to writing. Scarcely was the document completed when DeHaren
arrived. Had there been the least further delay on his part, how
to dispose of the prisoners would have been a perplexing question.
Lieutenant Fitzgibbon was now soon Captain Fitzgibbon. He
had previously been a private in the 19th and 61st Regiments, hav-
ing enlisted in Ireland at the age of seventeen. On the day of his
enrolment, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant ; and a very
few years later he was a sergeant-major. He saw active service in
Holland and Denmark. His title of Colonel was derived from his
rank in our Canadian Militia.
His tall muscular figure, ever in buoyant motion ; his grey, good-
humoured vivacious eye, beaming out from underneath a bushy,
light-coloured eyebrow ; the cheery ring of his voice, and its ani-
mated utterances, were familiar to everyone. In the midst of a
gathering of the young, whether in the school-room or on the play-
ground, his presence was always warmly hailed. They at once re-
cognized in him a genuine sympathizer with themselves in their
ways and wants j and he had ever ready for them words of hope
Our own last personal recollection of Colonel Fitzgibbon is con-
nected with a visit which we chanced to pay him at his quarters in
Windsor Castle, where, in his old age, through the interest ot
Lord Seaton, he had been appointed one of the Military Knights.
Though most romantically ensconced and very comfortably lodged,
within the walls of the noblest of all the royal residences of Europe,
his heart, we found, was far away, ever recurring to the scenes of
old activities. Where the light streamed in through what seemed
properly an embrasure for cannon, pierced through a wall several
yards in thickness, we saw a pile of Canadian newspapers. To pore
over these was his favourite occupation.
After chatting with him in his room, we went with him to attend
Â§ 2 3*] Q ueen Street â€” (Brock Street to the H umber. 347
Divine Service in the magnificent Chapel of St. George, close by.
We then strolled together round the ramparts of the Castle, enjoy-
ing the incomparable views. Since the time of William IV. the
habit of the Military Knights is that of an officer of high rank in
full dress, cocked hat and feather included. As our venerable
friend passed the several sentries placed at intervals about the
Castle, arms were duly presented ; an attention which each time
elicited from the Colonel the words, rapidly interposed in the midst
of a stream of earnest talk, and accompanied by deprecatory ges-
tures of the hand, " Never mind me, boy ! never mind me ! "
Colonel Fitzgibbon took the fancy of Mrs. Jameson when in
Canada. She devotes several pages of her " Winter Studies" to
the story of his life. She gives some account of his marriage. The
moment he received his captaincy, she tells us, " he surprised
General Sheaffe, his commanding officer, by asking for a leave of
absence, although the war was still at its height. In explanation,
he said he wished to have his nuptials celebrated, so that if a fatal
disaster happened to himself, his bride might enjoy the pension of
a captain's widow. The desired leave was granted, and after rid-
ing some 1 50 miles and accomplishing his purpose, he was back in
an incredibly short space of time at head-quarters again. No fatal
disaster occurred, and he lived," Mrs. Jameson adds "to be the
father of four brave sons and one gentle daughter."
The name of Colonel Fitzgibbon recalls the recollection of his
sister, Mrs. Washburne, remarkable of old, in York, for dash and
spirit on horseback, spite of extra embonpoint ; for a distinguished
dignity of bearing, combined with a marked Hibernian heartiness
and gaiety of manner. As to the " four brave sons and one gentle
daughter," all have now passed away : one of the former met with
a painful death from the giving way of a crowded gallery at a poli-
tical meeting in the Market Square, as previously narrated. All
four lads were favourites with their associates, and partook of their
Of Spadina Avenue, which we crossed in our approach to Col.
Fitzgibbon's old home, and of Spadina house, visible in the far
distance at the head of the Avenue, we have already spoken in
our Collections and Recollections, connected with Front Street.
In passing we make an addition to what was then narrated. The
career of Dr. Baldwin, the projector of the Avenue, and the builder
of Spadina, is now a part of Upper Canadian history. It presents
348 Toronto of Old. [Â§ 23.
a curious instance of that versatility which we have had occasion
to notice in so many of the men who have been eminent in this
country. A medical graduate of Edinburgh, and in that capacity,
commencing life in Ireland â€” on settling in Canada, he began the
study of Law and became a leading member of the Bar.
On his arrival at York, from the first Canadian home of his father
on Baldwin's Creek in the township of Clarke, Dr. Baldwin's pur-
pose was to turn to account for a time his own educational acquire-
ments, by undertaking the office of a teacher of youth. In several suc-
cessive numbers of the Gazette and Oracle of 1802-3 we read the fol-
lowing advertisement : "Dr. Baldwin understanding that some of the
gentlemen of this Town have expressed some anxiety for the esta-
blishment of a Classical School, begs leave to inform them and the
public that he intends on Monday the first day of January next, to
open a School in which he will instruct Twelve Boys in Writing,
Reading, and Classics and Arithmetic. The terms are, for each
boy, eight guineas per annum, to be paid quarterly or half-yearly ;
one guinea entrance and one cord of wood to be supplied by each
of the boys on opening the School. N.B. â€” Mr. Baldwin will meet
his pupils at Mr. Willcocks' house on Duke Street. York, De-
cember 1 8th, 1802." Of the results of this enterprise we have not
at hand any record.
The Russell bequest augmented in no slight degree the previous
possessions of Dr. Baldwin. In the magnificent dimensions assigned
to the thoroughfare opened up by him in the neighbourhood of
Petersfield, we have probably a visible expression of the large-
handed generosity which a pleasant windfall is apt to inspire.
Spadina Avenue is 160 feet wide throughout its mile-and-a-half
length j and the part of Queen Street that bounds the front of the
Petersfield park-lot, is made suddenly to expand to the width fo
90 feet. Maria Street also, a short street here, is of extra width.
The portion of York, now Toronto, laid out by Dr. Baldwin on a
fraction of the land opportunely inherited, will, when solidly built
over, rival Washington or St. Petersburg in grandeur of ground-
plan and design.
The career of Dr. Rolph, another of our early Upper Canadian
notabilities, resembles in some respects, that of Dr. Baldwin.
Before emigrating from Gloucestershire, he began life as a medical
man. On arriving in Canada he transferred himself to the Bar. In
this case, however, after the attainment of eminence in the newly
Â§ 23.] Queen Street â€” (Brock Street to the Humber. 349
adopted profession, there was a return to the original pursuit, with
the acquisition in that also, of a splendid reputation. Both acquired
the local style of Honourable : Dr. Rolph by having been a member
of the Hincks-ministry from 1851 to 1854; Dr. Baldwin by being
summoned, six months before his decease, to the Legislative
Council of United Canada, while his son was Attorney-General.
Mr. William Willcocks, allied by marriage to Dr. Baldwin's
family, selected the park lot at which we arrive after crossing
Spadina Avenue. A lake in the Oak Ridges (Lake Willcocks) has
its name from the same early inhabitant. In 1802 he was Judge of
the Home District Court. He is to be distinguished from the
ultra-Reformer, Sheriff Willcocks, of Judge Thorpe's day, whose
name was Joseph j and from Charles Willcocks, who in 1818 was
proposing, through the columns of the Upper Ca?iada Gazette, to
publish, by subscription, a history of his own life. The advertise-
ment was as follows (what finally came of it, we are not able to
state) : â€” " The subscriber proposes to publish, by subscription, a
History of his Life. The subscription to be One Dollar, to be
paid by each subscriber ; one-half in advance ; the other half on
the delivery of the Book. The money to be paid to his agent, Mr.
Thomas Deary, who will give receipts and deliver the Books.
Charles Willcocks, late Lieutenant, City of Cork Militia. York,
March, 17th, 1818."
This Mr. Charles Willcocks once fancied he had grounds for
challenging his name-sake, Joseph, to mortal combat, according
to the barbaric notions of the time. But at the hour named for the
meeting, Joseph did not appear on the ground. Charles waited a
reasonable time. He then chipped off a square inch or so of the
bark of a neighbouring tree, and, stationing himself at duelling
distance, discharged his pistol at the mark which he had made. As
the ball buried itself in the spot at which aim had been taken, he
loudly bewailed his old friend's reluctance to face him. " Oh, Joe,
Joe ! " he passionately cried, " if you had only been here !"
Although Joseph escaped this time, he was not so fortunate after-
wards. He fell, as we have already noted in connexion with the
Early Press, " foremost fighting " in the ranks of the invaders of
Upper Canada in 18 14. The incident is briefly mentioned in the
Montreal Herald of the 15th of October, in that year, in the follow-
ing terms : " It is officially announced by General Ripley (on the
American side, that is), that the traitor Willcocks was killed in the
350 Toronto of Old. [Â§ 23.
sortie from Fort Erie on the 4th ult., greatly lamented by his gene-
ral and the army." Undertaking with impetuosity a crusade against
the governmental ideas which were locally in the ascendant, and
encountering the resistance customary in such cases, he cut the
knot of his discontent by joining the Republican force when it
made its appearance.
The Willcocks park-lot, or a portion of it, was afterwards posses-
sed by Mr. Billings, a well-remembered Commissariat officer, long
stationed at York. He built the house subsequently known as
Englefield, which, later, was the home of Colonel Loring, who, at
the time of the taking of York, in 18 13, had his horse killed under
him ; and here he died. Mr. Billings and Colonel Loring both had
sons, of whom we make brief mention as having been in the olden
times among our own school-boy associates, but who now, like so
many more personal contemporaries, already noted, are, after brief
careers, deceased. An announcement in the Montreal Herald of
February 4th, 181 5, admits us to a domestic scene in the house-
hold of Colonel, at the time Captain, Loring. (The Treaty of Peace
with the United States was signed at Ghent, on the 24th of Decem-
ber, 1814. Its effect was being pleasantly realized in Canada, in
January, 181 5). "At Prescott," the Herald reports, " on Thurs-
day, 26th January, the lady of Capt. Loring, Aide-de-Camp and
Private Secretary to His Honor Lieut.-Gen. Drummond, was safely
delivered of a daughter." The Herald then adds : " The happy
father had returned from a state of captivity with the enemy, but a
few hours previous to the joyful event." Capt. Loring had been
taken prisoner in the battle of Lundy's Lane, in the preceding
The first occupant of the next lot (No. 16) westward, was Mr.
Baby, of whom we have spoken in former sections. Opposite was
the house of Bernard Turquand, an Englishman of note, for many
years first clerk in the Receiver-General's department. He was
an early promoter of amateur boating among us, a recreation with
which possibly he had become familiar at Malta, where he was
long a resident. Just beyond on the same side, was the dwelling-
place of Major Winniett, â€” a long, low, one-storey bungalow, of a
neutral tint in colour, its roof spreading out, verandah-wise, on
After the name of Mr. Baby, on the early plan of the park-lots,
comes the name of Mr. Grant â€” " the Hon. Alexander Grant"
Â§ 2 3-] Queen Street â€” (Brock Street to the H umber. 351
During the interregnum between the death of Governor Hunter
and the arrival of Governor Gore, Mr. Grant, as senior member
of the Executive Council, was President of Upper Canada. The
Parliament that sat during his brief administration, appropriated
^"800 to the purchase of instruments for illustrating the principles
of Natural Philosophy, " to be deposited in the hands of a person
employed in the Education of Youth f from the debris of which
collection, preserved in a mutilated condition in one of the rooms
of the Home District School building, we ourselves, like others
probably of our contemporaries, obtained our very earliest inkling
of the existence and significance of scientific apparatus.
In his speech at the close of the session of 1806, President
Grant alluded to this action of Parliament in the following terms :
" The encouragement which you have given for procuring the
means necessary for communicating useful and ornamental know-
ledge to the rising generation, meets .with my approbation, and,
I have no doubt, will produce the most salutary effects." Mr.
Grant was also known as Commodore Grant, having had, at one
time, command of the Naval Force on the Lakes.
After Mr. Grant's name appears that of " E. B. Littlehales."
This is the Major Littlehales with whom those who familiarize
themselves with the earliest records of Upper Canada become so
well acquainted. He was the writer, for example, of the interest-
ing journal of an Exploring Excursion from Niagara to Detroit in
1793, to be seen in print in the Ca?iadian Literary Magazine of
May, 1834 ; an expedition undertaken, as the document itself sets
forth, by the Lieut-Governor, accompanied by Captain Fitzgerald,
Lieutenant Smith of the 5th Regiment, and Lieutenants Talbot,
Grey and Givins, and Major Littlehales, starting from Niagara on
the 4th of February, arriving at Detroit on the 18th, by a route
which was 270 miles in length. The return began on the 23rd,
and was completed on the 10th of the following month.
It was in this expedition that the site of London, on the Thames,
was first examined, and judged to be. " a situation eminently cal-
culated for the metropolis of all Canada." " Among other essen-
tials," says Major Littlehales, " it possesses the following advan-
tages : command of territory â€” internal situation â€” central position,
facility of water communication up and down the Thames into Lakes
St. Clair, Erie, Huron, and Superior, â€” navigable for boats to near
its[source, and for small craft probably to the Moravian settlement,
352 Toronto of Old. [Â§ 23.
â€” to the southward by a small portage to th e waters flowing into
Lake Huron â€” to the southeast by a carrying-place into Lake On-
tario and the River St. Lawrence j the soil luxuriantly fertile, â€” the
land rich and capable of being easily cleared, and soon put into a
state of agriculture, â€” a pinery upon an adjacent high knoll, and
other timber on the heights, well calculated for the erection of
public buildings, â€” a climate not inferior to any part of Canada."
The intention of the Governor, at one time, was that the future
capital should be named Georgina, in compliment to George III.
Had that intention been adhered to, posterity would have been
saved some confusion. To this hour, the name of our Canadian
London gives trouble in the post-office and elsewhere. Georgina
was a name not inaptly conceived, suggested doubtless by the title
" Augusta," borne by so many places of old, as, for example, by
London itself, the Veritable, in honour of the Augustus, the Em-
peror of the day. We might perhaps have rather expected
Georgiana, on the analogy of Aureliana (Orleans), from Aurelius,
or Georgia, after Julia, a frequent local appellation from the im-
perial Julius. â€” Already, had Georgius, temp. Geo. II. , yielded
Georgia as the name of a province, and later, temp. Geo. Ill,, the
same royal name had been associated with the style and title of a
new planet, the Georgium Sidus, suggested probably by the Julium
Sidus of Horace. We presume, also, that the large subdivision of
Lake Huron, known as the Georgian Bay, had for its name a like
loyal origin. (The name Georgina, is preserved in that of a now
flourishing township on Lake Simcoe.)
An incident not recorded in Major Littlehales' Journal was the
order of a grand parade (of ten men), and a formal discharge of
musketry, issued in jocose mood by the Governor to Lieut. Givins;
which was duly executed as a ceremony of inauguration for the new
The capture of a porcupine, however, somewhere near the site
of the proposed metropolis is noted by the Major. In the narra-
tive the name of Lieut. Givins comes up. " The young Indians
who had chased a herd of deer in company with Lieut. Givins,"
he says, "returned unsuccessful, but brought with them a large
porcupine : which was very seasonable," he remarks, " as our pro-
visions were nearly exhausted. This animal, " he observes, " afford-
ed us a good repast, and tasted like a pig." The Newfoundland
dog, he adds, attempted to bite the porcupine, but soon got his
Â§ 2 3-] Q uem Street â€” (Brock Street to the Humber. 353
mouth filled with the barbed quills, which gave him exquisite pain.
An Indian undertook to extract them, he then says, and with
much perseverance plucked them out, one by one, and carefully
applied a root or decoction, which speedily healed the wound.
From Major Littlehales' Journal it appears that it was the prac-
tice of the party to wind up each day's proceedings by singing
" God save the King." Thus on the 28th Feb., before arriving at
the site of London, we have it recorded : " At six we stopped at
an old Mississagua hut, upon the south side of the Thames. After
taking some refreshment of salt pork and venison, well-cooked by
Lieutenant Smith, who superintended that department, we, as
usual, sang God save the King, and went to rest."
The Duke de Liancourt, in his Travels in North America, speaks
of Major Littlehales in the following pleasant terms : " Before I
close the article of Niagara," he says, " I must make particular
mention of the civility shewn us by Major Littlehales, adjutant and
first secretary to the Governor, a well-bred, mild and amiable man,
who has the charge of the whole correspondence of government,
and acquits himself with peculiar ability and application. Major
Littlehales," the Duke says, " appeared to possess the confidence
of the country. This is not unfrequently the case with men in
place and power; but his worth, politeness, prudence, and judg-
ment, give this officer peculiar claims to the confidence and respect
which he universally enjoys."
In the Oracle of Feb. 24, 1798, a report of the death of this
officer is contradicted. " We have the pleasure of declaring the
account received in December last of the death of Col. Littlehales
premature. Letters have been recently received from him dated
in England." He had probably returned home with Gen. Simcoe.
In the same paper a flying rumour is noticed, to the effect " that
His Excellency Governor Simcoe is appointed Governor General
of the Canadas."
Major Littlehales afterwards attained the rank of Lieutenant-
Colonel, and was created a baronet in 1802. In 1801 he was
appointed under-Secretary for Ireland ; and he held this office for
Major Littlehales' park-lot became subsequently the property of
Capt. John Denison, and from him descended to his heir CoL
George Taylor Denison, from whom the street now passing from
south to north has its name, Denison Avenue. This thoroughfare
354 Toronto of Old. [Â§ 23.
was, in the first instance, the drive up to the homestead of the
estate, Bellevue, a large white cheery-looking abode, lying far back
but pleasantly visible from Lot Street through a long vista of over-
hanging trees. â€” From the old Bellevue have spread populous colo-
nies at Dovercourt, Rusholme and elsewhere, marked, like their
progenitor, with vigour of character, and evincing in a succession
of instances strong aptitude for military affairs. Col. Denison's
grandson, G. T. Denison tertius, is the author of a work on " Mod-
ern Cavalry, its Organisation, Armament and Employment in War,"
which has taken a recognized place in English strategetical litera-
In accordance with an early Canadian practice, Capt. John Den-
nison set apart on his property a plot of ground as a recep-
tacle for the mortal remains of himself and his descendants. He
selected for this purpose a picturesque spot on land possessed
by him on the Humber river, entailing at the same time the sur-
rounding estate. In 1853, â€” although at that date an Act of
Parliament had cancelled entails, â€” his heir, Col. G. T. Denison,
primus, perpetually connected the land referred to, together with the
burial plot, with his family and descendants, by converting it into
an endowment for an ecclesiastical living, to be always in the gift
of the legal representative of his name. This is the projected rec-
tory of St. John's on the Humber. In 1857, a son of Col. Deni-
son's, Robert Britton Denison, erected at his own cost, in imme-
diate proximity to the old Bellevue homestead, the church of St.
Stephen, and took steps to make it in perpetuity a recognized
The boundary of Major Littlehales' lot westward was near what
is now Bathurst Street. In front of this lot, on the south side of
Lot street, and stretching far to the west, was the Government
Common, of which we have previously spoken, on which was traced
out, at first ideally, and at length in reality, the arc of a circle of
1,000 yards radius, having the Garrison as its centre. Southward
of the concave side of this arc no buildings were for a long time
permitted to be erected. This gave rise to a curiously-shaped en-
closure, northward of St. Andrew's Market-house, wide towards the
east, but vanishing off to nothing on the west, at the point where
Lot Street formed a tangent with the military circle.
Of Portland Street and Bathurst Street we have already spoken
in our survey of Front Street. Immediately opposite Portland
Â§ 23.] Queen Street â€” (Brock Street to the H umber. 355
Street was the abode, at the latter period of his life, of Dr. Lee, to
whom we have referred in our accounts of Front and George
Streets. Glancing northward as we pass Bathurst Street, which, by
the way, north of Lot Street, was long known as Crookshank's
Lane, we are reminded again of Mr. Murchison, whom we have
likewise briefly commemorated elsewhere. The substantial abode
to which he retired after acquiring a good competency, and where
in 1870 he died, is to be seen on the east side of Bathurst Street.
The names which appear in the early plans of York and its
suburbs, as the first possessors of the park lots westward of Major
Littlehales', are, in order of succession, respectively, Col. David
Shank, Capt. Macdonell, Capt. S. Smith, Capt. M. Shaw, Capt.
Bouchette. We then arrive at the line of the present Dundas road,
where it passes at right angles north from the line of Queen Street.
This thoroughfare is not laid down in the plans. Then follow the
names of David Burns, William Chewitt and Alexander MacNab
(conjointly), Thomas Ridout and William Allan (conjointly), and
Angus Macdonell. We then reach a road duly marked, leading
straight down to the French Fort, Fort Rouilte, commonly known
as Fort Toronto. Across this road westward, only one lot is laid
off, and on it is the name of Benjamin Hallowell.
Most of the names first enumerated are very familiar to those
whose recollections embrace the period to which our attention is
now being directed. Many of them have occurred again and again
in these papers.
In regard to Col. David Shank, the first occupant of the park lot
westward of Major Littlehales', we must content ourselves with
some brief "Collections." In the Simcoe correspondence, pre-
served at Ottawa, there is an interesting mention of him, asso-
ciated, as it appropriately happens, with his neighbour-locatees to
the east and west here on Lot Street. In a private letter to the
" Secretary at War," Sir George Yonge, from Governor Simcoe,
dated Jan. 17th, 1792, announcing his arrival at Montreal, en route
for his new Government, still far up " the most august of rivers,"
Capt. Shank is spoken of as being on his way to the same destina-
nation in command of a portion of the Queen's Rangers, in com-