British Urbanism and Bureaucracy
The British brought not only economic linkages to an imperial chain to Toronto, but the bureaucratic state as well. The result is beautiful and strictly structed maps, such as this "Topographical Plan of the City and Liberties of Toronto in the Province of Canada" from 1842, commissioned by the Governor General of British North America, Sir Charles Bagot. Though maps such as this one sought to convey a true representation of Toronto in its current state, these maps were products of imperial and urban expansion. Each parcel of land is carefully marked out, well past the presence of actual buildings. Maps such as these, explicitly commissioned by the highest of governmental figures, visually express the imperial mandate to expand the city into its hinterland. An unknown British soldier remarked in 1840, "'There is a good deal of cleared land in the vicinity of Toronto but the forest still predominates very considerably in the landscape and in many cases forms the boundary of the town'" (Armstrong, 21).
In addition, this map provides a glimpse into the dual force of development at the time between top-down bureaucracy and bottom-up expansion, which in turn is epitomized by the account of individuals "petitioning for land to the Crown Lands Department... would cite the improvements they had made, confidently expecting a grant to be made to them" (Clarke, 159). The urbanization of the Toronto region relied on both of these forces.
Another topographical view of Toronto in this time period comes from famed mapmaker Stanley F. Turner's map of the 1837 Siege of Toronto (an event in the Upper Canada Rebellion). The map was composed later in Toronto's history, but it accurately conveys how quickly Toronto's environment shifted: from city center, to cleared lands, to woods... and further on, 'The Bush'.
Of note is the location of former Toronto mayor William Lyon Mackenzie's Rebel Camp within the depth of the bush territory. Military necessity, like trade routes and agricultural expansion, grew the cultural network of Toronto emanating from the center city.