CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Scadding, Henry.

Edited by Frederick H. Armstrong. Toronto, Dundurn Press. 1987. 400pp, paper, $19.95. ISBN 1-55002-027-7. CIP

Grades 7 and up
Reviewed by Joan VanSickle Heaton

Volume 16 Number 4
1988 July

The editor of this account of Toronto's early days has refined and sharpened the original version while preserving the chatty tone. As a result, the book provides a wealth of detail about daily life in Muddy York.

The Reverend Henry Scadding describes the town in intimate terms. It is amusing to consider that it was once possible to stroll along Front St. past gardens and frame houses and visit the United Empire Loyalists who made their homes by the shore of Lake Ontario. For the summer, some families undertook the northern journey up the Don River valley to houses on the Rosedale ravine, from which they could observe the activity of the wildlife on the riverbank.

The distinguished emissaries from Britain who came to influence the growth of the colony are given the human characteristics often left out of textbook descriptions, in the days described, there were loons in York harbour. The difficulty of constructing a bridge across the Don made travel to the east reliable only by boat. Today, with free trade on everyone's lips. It is hard to visualize the measures taken long ago to protect the colony from the danger of invasion by Americans. Boats going from the St. Lawrence River to Lake Huron had to leave the water at Toronto and travel overland up Yonge St. through the forest before they could re-enter the Great Lakes, safe from interference.

As a behind-the-scenes view of hardworking, strongly principled citizens, this book gives insight into the sources of Toronto's growth and success. Recommended for use in Canadian history and literature study in the intermediate and Senior grades.

Joan VanSickle Heaton, LaSalle Secondary School, Kingston. Ont.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works