As we work in the area every day as a Streetsville real estate agent, it is hard to believe that the history of Streetsville goes way back to before the year 1800. This forested area of Upper Canada was originally populated by people of the Iroquois nation until the early 18th century, when it was taken over by the Ojibwa tribe. European settlers came to know this tribe of native Canadians as the Mississaugas, and that is how the area and eventually the City of Mississauga got its name. By 1805, much of the land in the area had been expropriated by or sold to the British Crown.
The beginnings of Streetsville are closely connected to its founder Timothy Street. Street was born in 1778 to a British family who were living in the American colonies. When Street was 23, he moved with his family from New York to Upper Canada (known today as Ontario).
In 1818, the British made a purchase of a large area of land surrounding the Credit River from the indigenous tribe of the Mississaugas. In these times, as a prerequisite for settlement, the land had to be surveyed, and it was customary at the time to grant the surveyors a portion of the land as payment for their work. Timothy Street and a partner won the contract to survey the area. As they completed the survey, Mr. Street saw potential for industry along the Credit River.
The survey was completed, and in 1819, the area was opened for settlement. Timothy Street ended up building a sawmill on the land that he received, and his business prospered.
In 1821, Streetsville got its first general store, and this building still stands today. Timothy Street’s personal residence was constructed in 1825 and this building is also still standing today.
Another historic building in Streetsville is the Franklin House. It was originally built in 1855, and was purchased by Bennet Franklin in 1859. In 1910 the name was changed to the Queen’s Hotel. Today, this heritage protected building houses a restaurant and a variety of small businesses.
History of Streetsville – Growth of the Suburbs
The history of Streetsville continued when in 1858, it was incorporated as a village. At that time, it had a population of approximately 1500 people. There was a fair amount of heavy industry in the area, tied to the transportation benefits of the Credit River, and these heavy industries included sawmills and tanneries. Despite the industrial base, for nearly a hundred years Streetsville existed as only a long narrow, sparsely populated village that lined the main north-south artery, Queen Street.
By 1951, the population of Streetsville had actually declined to 1,139 people. Then as the 1950’s unfolded, the concept of suburbs and the suburban lifestyle took hold. Due to these changes in public consciousness Streetsville began to grow.
Streetsville Incorporation and Creation of the City of Mississauga
As more and more families moved into the newly created suburbs, the town’s population grew rapidly. By 1962, Streetsville’s population had more than quadrupled to 5,000, and it was finally incorporated as a town.
The creation of Mississauga came about in two stages. First, in 1968, it was incorporated as a town, by amalgamating the villages of Clarkson, Cooksville, Dixie, Erindale and Malton.
Then in 1974, Streetsville and Port Credit were also annexed, and Mississauga as we know it today was incorporated as a city.
Today Streetsville is a booming tourist destination, as well as a historic neighbourhood in Mississauga. I see it every day while working as a Streetsville real estate agent. It’s interesting to think back to the early beginnings of settlement in the area.
We hope that you have enjoyed our brief summary of the history of Streetsville!