1790 – 1860

Toronto Bay (or when there was still water here)

Originally the site was part of Toronto bay, Berkeley Street, which was the eastern edge of the original 1793 town site of York, terminated there. A formal garden and fairground existed there as well.

Joseph Small, who was once mayor of the town, owned the property and built a wharf at the foot of Berkeley street. The first parliament building once overlooked the property as well.

In the 1830’s the city authorized the filling of water lots to “the Windmill Line”, an imaginary line drawn from the Western Gap of the Bay to Gooderham’s Windmill, in return for landowners’ contribution to the development of the proposed esplanade.

The old shore was gradually moved south hundreds of feet. It appears from the existing land survey, that half the structures on the site were built on landfill.

In 1842 the site of Berkeley Castle Yard was occupied by orchards and sat at the water’s edge. Later, as infilling continued, the town of York grew.