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ABOUT midday we entered the harbour of Toronto: a natural mole of sand, some miles in extent, embraces its waters, and guards them from the turbulence of the great lake; this singular peninsula has some verdure, a few trees, and several houses, but is of a desolate and dreary character. The main land is quite different; there, rich fields, neat villas, shrubberies, and plantations, carry your thoughts at once to merry England. As you approach the town, this impression becomes stronger; when landed, it is complete. The streets, the shops, the people, are English, their accent and manners, and, best of all, their hearts, are English too. This place is the nucleus of all that is loyal and true in Upper Canada ; and, as the men of Londonderry look back with honest pride upon their fathers' gallant defence against a despot, so may those of Toronto rejoice in their successful resistance to the still darker tyranny of an unbridled rabble.
The city is admirably situated, and very prosperous; it was not incorporated till 1834, yet it now contains more than twenty thousand inhabitants, their number having doubled itself in ten years. No town on the American continent has advanced more rapidly, and, perhaps, none so solidly. The houses are well built and lasting, the public buildings convenient, but not overgrown; commercial character and credit are high. Its prosperity is not the mushroom growth of staring, tottering, wooden cities, run up by designing swindlers, of foreign gold, but the result of honest industry and healthy progress. The back country is very rich and valuable as an agricultural district, while the produce finds a ready sale for the English market. The enterprizing inhabitants are planning various railroads from the neighbouring towns, whose prosperity keeps pace, and is identified with, their own. They do not hold out mendacious promises or enormous and impossible interest to the capitalist --but the people of Canada do not repudiate.
In 1793, Governor Simcoe caused this harbour to be surveyed, and founded the town, then called Little York: two Indian families were at that time in quiet possession, and myriads of wild fowl crowded the waters of the bay. In 1813, the Americans burned it; after the peace it was rebuilt, and the
name, with good taste, changed to the old Indian word/Toronto—the place of meeting, or of council. In distant times, the tribes from the shores of the lake assembled there to make peace or war. A fort, of tolerable strength, but much out of repair, now protects the entrance of the harbour; there is but a small proportion of military force, but there
are plenty of loyal citizens to man it,—men who · have already done their duty, and are ready to do it
again, should occasion arise to call forth their services.
The great improvements in Toronto have been within the last few years: the streets are well paved and lighted with gas, and extensive water-works 'supply every part of the town. Here is the college of Upper Canada, a well-situated building, possessing extensive grounds, and bearing a high character for its system of instruction and discipline.
The rules of this institution, and the disbursements of its considerable state endowments, are a constant subject of political discussion. The office of the Canada Land Company is also in this town. This body is still looked upon with great jealousy and dislike by a considerable party in the province, perhaps not altogether without reason. Many lands, no doubt, remain unoccupied in consequence of this monopoly: even
as far away as the banks of the Saguenay, people labour under, and complain bitterly of its pressure, and that fertile district is still only tilled by a few chance squatters, who, without any title, have taken up their residence upon it.
Toronto may boast of a tone of society above that of most provincial towns, either here or in Europe. Among the people of official rank, there are several who, by their acquirements, talent, and. refinement, would be ornaments anywhere. In Canada, and in England, also, they are too well known to need any commendation; their example and influence are proved most useful, by the enlightenment and good manners of the residents. The standard of character, the domestic arrangements and habits of the people, are formed strictly on the model of the mother country; they look to her with reverence and affection; well may she be proud of their loyalty, and encourage their love.
There is an indescribable pleasure in finding four thousand miles away from our own dear land, a place like this, its healthy and vigorous child, — with every feature of its parent marked upon its face, every family trait developed in its character. We greet it as the hope of “England in the New World.”
May the day of severance be far distant ! But, per
haps, in the long future, when grown to sturdy and independent manhood, it may become expedient that there should be a separate household for the old and the young, and that with a hearty blessing and a friendly farewell they should part- let them then part—but in love. I am convinced that this fair Canada may grow great enough to be a balance of power on the American continent, undisturbed by rabble license, uncursed by the withering crime of slavery, undishonoured by repudiation, unstained by a parent's blood.
Just now, I was on the point of entering into a minute description of King Street and Parliament House, government offices and jail, baths and hotels, when it luckily flashed across my mind that, as I was not writing a guide-book, I had better let them alone. Having spared you that, pray excuse me for mentioning that labourers get five shillings a day, and the good things of this life for about half the prices of the English markets. Many of the roads in the neighbourhood are made of planks; the levels are very judiciously managed, and the draught on them is but little heavier than on a railroad; you are spared the noise and rattling of the somewhat clumsy vehicles. Numerous steam-boats enliven the wharves, plying in all directions during the seasons of navigation. Like most