Erindale was established around the once-vital crossroads of Dundas Street, Mississauga Road, and the Credit River.
Settlement of the site of Erindale began after 1820, when the Indigenous people of Mississauga relinquished their land on each side of the Credit River in the second purchase and deeded this land to the Crown. In 1822, Thomas Racey, a crown agent, bought land in the area, now known as the Racey Tract, on which he planned to build mills and found a Village. When Racey failed to meet his payments, most of the land was sold, but 37.5 acres was reserved for a town plot.
The official date for the village layout itself is May 21, 1830, when the “Survey Plan of the Town of Toronto” was registered by Acting Surveyor General William Chewitt. A copy of the Chewitt’s 1830 survey plan is below. Some lots incorporated into the survey plan pre-date this survey, but they form irregularities within the survey plan. When looking at a date for the “creation” of the village proper, it is Chewitt’s survey that is the key historical building block or starting point on the landscape for a controlled village subdivision. The Chewitt survey is the first (earliest) registered survey plan for what would later become Erindale Village. Only after this survey was registered were housing lots available for purchase, so this can be used in all accuracy as the “Establishment Date” for Erindale Village proper.
The City also recognizes the c1830 date on the existing “Welcome to Erindale Village” signs, designed by Paul Stafford, on Dundas Street.
The village first being known as “Toronto”, but when the post office was established, the name “Credit” was chosen. By the mid 1830’s the area became known as “Springfield”, and then later as “Springfield-on-the-Credit”.
Colonel Peter Adamson, a retired British army officer and influential settler in the area, was instrumental in building the first Anglican Church for the Township in the Village. The first rector, Reverend James Magrath, bought 200 acres on the north side of Dundas Street and called the farm “Erindale” after his homeland.
The little Village of Springfield grew steadily. Apart from the grist mill, saw mill, stores, taverns and inns, it had a turning mill and a chair factory by 1851. After 1890 the villagers chose to call the Village “Erindale” in honour of Magrath, in reference to his homeland – Ireland.
Erindale was also home to Price’s dairy, and it was the first diary to produce pasteurized milk in Canada in 1904. In 1910 a hydro electric dam was completed, flooding the valley, forming ‘Lake Erindale’. The power plant operated until 1923 and the dam was removed in 1940. In 1919 a fire wiped out much of the central portion of the village, although many reminders of the past remain.
The second half of the 20th century has seen the urbanization of the area surrounding the Village; from 1961 to 1963 Dundas Highway was widened to four lanes; in 1967 Erindale College (now The University of Toronto Mississauga), just north of the former village, opened. A few landmarks remain of “Old Erindale” including: St. Peter’s Church (1887) and rectory (1861), the former Erindale Methodist Church (1877), the Robinson-Adamson House (c. 1830), the former Erindale Public School (1922) and the street patterns with their names commemorating the early settlers, Adamson, Robinson, Proudfoot, Thompson and Jarvis.
Erindale amalgamated with other villages in Toronto Township in 1968 to form the Town of Mississauga. The town became the City of Mississauga in 1974.
In 1983, village residents fought to kept the character of the community. Mississauga News June 8 1983
This is a chapter “The Governor’s Road 1982” from a book “The Governor’s Road” by Mary & Margaret McBurney, published in 1982. The chapter refers to Dundas Street as “road” but the street had various names including Dundas Road, Highway 5 and more common in the early days, as the Governor’s Road, especially from the town of Dundas and west.
|Heritage Mississauga is proud to present a video about a historic arterial road in Ontario.
This is Dundas Street in Mississauga
Take a journey along Dundas Street from the east end of Mississauga to the border of Oakville and find out:
This video is part of the “Celebrating Mississauga’s Cultural Heritage Project” funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.