THE ORIGINAL INHABITANTS: the FIRST NATIONS
The neck of the peninsula of the Point is traversed by an ancient aboriginal trail, which dates back more than 4000 years. There are many Paleolithic camp sites along the trail, one of which is just north of Baby Point on Langmuir (now Humbercrest Blvd) stretching north to St. Mark’s Road.This ancient lakeshore trail would have come north to the break in the ravine and a fording location at what is now the Old Mill Bridge crossing. The Baby Point height of land which overlooked this important crossing – intersecting with what became the Carrying Place Pathway— commanded sight lines of both routes, and was a natural fortification site. The Seneca village of Teiaiagon was strategically located at this site, the limits of navigable water when paddling north from the mouth of the Humber River.
Sometime after 1687, the Senecas disappeared from the Point, returning to the south shore of Lake Ontario. There are differing points of view as to why this happened: first, the French, heavily invested in the fur trade, burned Teiaiagon in 1687 to punish the Senecas for trading with the English and Dutch to the south; second, it was related to a threat or attack by Governor Denonville (who weathered out a storm by anchoring in the Humber Marshes in 1687 while returning from an attack on the Iroquois in Niagara); or, that the land was becoming depleted for agricultural purposes.
By 1700, the Mississauga First Nation (Ojibway in origin) controlled the Baby Point area, hunting and trading here. Now known as the Mississaugas of the New Credit, they were the First Nation of the Toronto Purchase of 1787 and 1805. The related land claims were settled at the end of May, 2010.
(Colour Illustration by Olivia Loncar-Bartolini)
This historic plaque, mounted on a large granite boulder found at the corner of Baby Point Road and Baby Point Crescent, marks the Teiaiagon site. The plaque reads “This area includes the site of Teiaiagon Iroquois Village at the foot of the Toronto Carrying Place (Le Portage de Toronto). This way passed Étienne Brûlé, first white man to see Lake Ontario, 1615; René Robert Cavelier de la Salle, explorer of the Mississippi 1680 and 1681; John Graves Simcoe, first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, 1793. These lands now known as Baby Point were purchased by Honourable James Baby, member of the Legislative and Executive Councils, 1820.”