TORONTO. The District Town of the Home District, situated in the south-east of the township of York, on a bay of Lake Ontario. The neighbourhood first commenced settling about fifty years ago; but for some years it advanced very slowly. In 1799 the whole district, which then included a large portion of the surrounding country, which has since been formed into separate districts, contained only 224 inhabitants. In 1817 Toronto (then Little York) contained a population amounting to 1200; in 1826 it had increased to 1,677; and in 1830, to 2860. Since then its progress has been rapid; and in 1842 it contained 15,336 inhabitants; and in 1845, 19,706. Toronto became the capital of the Upper Province in the year 1797; and remained so till after the union of the Upper and Lower Provinces, when the seat of government was removed to Kingston in 1841 by Lord Sydenham. Had this event taken place ten years sooner, it might have had a serious effect upon the prosperity of the town; but in 1841 Toronto had become a place of too great commercial importance to feel much ill effect from the removal of the government offices, and the loss of the expenditure of a few thousand pounds per annum. The situation of that portion of the town bordering on the bay is rather low, particularly in the east of the city, towards the River Don; in the west the banks are higher, and the land generally slopes gradually up from the water's edge; so that the farther back from the bay, the higher, drier, and more healthy does the situation become. Toronto was incorporated in the year 1834. By the act of incorporation the city was divided into five wards, called St. George's, St. Patrick's, St. Andrew's, St. David's, and St. Lawrence's—each ward to have the power to elect two aldermen and two common councilmen, who are to choose the mayor from amongst the aldermen. The corporation to have the power to make by-laws for the regulation of the internal police of the city, &c. The improvements made in the City of Toronto within the last two years have been astonishing; many new buildings (and those the handsomest in the city) have been erected; and the side-walks, several of which were in a very dilapidated state, and some almost impassable, have been relaid and much improved. Toronto now contains ninety-one streets, some of which are of great length; the planked portion of King Street being about two miles long. The extreme length of the city, from the Don Bridge to the western limits of the city, is upwards of three miles. Property which was purchased a few years since for a mere trifle, has increased wonderfully in value; and many houses in King Street pay a ground rent of £100. Rents are generally as high as in the best business situations in London, England; and some houses in good situations for business let at from £200 to £250 per annum.
Among the public buildings those particularly deserving of notice are the new front to Osgoode Hall, the banks, and St. George's Church. The Lunatic Asylum and the Catholic Cathedral, now erecting, will be extensive and handsome buildings. Besides these, many of the private buildings have added greatly to the embellishment of the city and its environs. The new stores at present erecting in King Street, from the design of Mr. Thomas the architect, will be when finished the handsomest buildings of the kind in Canada, and equal to anything to be seen in England.
The public buildings in Toronto comprise the Jail, a large stone building, situated in the east end of the town; the Court-house, which is of brick, and contains the district offices; the old Market-house, over which are the Newsroom and Athenaeum (or Public Library); the new City Hall, where are kept the offices of the corporation officers, and the police office; the Upper Canada College; the old Parliament Buildings (part of which is at present occupied by the officials of King's College); the Hospital; and the Post Office. There are within the city twenty-one churches and chapels; of these five are Episcopal, one Church of Scotland, one Presbyterian Church of Canada, one United Secession Presbyterian, two Roman Catholic, two British Wesleyan, one Primitive Methodist, two Canadian Wesleyan, one Congregational, one Christian, one Unitarian, one Baptist, one Disciples, and two for coloured people—Methodist and Baptist. There are also a House of Industry, Mechanic's Institute, two Fireman's Halls, Fish Market, Custom-house and Barracks. The city is lighted with gas, and there are water-works for the conveyance of water from the bay to the different houses; and there are also in the city regiojar stations for coaches and cabs. Steamboats leave daily for Kingston, Hamilton, Niagara, Queenston and Lewiston, and Rochester, calling at Port Hope, Cobourg and other intermediate places; and stages leave daily for all parts of the country. Omnibuses have been established to run regularly to Richmond Hill, Thornhill, Cooksville and Streetsville, and every hour from the market place to Yorkville; a horse ferry-boat plies during the day between the city and the opposite island.  
Amongst the different societies and institutions are to be found the Freemasons, who have a provincial grand lodge; the St. George's, St. Patrick's and St. Andrew's Societies, St. Patrick's Benevolent Society, three Odd Fellows’ Lodges, a Home District Agricultural Sceiety, Toronto Horticultural Society, the Medico-chirurgical Society, Toronto Athenæum. Church Society, Bible Society, Mechanic's Institute, a Dispensary, a Theatre (the performers in which are principally amateurs), a Temperance Reformation Society, a Turf Club, Cricket Club, Curling Club and Chess Club, four Fire Companies with four engines, two Hook and Ladder Companies, a Hose Company, and a Property Protection Company. There are also a Home District Savings Bank, a Fire and Life Assurance Company, and a Mutual Fire Insurance Company.— The University of King's College is empowered to grant degrees in the several arts and sciences; the Presbyterians have a Theological Seminary, and the Congregationalists an Academy.
Ten newspapers are published; British Canadian, Herald, Patriot, British Colonist, Examiner, Christian Guardian, Star, Mirror, Banner and Globe. The following monthly periodicals are also published here—the Upper Canada Jurist, British American Cultivator, and Sunday-school Guardian. There are fifteen common schools in operation in the city. The following Government and District Offices are kept in Toronto:—Judge of District Court, Sheriff, Clerk of Peace, Treasurer, Registrar, Inspector of Licenses, Crown Lands Agent, Judge of Surrogate Court, Registrar of ditto, District Clerk, Clerk of District Court, Deputy Clerk of Crown, Superintendent of Schools, Probate Office, Clergy Reserves' Office, Commissariat Office, Ordnance Office, Royal Engineers’ Office, Marriage License Office, Indian Office, Emigrant Agent, and Board of Works. Professions and Trades.—Twenty physicians and surgeons, sixty-five lawyers, eighteen wholesale merchants, thirty-four dry goods and general stores, eleven hardware stores, eighty-three grocery and provision stores, two china and glass stores, one stove manufactory, six booksellers and stationers, two apothecaries, one manufacturing chemist, one steam grist mill, nine chemists and druggists, eleven distilleries, four foundries, thirteen breweries, three tanneries, one starch maker, four architects, two surveyors, five artists and portrait painters, one wood engraver, three engravers, two drawing masters, four music masters, one dancing master, thirteen printers, three accountants, six land agents, two dentists, one hundred and seven hotels, inns and taverns, eleven boarding houses, one optician, one cloth manufacturer, nine watchmakers, nine gardeners and florists, one wine merchant, one music store, two oil-cloth manufacturers, one silversmith, three jewellers, two coach makers, one finding store, sixteen auctioneers, one nail maker, seven axe makers, one patent leather dresser, six curriers, two furriers, eight soap and candle makers, one brass founder, two iron turners, one ivory turner, one paper maker, one fanning-mill maker, one boat builder, hot and cold baths, one bellows maker, one dyer, two dairies, three French polishers, thirteen wheelwrights and waggon makers, seven bookbinders, one brush maker, two broom makers, nineteen saddlers, sixteen builders, two rope makers, four gun makers, one camphine oil maker, two veterinary surgeons, five plumbers, two sail makers, one millwright, one scale maker, ten confectioners, five turners, four picture-frame makers and gilders, one pump maker, seven maltsters, three tobacconists, five upholsterers, four livery stables, nine shoe stores, nine hatters, forty-nine shoemakers, twenty-five cabinet makers, two cutlers, one sculptor, one chair maker, nineteen bakers, two greengrocers, twenty-three tin and copper smiths, six coopers, two marble workers, thirty seven blacksmiths, twenty-seven butchers, forty-seven clothiers and tailors, one farrier, one fancy silk worker, three sausage makers, one blacking maker, one basket maker, twenty-seven painters, two locksmiths, twenty-three milliners and dressmakers, four ladies' schools, one custom-house broker. Banks—the head quarters of the Upper Canada Bank and Home District Savings Bank, and branches of the Banks of British North America, Montreal, City Bank of Montreal, Commercial and Gore: and the following companies have offices here— Home District Mutual Fire Insurance Company, British America Fire and Life Assurance Company, Phoenix Fire lnsurance Company (England), Alliance Fire Insurance Company (do.), Britannia Fire Insurance Company (do.), Eagle Life Insurance Company (do.), Montreal Fire and Inland Marine Insurance Company, Marine Insurance Company, Canada Company, Gas and Water Company. Principal Taverns—“Macdonald's Hotel,” “North American Hotel,” and “Wellington Hotel,”—besides which there are many excellent inns and taverns, some of which, in point of accommodation and comfort are nearly, if not quite equal to the above. Principal Boarding Houses—Club House, corner of King and York Streets; Mrs. Henderson, Queen Street; Mrs. Cullen, 46 King Street East; Mrs. Hutthinson, Adelaide Street; W. Hall, 5 King Street East; —. O'Brien, corner of Wellington and Bay Streets; John Chapman, Bishop's Buildings, Adelaide Street. (Smith's Canadian Gazetteer, 1849)

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