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History of Don Mills

Almost 200 years ago, the Don Mills area began to draw homesteaders and mill owners to its rich soil, gentling rolling hills, rivers and ravines.

It was the home of Windfield Farms, founded by the renowned E.P Taylor which produced the famous horse, Northern Dancer. It was, however, Taylor’s inspired vision of a new kind of homestead that brought lasting celebrity to Don Mills.

In the years following WWII, thousands of Canadians, many of them new immigrants, moved to Toronto, thus creating a massive post construction boom in the area. E.P. Taylor bought 682 acres of land around Don Mills Road and Lawrence Avenue, with the original intention of relocating one of his companies, O’Keefe Brewery, here.

Taylor scrapped plans for the brewery and began amassing additional lands in the area. Together with his assistant, Karl C. Fraser, they began to plan a unique community for its time with an industrial base, shopping centers, recreation facilities and housing all included.

Macklin Hancock (son-in-law of Karl Fraser) was the individual who actually designed the entire community from conception to reality. Don Mills opened with a great deal of fanfare, winning architectural and design awards.

Planning concepts in Don Mills were replicated across Canada and set higher standards for all new communities to achieve.

Thanks to the vision of E.P Taylor, today we still enjoy the benefits of parkland, recreation facilities and the many other amenities the area has to offer.