This page provides links and references to various historical sources available online or through Markham, Vaughan or other public library systems.
The Weaver Collection of Thornhill is a remarkable collection of photographs, research notes and copied / transcribed primary sources on buildings, sites and people of Thornhill. The collection, which is arranged by street or subject. Alf Weaver photographed local buildings, people, and events from the 1940's to the 1990's, and the collection includes many historical photographs collected or copied by the Weavers. The collection is particularly valuable in its documentation of Thornhill's transition from a rural to sub-urban community.
The Weaver Collection of Thornhill was donated to the Thornhill Archives through the Estate of the Alf and Laura Weaver in 2003.
Much of the Weaver Collection of Thornhill is available online:
|Albums by Street or by Subject|
|Yonge Street (East Side)
- Gallery (scanned images), PDF Part 1 (55MB) - Part 2 (70MB)
|Yonge Street (West Side)
- Gallery (scanned images), PDF Part 1 (59MB) - Part 2 (89MB)
- Gallery (scanned images), PDF (70MB)
|Colborne Street and Church Lane
- Gallery (scanned images), PDF (50MB)
- Gallery (scanned images), PDF (60MB)
|Brooke St., Elizabeth St., Mill St., Sumner Ln., Eliza St., Jane St.
- Gallery (scanned images), PDF (42MB)
|Thornhill Street scenes
|Thornhill houses and buildings
|Thornhill places and people
|Photos of Old Thornhill
|121 Centre St. - Thoreau MacDonald House, 1981
General historical or primary sources (publications):
This section lists various published historical sources available online or through Markham, Vaughan or other public or university libraries.
- Thornhill, 1793-1963: A history of an Ontario Village. FitzGerald, Doris M., 1963.
- Old Time Thornhill. FitzGerald, Doris M., 1970. (Archive.org login required)
- Thornhill Bicentennial Photo Album. Weaver, Alf & Laura, 1994.
- The History of Vaughan Township. Reaman, George E., 1971.
- Markham Remembered : A Photographic History of Old Markham Township. Ed., Champion, Mary B, 1988.
- Markham 1793-1900. Markham District Historical Society, 1979. Ed., Champion, Isabel.
- The Heritage Years: Thornhill, Vaughan Township, 1796 to 1900. Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee for the Thornhill Area, Town of Vaughan, 1979.
- The Journals of Mary O’Brien 1828-1838, Ed., Miller, Audrey Sunders, 1968. (Archive.org login required)
- An Irish Saint : the life story of Ann Preston (“Holy Ann”), Bingham, Helen E.. [1908?]
- A Thornhill Farm, French, Michael (1970) (Archive.org login required)
- Bond Lake and the highlands of York, Thornhill, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket, and intermediate points, via the Metropolitan Railway Co., and Bond Lake to Schomberg via the Schomberg and Aurora Ry Co. [microform] : guide and time table . (Archive.org)
- Notebooks : Thoreau MacDonald. MacDonald, Thoreau, 1980. (Archive.org login required)
- A boy all spirit : Thoreau MacDonald in the 1920s. Sabean, John W., 2002. (Archive.org login required)
- The Life and Letters of the Rev. George Mortimer: M.A. Rector of Thornhill in the Diocese of Toronto, Canada West. Armstrong, John, 1847. (Archive.org)
- Observations on professions, literature, manners, and emigration in the United States and Canada: made during a residence there in 1832. Fidler, Isaac, 1833. (Archive.org)
- Early Days in Richmond Hill: A History of the Community to 1930 (electronic edition). Stamp, Robert M., 1991.
- The Thornhill Circle: JEH MacDonald and His Associates. The Varley Art Gallery of Markham, 2006 (Reproduced with permission from the Varley Art Gallery of Markham).
- History of Toronto and county of York, Ontario, containing an outline of the history of the Dominion of Canada, a history of the city of Toronto and the county of York, with the townships, towns, villages, churches, schools, general and local statistics, biographical sketches, etc., etc (1885):
Historical Documentaries about Thornhill
- The Thornhill Story: 1790-1990 (2 Parts). Description: a historical documentary feature that explores the history of Thornhill, Ontario from the time of its settlement in the 1790's through its development into the 20th century. Produced by Vic Stecyk for the Society for the Preservation of Historic Thornhill (SPOHT) in 1991.
- The Story of Holy Ann. Description: Features the story of Ann Preston ("Holy Ann") (1810-1906). Created by: 100 Huntley St.
- THOREAU. Description: A short documentary on the life of Thoreau MacDonald (1901-1989), artist, book illustrator, and art editor who lived most of his life in Thornhill, Ontario. He was the son of Group of Seven artist, J.E.H. MacDonald (ca.1989 or 1990).
Local Newspapers (Online):
Several newspapers serving the Richmond Hill and Thornhill areas have been made available by the Richmond Hill Public Library.
Thornhill Heritage Conservation Districts plans:
- Thornhill-Markham Heritage Conservation District Plan (City of Markham)
- Thornhill-Vaughan Heritage Conservation District Plan (City of Vaughan)
Designated & Listed houses and buildings in Thornhill:
- Markham and Vaughan registers of historic properties:
- Ontario Heritage Act Register (Source: Ontario Heritage Trust)
- Built to Last: Heritage Properties from York County to York Region [Images and descriptions of York Region heritage properties plotted on the 1860 map of York County] (York Region, 2017).
Historic Cemeteries of Southern York Region
Includes: Holy Trinity Cemetery, St. Luke's Cemetery, and Thornhill Community Cemetery
Historic Plaques in Thornhill:
See historic plaques that have been installed at various sites in Thornhill to mark places, people and events.
Historical Maps & Aerial imagery:
- County atlases including townships of Markham and Vaughan (McGill University)
- Patent plans recording Patents (part of granting) of Crown land (Archives of Ontario)
- Tremaine map of York County, 1860 (University of Toronto Libraries)
- Aerial images over Thornhill - ca.1930-1988. (Thornhill Archives)
- YorkMaps - Find aerial and satellite imagery for York Region (including Thornhill) from 1954-present (York Region).
- Built to Last: Heritage Properties from York County to York Region [Historical description of York County & York Region with maps] (York Region, 2017).
- City of Toronto Aerial Images, 1947-1992 [many years of coverage extend into the Thornhill area].
- York Region in 1860 vs Today - slide map (York Region)
- York Region in 1970 vs Today - slide map (York Region)
Thornhill in the Second World War:
Thornhill Honour Roll & Scrapbook, 1939-1945. (Thornhill Archives)
Photographs of Thornhill online:
The Thornhill Archives has an extensive photograph collection ranging in date from the mid-19th century to the present day. The people, places and events that have shaped this community are well-documented in the various photograph collections.
A small number of collections are available online: