The site was an early fur-trading post. The French built (1749) Fort Rouille there to counteract British influence in the Niagara country, but the post was destroyed (1759) to prevent its occupation by the British. The British purchased the site from the Native Americans in 1787 and it became the home of many American Loyalists. It was chosen by Sir John Simcoe in 1793 to be the capital of Upper Canada (see Ontario) and was named York. In the War of 1812 the city was raided twice by the Americans, and many buildings were destroyed. In 1834 it was incorporated as Toronto. The city was the scene of the insurrection led by William Lyon Mackenzie in 1873.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.