What was once a major wildlife habitat at the mouth of the Etobicoke Creek has been ‘engineered out of existence’

A glimpse of Toronto’s history: Opportunities for the commemoration of lost historic sites (2011), published by the City Planning Division, Urban Development Services, City of Toronto (2001), includes an informative account of the history of Etobicoke Creek.

Granted, some of the information appears inaccurate. For example, the map that corresponds to MPLS #003, Etobicoke Creek Mouth, shows the residential development of the Etobicoke Creek Flats as it appeared in 1947. However, a building labelled “Col. Smith’s House,” east of the floodplain, appears at a location, on the Colonel Samuel Smith property, that does match information available from other sources.

The text for MPLS #003 claims that Colonel Samuel Smith was granted a 1,600-acre tract of land in 1799 whereas most sources note that Smith was granted the tract in 1793.

These are minor quibbles. The correct information is available from other sources.

What has captured my imagination in this book is the description, by an author or authors whose name or names are not noted, of how the history of change introduced at the mouth of Etobicoke Creek “is a textbook illustration of the damage done by human interference.”

What was once a “major wildlife habitat and scenic beauty location,” the text asserts, “has been polluted and engineered out of existence.”

The publication lists the following Reference Sources for its item about the mouth of Etobicoke Creek:

Wayne Reeves, Regional heritage features on the Metropolitan waterfront (1992)

Citizens Concerned about the Future of the Etobicoke Waterfront and Environmental Planning and Policy Associates, Toward the ecological restoration of South Etobicoke – Final Report (1997) Michael Harrison is the author of this informative and valuable report.

Public Archives of Canada – Map, Reconnaisance of the country between the rivers Humber and Etobicoke from the Lake Ontario to Dundas Street on the North, (1867)

In its Acknowledgements for MPLS #003, Etobicoke Creek Mouth, the text lists:

New Toronto Historical Society

Toronto Field Naturalists

Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation

This book was prepared for the City Planning Division, Urban Development Services, City of Toronto, by the Toronto Historical Association, Maps Project and Partners.

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