Background and HistoryIn the early 19th century, the area that's today known as Toronto was a vibrant commercial hub for Upper Canada. Ruled by the British government, this regional province was heavily settled by skilled and wealthy immigrants from England. Hailing from the town of Lancashire, the Helliwell family established several successful enterprises on the grounds that would eventually be known as Todmorden Mills. This well-to-do family operated some of the area's top breweries and distilleries that appealed to elites and citizens from lower classes. In the middle of the 19th century, the Taylor family purchased most of the buildings and other operational facilities from the Helliwells. The population boom of Toronto gave the Taylors plenty of great commercial opportunities in profitable industries. For example, the new owners of the industrial complex opened a paper factory and the Don Valley Brick Works. The expanded complex was a major producer of masonry products for nearly a century. However, the property gradually deteriorated in the early 20th century due to rapid modernization and some economic woes. In 1967, Todmorden Mills was designated a heritage site for the public as part of a centennial celebration of Canada's independence from Great Britain. Click to book your Toronto City Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour.
Highlights and ActivitiesTodmorden Mills includes two buildings that have been restored according to their original designs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As the name suggests, the Papermill Theatre and Gallery was once used for large-scale production of paper in the Greater Toronto Area. A brewery facility is also open for guided tours at the historic industrial complex. After taking interior tours of the mills, you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings, including a nature preserve that's lined with colorful flowers. The grounds are also within walking distance of the Don Valley Brick Works Park, which occupies several acres on the western bank of the Don River. As you stroll the meandering trails of this park, you'll appreciate the significance of the local brick industry that thrived for generations. The Governors Monument is a notable landmark that's installed at the southern tip of this public park that covers approximately 40 lush acres. You'll also admire the natural hills, cliffs and other geologic formations of the grounds. If you hike to the peaks of the park, you might see panoramic views of downtown Toronto and many other adjacent neighborhoods.
Visiting Todmorden MillsSituated on the eastern bank of the Don River, Todmorden Mills is easily accessible by car and public transportation. The meandering Pottery Road leads to this historic site that's nested in dense woods. Carrying northbound and southbound traffic, the Don Valley Parkway also has several exits near this heritage attraction. Several TTC subway stations are located within walking distance of the preserved grounds. You can take the Bloor-Danforth Line 2 train to the Broadview, Chester or Pape stations in the historic Greektown neighborhood. Multiple TTC buses also stop along Broadview Avenue and Mortimer Avenue in this dense district. Additionally, several Bike Share Toronto points are conveniently located within a few blocks of the historic attraction.
Location: 67 Pottery Road, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4K 2B9
Click here to visit Todmorden Mills website.By: Denise Marie
Published On: 2019-09-24
Updated On: 2019-09-24
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