Humber Valley Heritage Trail Association - Bolton Chapter         

The River and Earlier Trail

In 1999 the Humber River was designated as a Canadian Heritage River and included in the Canadian Heritage Rivers System, Canada’s national river conservation program. The Canadian Heritage River System promotes, protects and enhances Canada’s river heritage and helps insure Canada’s leading rivers are managed in a sustainable manner.

Archeological evidence of human life, extending back 12000 years, can be found along the course of the river. First Nations people occupied the watershed for most of this period. When Europeans arrived in early 1600s, they followed their First Nations guides along the Humber’s banks and beyond. Over the centuries the trail along the river became one of the main trade routes known as the Carrying Place Trail until the beginning of the 19th century when Young Street had supplanted it.

The Humber River has three branches: East, Main and West.

The towns and villages like Bolton, Kleinburg, Woodbridge and their smaller cousins were developed in the river’s watershed. Woodbridge got its name from the wooden bridge that once spanned the river.

Almost 143 species of breeding birds nest or migrate through the Humber River watershed. Surveys have identified 30 mammal species, 61 fish species, 10 species of reptile and 14 different kinds of amphibians that live and breed in the watershed. The watershed is also home to 918 species of plants.

The Humber River watershed encompasses 600 lakes, ponds and reservoirs, and 750 tributaries.

The local Mississauga people called the river Kabechenong which meant “gathering place to tie up”, while the English and French maps marked it as either the Toronto River or St. John’s River. After the Toronto purchase in 1787 Upper Canada’s first Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe renamed the river to Humber, after a river in Yorkshire, England.



A short film by Yuestas David.

This Toronto and Region Conservation Authority event was held in 2014 with Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nations and Metis participation.



 The Map of TORONTO CARRYING PLACE (1619 - 1793) 


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