The Don River
The Don River, or simply “The Don”, flows down the eastern side of Toronto and into Lake Ontario.
Nomadic Hunters (Humans), likely arrived in the area over 10,000 years ago. The river itself would have been formed about 12,000 years ago following the Wisconsinan Glaciation (an ice age that lasted over 35,000 years).
In the late 1700’s Lieutenant Governor Simcoe gave the river its English name because the wide valley reminded him of the River Don in Yorkshire, England.
The Anishnaabe name for the Don is Wonscotanach, meaning the river coming from the back burnt grounds, and likely refers to a forest fire in the plains to the north.
The Don Parklands, provide nearby residents and visitors with a tranquil oasis for communing with nature. It is not uncommon to find yourself sharing this natural beauty with deer and other fauna that call this area home.
In the 1790's Elizabeth Simcoe, wife of John Simcoe (Upper Canada's first lieutenant-governor), became enchanted with the beauty of the Don River, and made a series of paintings of the area.
Prior to the 17th century, the area would have been inhabited by First Nations people including the Mississaugas, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. Some village and camp sites along the Don River have been occupied for the last 4000 years.
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