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Ontario Tourism Region : York, Durham and Hills of Headwaters
- Pop. 19,000. In Reg. Mun. of York, 8 km. N of Toronto. In 1792, Lt.-Gov. John Graves Simcoe planned a road to link York (now Toronto) on L. Ontario with L. Simcoe, about 45 km north.
- The road was for military use and as a trade route for the North West Fur Company. Simcoe named it Yonge St. after his friend Sir George Yonge, minister of war in the Imperial Cabinet.
- Free lots of 200 acres (81 ha) each were offered on either side ofYonge Street as an incentive to settlement.
- Settlers were required to clear 10 acres (4 ha) plus 33 feet (10 m) for road allowance and to build a house, within two years.
- The first log house was built at the site of present-day Thornhill by Asa Johnson. His stepson, Nathan Chapman, took up the next lot. Benjamin Thome from Dorset, England, arrived in 1820 and became active in local affairs, among them petitioning for a PO
- The settlement had been known as Atkinson's Mills, Lyon's Mills, Purdy's Mills, Dundurn, and Thorn's Mills. When the post office was established in 1829, it took the name Thornhill, after Benjamin Thome, one of two presidents of the B.of Montreal in 1842
- (With the repeal of the Corn Laws in Britain in 1846, Thorne was bankrupted, and killed himself two years later.)
- In the late 1830s and early 1840s there were seven hotels in Thornhill, including Montgomery's Tavern (see note in reviews above), headquarters of the insurgents during the 1837 Rebellion.
- J. E. H. MacDonald (1873-1932), a founding member of the Group of Seven, lived and painted in Thornhill from 1913 until his death.
Address of this page: http://www.ruralroutes.com/thornhill