A New Township

Burlington Gazette - History by Helen Langford

A New Township
Tues., April 25, 1978

"Over Home" in Britain, the word 'street' had existed for centuries as the term for military roads. When Lt. Governor Simcoe hand a military road surveyed in 1793 from York to the head of the Lake and westward to London, the terminology 'street' was natural. Dundas Street was named to honour Henry Dundas, Home Secretary.

Even though it was surveyed (1793) and needed, there could be no construction on the eastern section of the street until the settlement of the land title. Finally in 1805 the purchase of the Mississauga lands from East Flamborough to the Humber River was complete. Samuel Wilmot was sent out to survey the new lands. He used Dundas Street as his base line rather than the lake as Augustus Jones had in surveying the Niagara district. This change in policy suggests two possibilities; as has been long rumoured and suspected, that there were settlers already squatting on land along the survey line.

Wilmot laid the township out into two concessions north of Dundas Street and four to the south. The original name of Nelson Township was Toronto - a name held only a short time. The townships of both Nelson and Trafalgar were renamed to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar.

The concession roads run parallel to Dundas Street with line roads running perpendicular at every fifth lot. Each square formed by these roads was a mile and a quarter square divided into five 200 acre lots. Most of the concession roads and line roads now have other names, a rather confusing and unnecessary move on the part of municipalities. Dundas Street, Queen Elizabeth Highway, Upper Middle Rd. are all concession roads, while Walker's Line, Guelph Line, Appleby Line, Burloak are all line roads. The line road between one Township and another was called Town Line. Burloak was a Town Line.

This survey in 1806 was called the Old Survey. The New Survey in 1819 had a different plan, the concessions ran perpendicular to the original. The New Survey covered the rest of Nelson Township - The section north of Concession 2, north of Dundas Street.

To read the lot descriptions on your deeds, you may need this clarification:

  • S.D.S. - South Dundas Street
  • N.D.S. - North Dundas Street
  • N.S. - New Survey
  • B.F. - Broken Front describing irregular lots along the lake (concession 4)

Source: Langford, Helen. Burlington Gazette [Ontario], 25 Apr. 1978. Microfilm. Burlington Public Library - Central Branch. Reel No Missing.