Scottish-born F.R. "Hamish" Berchem sailed in submarines with the Royal Navy before transferring to the Royal Canadian Navy. He was Commanding Officer, HMCS York, Toronto, from 1970 to 1973. He has honours and masters degrees in history and English from the University of Toronto and has taught high school at Don Mills and Bathurst Heights Collegiates in North York.
This important original work with stylish illustrations by the author/artist F.R. (Hamish) Berchem, promises to be a worthy sequel to his earlier book on Yonge Street, The Yonge Street Story 1793-1860 (now out of print).
The fascinating story of Yonge Street has involved an endless array of memorable personalities including the young reporter Charles Dickens; publisher J. Ross Robertson; successful Scots merchants John MacDonald, John Catto, Robert Simpson and Irishman Timothy Eaton; coal and wood merchant Elias Rogers; Hessian officer Frederic, Baron de Hoen; theatre magnate Ambrose Small; and soldier, financier, philanthropist Major General Sir Henry Pellatt.
This is also the story of some of the communities that dot the northward route of Yonge Street from Toronto - Richmond Hill, Thornhill, Aurora, Newmarket, Holland Landing, Bradford and Penetanguishene, the latter for many years the northern terminus of Yonge Street. Today, as Highway 11, the world’s longest street winds its way through Ontario’s "Near North" to Rainy River, a remarkable tribute to the vision of Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe.