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All about Uxbridge series: Uxbridge history

Named after Uxbridge, England – a name that comes from Wixan’s Bridge – the Township of Uxbridge is ideally located one hour east of Toronto.

The area was originally settled by Quaker pioneers in the 1800s who came from the Catawissa area of Pennsylvania – an area that became the Township’s twin in 1982.

Built in 1820, the township’s oldest building is the Uxbridge Friends Meeting House. This board and batten house overlooks the town from Quaker Hill. It featured a partition inside to separate men and women when first built, but that partition was removed in the 1880s to create a small Sunday school area.

In 1850 the township was incorporated as a municipality, becoming a part of Ontario County just two years later.

By 1871 the Toronto and Nipissing Railroad came to Uxbridge, a location that remained the Railroad’s headquarters for more than a decade. The Toronto and Nipissing Railroad was the first passenger carrying narrow gauge railway in North America, making Uxbridge an important location as the Railway’s headquarters.

Around the same time, Uxbridge became a Village, before obtaining town status in 1885. Uxbridge Town, along with Scott Township, became a part of Uxbridge Township in 1973 with the creation of the Regional Municipality of Durham – a status that remains today. Other communities within the township include:

  • Coppins Corners
  • Goodwood
  • Leaskdale
  • Sandford
  • Siloam
  • Victoria’s Corner
  • Zephyr

For more information about the history of Uxbridge, visit the Uxbridge-Scott Museum at 7239 Concession Rd. 6 or attend the annual Heritage Days in August. This year marks 45th year of the annual event, which will be held on Saturday and Sunday, August 27 and 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit uxbridgescotthistoricalsociety.ca for details.

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