The following are descriptions of some of the projects and initiatives undertaken by SPOHT since 1974.
Historic Plaque Program
Since 1973, sixteen historic plaques have been erected in Thornhill to commemorate people, places and events that have shaped our community. The first two were installed by branches of the Government of Ontario, the succeeding fourteen have been installed by SPOHT.
These bronze plaques, topped by their characteristic wheat sheafs, have been installed in different parts of Thornhill.
See photos, text and other information about these plaques located around Thornhill.
A Walking Tour of Historic Thornhill
Historic walking tours of Thornhill have been produced more than once by SPOHT, and one of the earliest organized tours was created by the Thornhill Village Library archives committee in the 1970's.
In 1996, Vic Stecyk and Lorna F. Rogers produced "A Walking-Cycling Tour of Old Thornhill". In 2000, another edition was produced with additional assistance from David Rawcliffe and Peter DeMille.
These pamphlets are distributed free of charge among local schools, and can be found in the Thornhill Village Library which is the first stop on your self-guided tour of historic Thornhill.
In its most recent incarnation, the Walking Tour of Historic Thornhill Village is now available online with photos and additional text to guide you through Thornhill from the comfort of your own home.
Restoration of "Stop 17"
The vestiges of the electric Metropolitan Radial Railway, which once ran along Yonge St., had all but faded into the pages of history until an interesting re-discovery was made in 2000. After spending some 50 years on the Thornhill Golf Course as a rain shelter, one of the former Metropolitan Radial Line waiting rooms was rediscovered. SPOHT, in cooperation with the Thornhill Lions Club, had this small building moved by Charles Matthew Brothers house movers to a nearby property to be restored. Following the restoration the Waiting Room was moved onto its new foundation on Yonge St. at the entrance to Cricklewood Park. In October 2001, this site was marked by an interpretive historic plaque to tell the story of this once familiar transportation system.
An Education Kit "When Yonge Was Young"
In 1996, in honour of the 200th anniversary of the clearing of Yonge St., SPOHT created an education kit entitled "When Yonge Was Young". The kit contains a variety of historical resources and guides to help students research and understand the development of their local community from its beginnings to the present day.
The education kit was distributed to all the local school libraries.
The Thornhill Story 1790-1990 (video production)
The Thornhill Story began in 1980 as a film strip and audio tape package compiled by Vic Stecyk In 1990 a VHS version was produced and distributed to all the local schools as a historical education resource. The Thornhill Story provides an overview of the historic developments of the community of Thornhill from the 1790's to 1990, and is a helpful starting point for students and researchers who want to learn more about local history.
Copies of this video are available at the various library branches in the Thornhill area.
Alf Weaver Memorial Scholarship
The Alf Weaver Memorial Scholarship was created in 1999 in honour of the late Alf Weaver (1921-1998), long time active member of SPOHT, photographer, and local historian.
This scholarship was presented over 10 years (1999 - 2008) to a graduating student of Thornhill Secondary School who has demonstrated school and community spirit.
Thornhill Village Festival
From 1977-2018 SPOHT hosted the Thornhill Village Festival each year on the 3rd Saturday in September. Over the years, the Festival helped helped to foster community identity and spirit in the urban village of Thornhill.
The Thornhill Archives was established in 2001 by the Society for the Preservation of Historic Thornhill. The Archives identifies, acquires and maintains material of lasting archival, informational, and historical value, and makes it available to the public.
Through the Archives web site you can learn about this collection, view our digital exhibits, and find out how you can access and contribute to this rich and growing resource.