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North York Ontario History - Development in the 1900s



By 1854, long-distance railway lines included a route to the Upper Great Lakes built by the Grand Trunk Railway and the Great Northern Railway, and by the late 1880s the line was extended to the Pacific Ocean. In the late 1800s, and extensive sewage system was built and the streets were lit by gas lamps. Horse-drawn streetcars gave way to electric streetcars in 1891, with the formation of the Toronto Railway Company. By the early 1900s, Toronto built a new City Hall (now its the "Old" one), and Union Station was built to handle the growing city's passenger rail traffic. The public transit system became publicly owned in 1921 as the Toronto Transportation Commission (the "TTC"), which became the Toronto Transit Commission.

The city received large groups of immigrants from Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia and China, as well as Jews from all over Eastern Europe. By the 1920s, Toronto's population and economic importance was second only to the much more established Montreal, though by 1934 the Toronto Stock Exchange (the "TSE") had become the largest in the country helping make Toronto the financial centre of the country.

Downsview Airport The Township of North York was formed in 1922 out of the rural part of the Township of York. The rapidly-urbanizing parts of the Township remained in that township.

In 1939, the Downsview Airport was built as an airfield beside the de Havilland Canada aircraft manufacturing plant. Following the war, it became RCAF Station Downsview and acted as the Toronto area air base for Royal Canadian Air Force units.

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