An extensive shipping trade, for instance, was once done at the Humber river, from which as many as 84,000 barrels of flour and half a million feet of lumber have been shipped in one season. There was formerly a shipyard ‘at the mouth of the river, where during the war of 1812 2 vessels were constructed.
Now it is merely known as one of Toronto’s most popular pleasure resorts, its industries having long since disappeared.
Humber Bay, which is surrounded by shores wooded in portions down to the water’s edge, forms almost a semicircle, and on a bright, clear day the view is a most picturesque one. At the head of the Bay is situated High Park, one ofToronto’s most delightful pleasure resorts. It comprises some 290 acres, the principal portion of which is the gift ofJohn G. Howard, whos name always to be held in grateful remembrance by the people of Toronto.
The Humber River lies about half a mile further west, forming the
boundary between York and Etobicoke townships. It is also a favourite
resort for excursionists and pleasure-seekers. Its banks present a variety
of scenery, large areas oflow lands and swamps overgrown with reeds alter-
nating with steep wooded bluffs. There are stone quarries at intervals.
The rocks,which crop out of the abruptly rising ground, are of the Hudson
River formation, which consists of a series of bluish-grey argillaceous shale,
enclosing bands of calcareous sandstone, sometimes approaching to a lime-
stone, at irregular intervals, and of variable thickness. In some instances
the bands are of a slaty structure, splitting into thin laminae in the direction
of the beds ; in others they have a solid thickness of a foot, but in few cases
do they maintain either character for any great distance.
The sandstones while in the beds are hard and solid, and upon fracture exhibit a grey
colour with much of the appearance of limestone, butby protracted exposure
to the weather they turn to a darker brown, and ultimately crumble to
decay. These sandstones generally abound in calcareous fossils, which in
some places predominate, so as to give rise to beds of impure limestone,
which are, however, rare. The slaty variety of the sandstones is well
adapted for flagging, and by a careful selection some of the arenacious bands
yield abundance of good building material, but the stone cannot be said to
be generally adapted for the purpose. The banks of the Humber, as well
as those of the Mimico, Etobicoke, and Don, for certain distances from the
lake shore, expose sections exhibiting sixty feet or more of these strata, but
advancing northward the formation becomes concealed by the great accu-
mulation of drift, of which the interior of the country is composed. At
Lambton, a village of some 400 population, about three miles up the
Humber, partly situated in Etobicoke, the banks of the stream rise to a
height of more than one hundred feet, of which from fifty to sixty feet are
composed of the Hudson River shales and sandstone, while the upper part consists
of sand and gravel. About the close of the last century the old Indian trail along the
margin of the lake”was enlarged, so as to admit of the passage of vehicles,
and became what is now known as the Lake Shore Road.
A ferry was established at the mouth of the Humber, where passengers and wagons
were taken across in a scow. P88
Source: HISTORY OF TORONTO AND COUNTY OF YORK ONTARIO;1885