Toronto Neighbourhood Guide

North York

Don Mills

History of Don Mills

The Don Mills name makes reference to the historic Don River, and the fact that several mills were operating in this part of the Don Valley during the 1800's. The historic residences of pioneer miller William Gray are still in their original location overlooking the Don River on the Donalda Golf Club grounds.

The Gray property was purchased in 1914 by David Dunlap who made his fortune in the mining business. The Dunlap family established a prize winning "model farm" here in Don Mills. "Donalda" farm was visited by farming experts from around the world who came to inspect and marvel at its livestock and equipment.

In 1952 son Moffat Dunlop sold the six hundred acre "Donalda" farm to the Don Mills Development Company which was headed by Canadian business legend E.P. Taylor. "Donalda" house was originally used as a sales office by the developers and now serves as the clubhouse for the Donalda Golf Club.

Don Mills is recognized as the first planned, and fully integrated post-war community in North America. It is credited with laying out the blueprint for Toronto's post-war suburban development and the building of contemporary neighbourhoods.

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