The community of Holland Landing was, for centuries, a canoe launching place for native Indians and a post for traders of the Northwest Fur Company. In 1793, Governor John Graves Simcoe discovered what would be the future site of Holland Landing, originally known as St. Albans, and believed this area would make an ideal shipping and defence point between York (now Toronto) and Georgian Bay. In 1797, Yonge Street was completed to Holland Landing, providing an overland route from York. During the war of 1812, a pine fort is said to have been built by Simcoe near Soldier's Bay to protect against a possible American attack from the north. Although the first settlers had lived on the site since 1802, the beginnings of the village did not occur until about 1820. Growth continued through the 1830's and 1840's and included the establishment of sawmills, a large Inn and tavern, a brewery, a distillery, a tannery, a foundry, grist, flour and woolen mills, hotels, professional offices, stores and churches. By 1853 the trade in grain and lumber, the bustling activity on Yonge Street and the Holland River, as well as the building of the new railway made Holland Landing one of the busiest centres in the watershed.
In the early 1930’s, Gary Thompson acquired the land on Sand Road north of the Queensville Sideroad. He received approval to build in 1946 and he started building homes close to the river and along Queensville Sideroad. He worked his way west in stages and more homes were built in 1949, 1952, and 1955. The buildings were small frame cottages on small lots, with no insulation and no basement. Today, River Drive Park is ever-changing and developing. Although some of the old cottages still remain much as they were at the time when they were built, many have taken on a new character.
Today, the Holland Landing – River Drive Park Community is home to approximately 9,000 people. It is anticipated that this Community will grow to accommodate approximately 20,000 residents. The Plan recognizes the existing built areas and plans for lands to accommodate additional residential and employment growth.
source: Town of EG
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