobourg was settled by United Empire Loyalists in 1798 and incorporated as a town in 1837. Population was around 3000 at that time, so fairly large really!
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  #28  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2019, 10:58 PM
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That's still pretty damn young for a city

The incorporation date metric is just as arbitrary as municipal limits; I'm not a fan of either. St. John's and Calgary are cities of about the same age, using that criterion.
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  #29  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2019, 11:01 PM
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Cobourg was settled by United Empire Loyalists in 1798 and incorporated as a town in 1837. Population was around 3000 at that time, so fairly large really!
Shelburne NS also was founded by Loyalist refugees. In 1784, the population of the town was 17,000, making it the fourth largest community in North America.

Shelburne's current population is 1,743.
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  #30  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2019, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
Shelburne NS also was founded by Loyalist refugees. In 1784, the population of the town was 17,000, making it the fourth largest community in North America.

Shelburne's current population is 1,743.
Is there a lot of surviving stuff from those early days?
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  #31  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2019, 11:15 PM
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Is there a lot of surviving stuff from those early days?
Shelburne is actually one of the few towns in the Maritimes I have never been to, but I am aware that it has a very historic waterfront.
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  #32  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2019, 12:53 AM
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Shelburne is actually one of the few towns in the Maritimes I have never been to, but I am aware that it has a very historic waterfront.
It has a few nice old buildings but nothing really proportional to its peak population. It was basically settled by refugees for a number of years and failed to grow since it was not a good spot for a city. The soils around there are poor and it was not close to any other towns.

If you look on Google Maps you'll see an oddly large grid of streets including a bunch of rectangular blocks that are barely developed at this point. With most towns you see an old street network embedded in a newer one.

This bizarre history makes me wonder how much more developed the Maritimes could have become if only there had been a bit more stability and focus in settling the region. Instead there were always a bunch of different groups (French vs. English, British vs. American) who tried to stay separate and many areas were attacked over and over, people deported in large groups, etc.
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  #33  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2019, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
Is there a lot of surviving stuff from those early days?
Indeed, like most of the towns on the South Shore of NS, it's got a pretty decent 18th/19th-century core. I's pretty small and sleepy-looking though; it definitely doesn't look like a town that had 17,000 people in the late 18th-century though. That's surprising to learn.

Lunenburg, up the coast a ways, has a much more robust core, with a good grid of mixed-use streets rather than just one main drag. It's got to be one of the most thoroughly urban small towns in English Canada, dating back to 1753, with quite a bit remaining architecture from that era and the early Victorian era.
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  #34  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2019, 3:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ssiguy View Post
London

Settlement 1793 by Simcoe who had a home near the forks of the Thames River. He founded the settlement hoping it would become the capitol of Upper Canada {this is how London got it's name as Simcoe hoped that such a name would help in his efforts to make London the capitol} but by 1826 that honour went to Toronto. The first major public building was the court house which burnt down and a new one was built.............the iconic Old Courthouse we see today which is a replica of McMalihide Castle in Dublin and it was completed by 1827. By 1835 London had 3600 people and due to the War of 1812, the Battle of Longwoods was in the London District so the British built a permanent garrison in 1838 and it's future was secure. By 1855 London became an official city as it's population hit 10,000.

Contrary to popular belief, although London is a very green city with a lot of major and large parks and a green canopy, that is not why the city is called "The Forest City". That nickname began nearly as early as the first settlement but came about because the city was designed to become a capitol and then regional centre but London had no navigatable waterways and little road connection so it was joked that in order to get there you had to battle your way thru forests and the name stuck.
Southwestern Ontario was very dense bush with many rivers, creeks and marshes before European settlement. My hometown, Wallaceburg, was first settled in 1804 along the Snye River. The location was chosen because it appeared to be a clear plain with rich soil suitable for farming. Unfortunately, the reason the area was clear was because it flooded all the time. It was basically a swamp. Many of the settlers died within the first few years. The survivors relocated further inland along the Sydenham River by the 1830s, where present-day Wallaceburg stands. It was officially incorporated in 1875 and had 2,700 residents by 1891, 5,000 by 1941, and 10,500 by 1971.
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  #35  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2019, 1:05 PM
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Castlegar did ot incorporate until 1946 making it one of the youngest cities on earth.
Not even close. I can think of at least one from my home province that didn't even exist until the late fifties at the earliest.

There are others in Canada and hundreds around the world. I'd grant that by comparison, these newer cities are a definite minority but 80+ years ago is a long time even in terms of city establishment. Hell, half of Asia is building "new" cities right now and Africa is bound to be following suit sooner rather than later. And we're not even talking about cities that sprang out of nothing. If we include cities that existed as some form of settlement prior to their incorporation, we're getting in to the thousands of geographic points.

Probably about 50 percent of Canada's suburbs were just truck or wagon stops at best no more than 70 years ago.
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  #36  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2019, 4:18 PM
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Fredericton:

Fort Nashwaak was founded in what is now Fredericton on the north side of the Saint John River in 1691 and the French founded Saint Anne (now Fredericton) in 1732. The English took over after burning it to the ground in 1759. The British attempted settlement afterwards but failed. Fredericton was then settled by loyalists in 1783 and became the capitol of the colony of New Brunswick in 1785.
Edit: got offical city status in 1848 so it could have its Anglican cathedral built. Interesting story.
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  #37  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2019, 5:03 PM
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The first European settlements in this area were by French colonists who settled the north side of the Detroit River in 1701, and the south side in 1749, and the area has been continuously settled since then. The town of Sandwich (now the oldest part of Windsor) was incorporated in 1797, and the city of Windsor was officially incorporated in 1854.
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  #38  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2019, 6:45 PM
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Not even close. I can think of at least one from my home province that didn't even exist until the late fifties at the earliest.

There are others in Canada and hundreds around the world. I'd grant that by comparison, these newer cities are a definite minority but 80+ years ago is a long time even in terms of city establishment. Hell, half of Asia is building "new" cities right now and Africa is bound to be following suit sooner rather than later. And we're not even talking about cities that sprang out of nothing. If we include cities that existed as some form of settlement prior to their incorporation, we're getting in to the thousands of geographic points.

Probably about 50 percent of Canada's suburbs were just truck or wagon stops at best no more than 70 years ago.
Yeah, there’s quite a few places that were only first settled around or after the Second World War that are pretty big: Ajax, Elliot Lake, a lot of towns along the TCH in the interior of Newfounfland, places like that.

A dead giveaway is when the commercial centre of the town doesn’t even have street-fronting retail, but is a collection of plazas.
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  #39  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2019, 6:53 PM
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Edit: got offical city status in 1848 so it could have it's Anglican cathedral built. Interesting story.
I've no idea when our equivalent of that would be. St. John's became an Anglican Parish in 1699 but it was only a small, wooden church.



We didn't become a Diocese until 1839 (Diocese of Newfoundland and Bermuda). That relationship is as weird as our currency (our pounds were pegged to something in Belize, I think it was; and our dollars were haphazardly pegged to the Canadian dollar after 1895, but it never really worked that way). Newfoundland currency (dollars only) are still legal tender in Canada. The Terms of Union probably forbid it, but we should fire up the mint and solve all our financial problems at Canada's expense lol.

The current stone cathedral was started in 1847. It's still not complete (it's supposed to have a giant stone steeple in the middle like grander cathedrals in England).
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  #40  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2019, 7:12 PM
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Lunenburg, up the coast a ways, has a much more robust core, with a good grid of mixed-use streets rather than just one main drag. It's got to be one of the most thoroughly urban small towns in English Canada, dating back to 1753, with quite a bit remaining architecture from that era and the early Victorian era.
Lunenburg was a very rich town for a long time, and is a unique place culturally (Swiss/German and Huguenot French many of whom were very skilled artisans and had to adapt to a maritime-based economy out of necessity when they relocated to NS). It was the home base for a large merchant fleet that traded all around the Atlantic. Lunenburg vs. Shelburne is a good example of why historical population figures don't mean much. In the 1780's Lunenburg was already pretty established and prosperous while Shelburne was basically a refugee camp that people living out of ships were trying to turn into a city with limited success. Saint John NB is the successful version of Shelburne. Halifax and Louisbourg are similarly twins, and only one of them survived the Seven Years' War.

Here's a 1951 article on Lunenburg:

https://archive.macleans.ca/article/...p-on-the-shore

The cultural angle tends to be forgotten these days whereas it's mentioned prominently in writing from 60 years ago or more. Areas that were settled by French or English settlers, minorities like the Huguenots, or originally Gaelic-speaking populations all ended up with a different feel, although that is becoming more muted now.

Last edited by someone123; Dec 29, 2019 at 7:30 PM.
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