Ontario's Historical Plaques
Learn a little Ontario history as told through its plaques
Holland's Landing Depot
Photo by contributor George Nassas - Posted October, 2010
Photo by contributor Wayne Adam - Posted February, 2012
The Region of York
The Town of East Gwillimbury
North of Holland Landing, just off Queensville Sideroad (Road 77)
.5 km west of Yonge Street (Road 51) at the south end of Soldier Bay
at the east end of the bridge over the Holland River
Coordinates: N 44 07.639 W 79 30.097
The Royal Navy Depot Holland Landing, constructed during the War of 1812, stood just north of this site on the east bank of Soldiers' Bay. Its buildings and other facilities served as an administrative and transshipment centre within a network of roads, waterways, portages and posts that connected Lake Ontario to the upper Great Lakes. To avoid American forces in the Niagara-Lake Erie-Detroit River corridor, British authorities moved vital supplies from York (Toronto) through this depot to Georgian Bay to support the successful war effort on the upper lakes. In addition, they distributed gifts to Aboriginal allies in the region from this site. After the return of peace in 1815, officials gradually concentrated most local military operations at Penetanguishene, which led to the decline and abandonment of the depot in the 1830s. Afterwards, travellers occasionally used it for shelter until it was transferred to private ownership in the 1860s.
War of 1812
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Posted July 30, 2012
The legal title of the country has some bearing in this argument. The northern half of the continent is known as the Dominion of Canada and our southern neighbour is known as The United States of America. Therefore I am a Canadian and my cousins are Americans and I don't feel I have giving anything away by this nomenclature. grant
Posted February 20, 2012
Can anyone provide more info on this site? Apparently my property sits right where this depot would have been. Any known photos of this site even after it was privately purchased?
Posted December 1, 2010
If 'loyal Americans', in reference to the Tories, was applied only in those colonies which were revolting, it would make sense as a way of distinguishing them. In other British American colonies where subjugation was the norm, there was perhaps no need to make the distinction. I've found several historical and modern references to 'America' as an inclusive term, used by Europeans and even Quebeckers to refer to places from Canada to Argentina. The liberal application is refreshing. To hear news reports about Mexicans crossing into "America" as if their nation is not American is insulting. Even "North America" is abused, often meant to refer only to the US and Canada (as in a recent radio ad), excluding 17 other nations which reside here. Acquiescence of 'American' as an exclusive reference to the US also causes needless confusion when speaking of Native Americans. 'Native Canadian' has been invented as a counter-term, which can easily refer to citizenship in a modern nation, not its intended meaning. Let us use 'America' as the inclusive term it is, and remind US folk their country comprises only part of it. -Wayne
Posted November 24, 2010
I agree with Wayne, in part. All inhabitants of North America are Americans. However, the use of American in the sense found on this and other plaques is historically accurate. For example, loyalists from the War of Independence were called "Loyal Americans," a moniker that was not extended to those living in Nova Scotia or Québec who considered themselves equally as loyal as the newcomers. "American" as a pejorative term, or at least to represent the Republican other, was also common during the era of the War of 1812. I think its continued use can be chalked up to its public acceptance as a valid delineation of identity and nationalism. -- Mike
Posted November 12, 2010
The word "American" is really a continental term, and should be avoided when only the United States part of America is meant. Yet several provincial plaques use the word, conceding exclusive use of the continental reference to just one country in America. Common parlance does the same, mainly because 'United States' is a difficult name to adjectivize. That's unfortunate for the U.S., but it doesn't mean we ought to surrender our continental descriptor. It would be nice to see the word defended so all parts of America might use it (as was done historically); and especially defended by Canada, which occupies more of America than anyone else. -Wayne
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