Mimico Historical Facts

The Way It Once Was

  • The Mississauga Indians were the first settlers of Mimico.  Early surveyors derived the spelling for "Mimico" from the Indians' oral language.  Mimico could've been named either Macaco or Omimeco, as these were written translations of the Mississauga Indians' word for today's "Mimico." 
  • The Indian meaning for "Mimico" is "the resting place of the wild pigeons.   Passenger Pigeons would rest at the mouth of Mimico Creek before flying south across Lake Ontario.  Passenger Pigeons once numbered in the billions.  Sadly, the last Passenger Pigeon died in captivity in 1914.
  • Christ Church (Anglican) was first built in 1826 and burned down in 2006, leaving only today's churchyard.  It was the first Anglican Church in Etobicoke and fathered many other parishes in the area.
  • Early on Lakeshore Rd. connected Mimico to the outside world and by 1826 was a main conduit by which stagecoaches could travel from York to Niagara. The main streets of Mimico were first paved in 1919.  With the accessibility of Mimico by car, permanent homes were established in the community.  After WW2,  Mimico started to change as estates were sold off to make room for low rise apartments along Lakeshore Road which still exist today.
  • The former "motel strip," now all high rise condos, was first developed in the mid 1800s with a number of hotels  being built along the water.  The hotels did good business from the passengers of ferries crossing the Humber River.  Some of the landmark hotels included the Royal Oak Hotel, and John Duck's and the Wimbledon House, which opened in 1872.  The hotels also became popular as day trip destinations for Toronto residents and were the scene of many events and  great parties.
  • Children enjoyed swimming in Mimico Creek.  Nearby Kay Beach was also popular, as well as Stop 14 Beach at the bottom of Superior Ave., so called as the streetcar stop at Superior was the 14th on the line.  Long Branch grew during the 1900-1920's as a place where many Torontonians built their cottages.  In places, it had a Wasaga Beach flavour to it. Many of those cottages still exist there today.
  • In the 1890's, Mimico was the home to beautiful summer estates located on sandy beaches.  The Loblaw, McGuiness, and Miles families were just some of those that called Mimico home.  The homes just east of Royal York Rd are a legacy of Mimico's past as a summer retreat for the wealthy.  For example, the massive structure at 2603 Lakeshore Blvd that is today the Polish Consulate, was once the McGuiness estate.  Some of the other wealthy people that had estates in Mimico were Theodore Pringle Loblaw, the Horwood family, and Louis J. West (West was a founding member and one time President of the Toronto Stock Exchange).
  • Mimico's first schools were basic wooden structures.  John English School was the first brick building in Mimico built in 1884 at the corner of Royal York and Mimico Avenue.  The original structure was replaced by a new building in l957.  Mimico High School opened in 1924.  Over the years, five additions were added to the original structure.  Today it has been renamed John English Junior Middle School.


            A link to Michael Harrison's excellent Mimico history blog