It is difficult for Todmorden Mills Museum visitors to imagine that this site so close to the busy Don Valley Parkway was once home to an important mill. As early as 1793 Governor Simcoe recognized the industrial potential of this portion of the Don River. By 1795 Skinner’s sawmill was under construction, initiating an era of technological development that spread beyond the valley of the Don into what was then Muddy York. Today, Todmorden serves to remind us of Toronto’s industrial heritage and the spirit of the time.
This invaluable local history confirms the significance of early mills and later factories along the Don River and recognizes the roles played by Timothy Skinner, Parshall Terry, George Playter, William Helliwell and other settlers and entrepreneurs of Governor John Graves Simcoe’s time and beyond.
Eleanor Darke, assisted by Ian Wheal, presents us with an informative account of the people, their lives and their creative influence.