Happy New Year and welcome to 2017 which marks the sesquicentennial of Canada's Confederation. In anticipation of the exhibits and events celebrating Canada's 150th, the Streetsville Historical Society is preparing a special exhibit that focusses on Streetsville in 1867 and also a provides a view to Canada 50 years ago in 1967.
In 1867 Canada's population was 3.3 million and at last count we are at 36 million. Not surprisingly, 40% of workers were farmers and in 2011 only 2% of Canadians were living on farms. The number of telegraph messages sent by members of the public in 1 year was 479,331 and in 2011, we collectively sent 78 billion text messages. Let's also remember that in 1867, 20% of our population was foreign born and today the percentage still applies. Then, there was 3,457 kilometres of railway in Canada, and today there are more than 46,000 kilometres of track.
Although Streetsville's prosperity peaked before 1867, the village continued to thrive after the arrival of the Credit Valley Railway in 1879. It was too late however, for the village to supplant Brampton as the business and political centre of Peel. Much of existing Streetsville dates from the post-confederation period, and reflects the story of this prosperous and industrial rural village. In 1867 the success of John Hyde's Ontario Mills circa 1840 came to a halt when the mill was destroyed by fire. At that time, the Toronto Township Hall was moved to Streetsville and used as Town Hall until 1939. In 1867 Harriet Graydon was born to John Graydon and Jane Anderson. John Scruton, originally from Yorkshire, England returned to Streetsville after living in Woodstock for a couple of years. The present St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church was built in 1967 and opened in the following year. William Clegg, his wife Elizabeth and their two girls came from England in a sailing vessel in the year 1867 and arrived at Port Credit , there being no port at Toronto at all; then by coach to Streetsville, where they lived all their lives, Mr. Clegg being a weaver by trade.
The year 1967 was the beginning of many things in Canada: EXPO '67, Caribana, the Canada Games, the Order of Canada, McDonald's Canada, WWF Canada, Mr. Dressup, along with many other things. Streetsville Public Library opened November 29, 1967. Prior to the annexing of Mississauga, Hazel McCallion was the Mayor of Streetsville (1970-1973) and was the township's last Reeve (1967-1970). The Streetsville United Church women have shared their gifts and talents in our community since 1967. On December 31, 1967 Thomas Weylie Steen, born in 1877 to Ephraim Steen and Mary Ritchie passes away in Streetsville, Ontario. A complete listing of businesses in 1967 Streetsville is available at our gift shop in "The Tweedsmuir History of Streetsville" in either hard copy or on CD.