Sovereign People, Sovereign Territory

The original survey in 1787 was found to be incomplete and was missing even the most basic records. In 1788 another “survey” was conducted by Sir John Johnson. He was instructed to seize all territory from Ashbridges Bay to the Credit River. He encountered such fierce resistance as he headed West that he had to call in the military and only then did the Mississaugas relent and were “prevailed upon to give up the River Tobicoak (Etobicoke River) but go no further.” 

Despite the resistance and the incomplete survey, these activities were characterized by the Crown as a “purchase.” In 1805 the British Crown finalized what it called the “Toronto Purchase.” The Mississauga negotiated for reserves for fishing and hunting rights; they regarded these agreements as a need for survival while the British regarded them as the surrender of what is now the City of Toronto.

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