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.
The Yonge Street Story, 1793-1860
This is the remarkable story of the trail that became the longest street in the world, as officially recognized by The Guinness Book of Records. Begun in 1794, Yonge Street was planned by the ambitious Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe as a military route between Lake Ontario and Lake Huron. Anxious to bolster Upper Canadaâ€™s defences against the new republic to the south, which he heartily loathed, Simcoe had his Queenâ€™s Rangers survey and develop the route from Toronto to present-day Holland Landing, and laid out lots for settlement. Even the trusty Rangers, as one surveyor complained in 1799, needed little excuse to lay down tools and vanish "to carouse upon St. Georgeâ€™s day."
Handsomely illustrated with the authorâ€™s drawings, and painstakingly researched, this book captures the not-so-distant days when muddy Yonge Street was the backbone of pioneer Ontario.