As today is Sir John Graves Simcoe Day in Ontario, I would like to discuss the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada from 1791 to 1796. Of course Upper Canada would later become the Province of Ontario.
Born in Cotterstock, England in 1752, Simcoe would be educated at Eton and spent one year at Oxford. He joined the 35th Regiment of Foot, as an ensign, in 1770. He purchased a captaincy in the 40th Regiment of Foot and was injured in battle during the American Revolution. He was responsible for a successful battle in the battle of Crooked Billet.
He became Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada in 1791 when the British Government created the Province of Upper Canada out of land around the Great Lakes that stayed part of the British Empire after the American Revolution. Simcoe would see to the building of two major roads: Yonge Street (named after Sir George Yonge then the Minister of War), and Dundas Street (named after Henry Dundas, later the 1st Viscount Melville.) Originally built for defensive purposes, later both streets served to help settlement Upper Canada, and as trading routes. Continue reading