Comprising over 200 square kilometers of lush forest and farmland, our home was created as a governmental entity in 1971 when the Township of Whitchurch, the Village of Stouffville, and a portion of the Township of Markham, consolidated into what we today call Whitchurch-Stouffville. But our history goes back much further than that...
A village was founded by Ancestral Huron-Wendat on 3 hectares of land with a population of about 1,700 people. The village was identified by archaeologists in 2002 and excavated between 2003 and 2005. Known initially as the Mantle Site, it was renamed the Jean-Baptiste Lainé Site in honour of a decorated Second World War Huron-Wendat veteran. Other significant late precontact Huron-Wendat village sites have been found in Whitchurch-Stouffville, including the “Ratcliff” or “Baker Hill” site on Highway 48, and the “Old Fort” or “Aurora” site on Kennedy Road.
Whitchurch Township was created in 1792 as one of ten townships in York County. It was named in honour of the village of Whitchurch, Herefordshire in England, where Elizabeth, the wife of Upper Canada Lieutenant Governor Sir John Graves Simcoe, was born. The first European settlements in Whitchurch Township were established in the 1790s.
Early settlers recorded the use of at least three Indigenous trail systems – one of which paralleled what is now Yonge Street. A second trail, Vandorf Trail, ran from the Rouge system to Newmarket and through Holland Landing. The third trail, Rouge Trail, ran northwest from Musselman’s Lake.
A caravan consisting of the Stouffer and Reesor families arrived in the Whitchurch area from Pennsylvania. Peter Reesor’s family settled in the Markham area, while his sister, Elizabeth, and her husband Abraham Stouffer, followed Duffin’s Creek slightly north to what is now Stouffville.
The first newspaper in Stouffville, the “Pay Advocate”, is published. It was later renamed “The Alert”, and then “The Advance”. In 1888 it became the “Tribune” and in 2000 it merged with the “Stouffville Sun” to become the “Sun-Tribune”.
The Stouffer Family>
Abraham Stouffer was born in Pennsylvania in 1780. He was a descendant of the Stouffer’s, who had fled Switzerland to seek religious freedom in 1709. Accompanied by Peter Reesor and his family, in 1804 Abraham and his wife Elizabeth (Peter’s sister) emigrated to Canada with their two children using four large wagons, each drawn by four to six horses each. The Stouffer-Reesor family caravan also had pigs, fowl, sheep, cows, and oxen accompanying them on the six-week trek through trackless forests Abraham built several mills between 1817 – 1824. One of which was a grist mill at Main Street & Market Street. It was there that a village began to develop. The hamlet became known as “Stoufferville”.
The first post office was established in then-called Stoufferville by the federal Government, which then officially named the settlement “Stouffville” after the Stouffers.
With the implementation of the Baldwin Act, the Township of Whitchurch became an organized municipal government in 1850. While maintaining their names, existing hamlets were absorbed into this newly formed Township.
Three hamlets grew into villages and separated from Whitchurch Township for administrative purposes to form their own municipal governments in the following years. They were Newmarket (1858), Aurora (1863), and Stouffville (1877).
The Mansion House Hotel is built by Elijah Miller next to the new train station in Stouffville. This luxury hotel could accommodate 100 guests, had electricity and was lavishly decorated with red carpets and chandeliers. The building is still standing today on the corner of Main Street and Edward Street.
Curling on the Mill Pond, located north of Main Street and west of Mill Street, is the first organized sport in the area.
Located in the heart of the Village of Stouffville, “Nineteen on the Park” was built in 1896 as a market & dance hall. This building has played many roles over the years: a garage, theatre, bowling alley, and even the Town Hall.
The Williams Treaties are signed by the governments of Canada and Ontario. The treaties included Whitchurch in over 20,000 km2 of land transferred from local Indigenous peoples to the governments. Indigenous tribes received a one-time payment, as well as hunting and fishing rights, although legal discussions continued between them and the governments until 2018.
Located in Civic Square, the Village of Stouffville’s Clock Tower is completed. The clock and bell come from Croydon, England and were manufactured by the same company that made Toronto’s Old City Hall clock and bell.
The Stouffville Country Market opens on the Tenth Concession, north of Main Street, in Stouffville and quickly becomes a major attraction for over 64 years. The Market closed permanently at the end of the 2016 season.
Whitchurch Township and the Village of Stouffville (and parts of Markham) amalgamate to form The Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville as the Regional Municipality of York is officially established, headquartered in Newmarket.
The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan is established, making Whitchurch-Stouffville part of the Ontario Greenbelt. Development is limited on this land, making Whitchurch-Stouffville one of the largest ecologically and environmentally protected municipalities in the GTHA, with over 94% of its land protected.
Whitchurch-Stouffville continues to attract new residents, businesses, and tourists in an era of immense prosperity, while surrounded by healthy natural ecosystems and sprawling farmlands. More and more young families are calling the Town their home, and seniors continue to flock to retire here, all to participate in the small town community atmosphere with the convenience of big-city amenities nearby.
111 Sandiford Drive, Stouffville ON, CA firstname.lastname@example.org (905) 640-1900