East York 100: a web exhibit celebrating the centenary of the former municipality of East York

A New Municipality

Image depicts colour photograph of East York Mayor True Davidson wearing a pink dress standing next to a giant birthday cake celebrating the centenary of confederation
Mayor True Davidson standing beside giant centennial birthday cake
City of Toronto Archives
Series 2604, File 607

The Township of East York was incorporated on January 1, 1924. Area residents voted overwhelmingly the previous year to separate from the York Township, believing their community needs would be better served as a geographically smaller, independent municipality.

At its founding, East York had a population of just under 20,000 people. There were few roads and schools, no sewers or sidewalks, and most dwellings lacked electricity and indoor plumbing.


Image depicts monochrome photograph of street in foreground with farmland in background
Market Gardens on Mortimer Avenue
ca. 1910
City of Toronto Archives
Series 2604, File 602
Image depicts monochrome photograph of unpaved road with two storey buildings on either side
Pape Avenue and Bee Street (later Cosburn Avenue)
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 1244, Item 520


The municipality grew quickly with the construction of new homes.  This led to the establishment of schools, infrastructure, a hospital, police and fire services, a hydro electric commission and a local transit line which supported the growing population. Even in its earliest years, East York residents fostered a strong, proud community identity that was strengthened by the Second World War and the post-war prosperity that followed.

Image depicts monochrome aerial view of East York, with buildings in foreground and farmland in background
Aerial view of East York, looking north-east, from Sammon Avenue water tower
City of Toronto Archives
Series 2604, File 587
Toronto East General Hospital and R.H. McGregor Public School visible in foreground.
Image depicts monochrome photograph of newly built bungalow houses and unfinished thorougfare
Postwar development on Elmont Drive
January 1954
City of Toronto Archives
Series 2604, File 613


Item depicts copy of printed street map of East York
Map of Township of East York
October 1928
City of Toronto Archives
Series 726, Item 331


This exhibit tells East York’s history through key buildings and structures that have served as landmarks of community formation.

Edifices and Education

• East York Municipal Offices
• East York Collegiate Institute
• Michael Garron Hospital

Structures and Services

• Leaside Viaduct
• East York Hydro-Electric Commission
• East York Fire Department

Learning and Leisure

• Stan Wadlow Park
• S. Walter Stewart Library
• Todmorden Mills Heritage Site