By Frederick H. Armstrong
A urban within the Making examines certian of the occasions that came about within the 19th century Toronto, paying specific awareness to people who carved a thriving city out of the frontier put up that used to be the city of York. (1989)
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Additional info for A City in the Making: Progress, People and Perils in Victorian Toronto
This activity evidently inspired a revival of interest in Toronto, for on July 26 a public meeting was held at the Court House, located across Church Street from St James's Cathedral. The meeting was attended by many who had been present at the Simcoe gathering, as well as many leading members of the Toronto business community. William Botsford Jarvis, the sheriff of the Home District, was elected chairman, and James Newbigging was appointed secretary. Newbigging was to be one of the most active promoters of the railway, acting as both secretary and treasurer until his sudden death on Feb.
Though unsuccessful, the first attempt, which began in 1834 and was virtually abandoned in 1838, is still well worth examining, for it shows the difficulties pioneer Toronto faced in both raising funds and for a railway and in determining its route. This 49 attempt at railway building is also important for the light it casts on the politics of the period. More specifically, it underlines the fact that when it came to major economic projects, most Upper Canadians — regardless of their political faith — were ready to cooperate for the good of the city and their individual profit.
Throughout its rise to the status of metropolis of the nation, Toronto has played a key role in Canadian history. However, despite all the research that has been done on its evolution, there is still disagreement over such basic questions as which events and eras represented turning points in the city's development. An extended, comprehensive history of Toronto is still well in the future; what is needed first are detailed studies of many important segments of the city's past. Through such studies the crucial changes will be more clearly pinpointed and the major trends arranged in connected sequence.