Toronto Neighbourhood Guide

Meadowvale Village

History of Meadowvale Village

The first settlers to lay eyes on tis area were awestruck by its natural beauty; hence the name Meadowvale was chosen for this community. The first settlers consisted of a dozen or so families from the United States who were loyal to the British Crown and were granted land in Canada with the provision they clear their land for farming and build a suitable dwelling for their families. These pioneers had travelled a great distance from New York City led by a man named John Beatty. Beatty's followers originally included 29 families; only the most industrious and hearty of the group made it this far with a large contingent settling further south in Port Credit.

In 1831 Beatty was selected by the Wesleyan Methodist Church to be the Steward of their Academy in Cobourg. Beatty sold his property to John Crawford who would open a sawmill and spearhead the harvesting of the abundant white pine in the area which was valuable for ship-building. By 1836 Meadowvale's population had reached village status. More mills would begin operating along the Credit river. The most successful of these millers would ultimately be the Gooderham and Worts company who began operations here in 1860. At its peak the Gooderham and Worts mill produced 300 barrels of wheat a day.

When the Credit Valley Railway opened in 1879 it bypassed Meadowvale which was a blow to the local economy. The vanishing pine forest which had been largely harvested by the late 1800s was another blow, as was the Gooderham and Worts company pulling up stakes for greener pastures. So by the 1900s Meadowvale was no longer the prominent commercial centre it had once been. However; Meadowvale and its citizens endured and in the pioneer spirit of their forefathers and mothers, most Meadowvale residents managed to eke out a decent living as the City of Mississauga gradually encroached on their doorstep. This proud community has retained a remarkable number of homes from their pioneer village days and as a result in 1980 Meadowvale was awarded the distinction of being Ontario's first Heritage Conservation District, an honour well deserved.

 

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