Toronto Neighbourhood Guide

North York


History of Emery

Emery was originally settled by Issac Devins, a German pioneer who came to Canada from Pennsylvania in the 1790's. Emery's second settler, John Crosson walked here from Pennsylvania in 1799. The Crosson family belongings were carried on the back of a two year old horse that Crosson sold to Devins in exchange for half of the latter's 200 acre farm lot.

By the 1870's, Emery had emerged as a farming hamlet at the crossroads of Finch Avenue and Weston Road. Emery had its own school, church, blacksmith shop and general store. A local post office opened in 1879 under the name "Dayton". The Toronto Grey and Bruce Railway adopted the Dayton name for their flag station on Finch Avenue.

The post office and railway station later changed their name to Emery to avoid the inevitable confusion that arose between Dayton, Ontario and Dayton Ohio. No one is certain why the Emery name was chosen but it was readily adopted by the whole community.

Emery's rural existence came to an end in the 1960's when developers built residential subdivisions and industry where farms once dotted this landscape. The former Emery School bell mounted in a cairn on the grounds of Emery Collegiate serves as a lonely reminder of the small town origins of this community.


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