Beyond the Gates – Delve into Streetsville’s history during this year’s Doors Open Ontario

Doors Open Mississauga

Do you ever drive or stroll by a building in one of our city’s many diverse neighbourhoods and wonder what’s inside? Here’s your chance to find out!

Every year, the Ontario Heritage Trust works with communities across the province to open the doors, gates and courtyards of their most unique and fascinating cultural sites so you can access and explore the incredible stories inside. From historical houses to modern marvels of construction, Doors Open Ontario showcases the buildings, natural spaces, infrastructure and cultural landscapes that shape and define our communities. Best of all, it’s free!

Whether you’re exploring on your own, organizing an outing with family and friends, or planning a first date, there’s an historic building or interesting site for everyone.

2019’s local Doors Open Ontario will take place September 14 in the historic village of Streetsville, which boasts the highest concentration of heritage sites in Mississauga. If you haven’t discovered this charming, picturesque destination, Doors Open is the perfect opportunity!

“Working with Ward 11 Councillor George Carlson and the Streetsville Village BIA, the City of Mississauga, led by the Culture Division, is proud to highlight 13 sites in Streetsville Village as a part of the annual Doors Open event,” says Kelly Kubik, Community Development Coordinator, Creative Industries, City of Mississauga.

Located on the banks of the Credit River in Mississauga, Streetsville combines arts and cultural spaces alongside retail, restaurants, parks and community places. From live music in Streetsville Square to gardens, cemeteries and places of worship, Doors Open Mississauga-Streetsville provides an opportunity to visit and experience this vibrant cultural district.

The back story

The settlement story of Streetsville began in 1819 with the New Survey of Toronto Township. The survey was conducted by Richard Bristol and financed by Timothy Street, after whom Streetsville was named. In part, due to the establishment of mills along the Credit River by Street and others, the area also began to attract early business-minded individuals. In 1821, John Barnhart opened a trading post called the Montreal House. In 1824, Street donated land for a Protestant cemetery, and the community soon added a Methodist chapel and Presbyterian church.

By 1835, Streetsville had attracted many merchants and was becoming the political and economic centre of the surrounding township, complete with grist mills, sawmills, a tannery and several inns. The village was also home to an agricultural fair and fairgrounds. In 1851, the Grammar School opened—Toronto Township’s first high school.

Although Streetsville’s prosperity peaked before 1867, the village continued to thrive after the arrival of the Credit Valley Railway in 1879. Streetsville was incorporated as a village in 1850 and became a town in 1962. In 1974, the Town of Streetsville amalgamated with the towns of Mississauga and Port Credit to form the City of Mississauga.

For this year’s Doors Open Mississauga, there are 13 equally fascinating sites in and around Streetsville, including 6 new sites on the bill for 2019. But why not begin your Doors Open visit with one of Heritage Mississauga’s popular historical walking tours? Walk in the footsteps of Streetsville’s founding families as you tour the Village in the City and learn about the historical homes and buildings that have given the neighbourhood its charm for over 150 years.

Here’s a sneak peek into some of the new sites on the Doors Open Mississauga-Streetsville program.

Parish Park Father Kamber

Parish Park Father Kamber has belonged to the Croatian community for decades now, and it is also being enjoyed every summer season. The park area is for members only on regular opening hours during the season, but will be open during Doors Open Mississauga-Streetsville for all to enjoy.

Ardent Mills (Streetsville Mill)

This flour mill, built in 1835, remains operational today. The original mill, hidden inside the milling complex, and the mill dam, which survives, played an important role in Ontario’s commercial and industrial history. Come and take a guided tour of the mill and see key areas of the plant to get an idea of how wheat is converted into flour.

Mabel Graydon House (now Skintricate Tattoo Company)

This building was constructed by prominent Streetsville resident, businessman, politician and builder John Graydon (1836-1904) for his daughter Mabel (1871-1964). It remained a private residence for much of its history, although it serves commercial purposes today. The staff of Skintricate Tattoo Company will welcome guests to tour the shop and observe tattooing in action. Free stick-on tattoos for the kids!

Jamia Riyadhul Jannah

Established in August 2010 under the guidance of Imam Professor Syed Badiuddin Soharwardy, Jamia Riyadhul Jannah—located in the heart of Mississauga—is a mosque where GTA Muslims frequently visit for guidance and education. A closer look at, and understanding of, Islam can be achieved during your Doors Open visit.

Streetsville Cemetery

This designated landmark—the final resting place of many early settlers—is an integral part of Streetsville. In 1824, Timothy Street (for whom Streetsville was named) sold land to trustees from the nearby church to start this cemetery. Stroll the grounds and learn about these intrepid settlers, then, create a poppy-shaped seed ball as part of the Remember 11-11 project.

PLEASE NOTE: “Times at each location differ,” Kubik advises, “so please check the website for exact times and additional exciting locations.” 

—With information from Doors Open Ontario and Culture Mississauga


Local Links

Doors Open Ontario

Heritage Mississauga

Culture Mississauga

Village of Streetsville

Streetsville Historical Society

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