Scarborough Historical Society
Scarborough was first opened to settlement in 1796. The history of the name Agincourt in Scarborough dates back to June 1, 1858, when John Hill was granted a post office outlet for his general store. It appears Mr. Hill had been trying, without success, to obtain a post office to enhance his business. At a time when Canada West (Ontario) and Canada East (Quebec) were in political conflict, Hill was visiting a friend who was a member of parliament from Canada East. The desirability of a post office was mentioned. His friend offered to assist if the post office was given a French name. The name Agincourt, after a town in northern France, proved to satisfy his French-Canadian friend, yet not offend Hill's English and Scottish neighbours in Scarborough. History recalls that it was at Agincourt in France, where King Henry V of England defeated the French in a famous 1415 battle! Agincourt grew slowly at first, centred around what is now Brimley Road and Sheppard Avenue East. By the late 1860's, Hill's General Store, Milne's sawmill and the Sons of Temperance Hall flourished at the tiny crossroad community. The building of the first Agincourt railway station in 1871 meant an increase in access to transportation, a growth in population and a shift in the community centre westward along Main Street (now Sheppard Avenue) to Church Street (now Midland Avenue.) By 1884 the community had been blessed with two railways, the Toronto Nipissing/Grand Trunk/CNR line running north and south midway between Kennedy Road and Midland Avenue and the Ontario and Quebec/CPR line running diagonally through the community just east of Midland Ave. The congregation of Knox Presbyterian Church, which had built a small frame structure in 1848, grew in numbers and in 1872 built a new brick edifice to serve the community. The church and its cemetery still stand at Midland and Sheppard Avenues. A new store was built adjacent to the church and for many years was operated by the Kennedy family. By the turn of the century, Agincourt had become the largest community in the township and continued to prosper right into the 20th century. A telephone exchange was established in 1903, Scarborough's first full fledged bank, a branch of the Metropolitan Bank, opened in 1906, Paget and Hay's Hardware store and tin smith operated by 1912, at the same time as the community built Heather Hall Skating and Curling Club adjacent to land which served as the Scarborough Agricultural Society's Fair Grounds. About 1912, the community was incorporated as the police village of Agincourt, somewhat of a misnomer as its status had very little to do with police officers. A Board of Trustees raised funds for local improvements such as Hydro, curbs and sidewalks and generally managed local affairs.
Scarborough was incorporated as a township in 1850, became a borough in 1967, was incorporated as a city in 1983 and local government was amalgamated as part of the City of Toronto by provincial decree in 1997.
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