Yonge Street north of Elgin Mills supported a number of small settlements in the middle of the nineteenth century, each with its own claim to continuing fame. Opposite Jefferson Sideroad, Pupils of Jefferson Public School. St. John’s Anglican Church offered spiritual comfort to the weary traveler. Erected as a wooden frame structure in 1848, the now brick-clad building is the oldest church edifice in present-day Richmond Hill.
At Bond Lake, comfort of another sort awaited travelers at the well-known Bond Lake Hotel. Built in 1834, the hotel boasted twenty overnight rooms, plus a grand ballroom, and provided the setting for local dances and sleigh-ride parties. Nearby was the fifty-five-acre (twenty-hectare) spring-fed lake itself, which attracted generations of nineteenth-and early twentieth-century swimmers Poster for a picnic at Bond Lake and boaters in summer months, while curlers and skaters used its frozen ice for their winter sports.
At Oak Ridges, the mid-nineteenth-century traveler encountered a community nucleus of a hotel, post office, and blacksmith shop. In the early years of the twentieth century, this emerging community would profit from its location at the junction of the Metropolitan and Schomberg & Aurora electric railway lines and from its proximity to summer cottage development around Lake Wilcox. Still later, in the closing decades of the twentieth century, Oak Ridges would become Richmond Hill’s major northern commercial and residential area.
Oak Ridges is a suburban community in northern Richmond Hill, in Ontario, Canada, located east of King City, immediately south of Aurora, and west of Stouffville. Corresponding to Richmond Hill’s Ward 1, Oak Ridges has a population of approximately 20,000. The community developed around Lake Wilcox, the largest lake in the area, and has continued to expand since its amalgamation with Richmond Hill.