Scottish Place Names
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
For comparability with other large cities around the world, Greater Toronto has been defined as the entire built-up area along the north-western shore of Lake Ontario from Oakville in the west to Newcastle in the east, with an inland corridor to Newmarket and Holland Landing in the north. The area included within this definition embraces all communities and neighbourhoods in the Cities of Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton and Vaughan and the Towns of Oakville, Richmond Hill, Markham and Ajax. The area also includes the suburbanised sections of the Cities of Oshawa and Pickering, the Municipality of Clarington and the Towns of Whitby, Whitchurch-Stouffville, Aurora, Newmarket, Halton Hills and Milton, together with the SE corner of the Town of Caledon (centred on Bolton) and the southern and eastern sections of the Township of King. This is a vast and rapidly expanding metropolitan area - the fifth largest in North America.
Of the names of the 786 communities and neighbourhoods that have been identified to date in Greater Toronto, 161 (20.5%) can be found in Scotland or are based on Scottish family names or Scottish words. Of course, some of the names are used in other parts of the British Isles as well but at least 72 of them (9.2%) are uniquely Scottish or are readily identifiable with places in Scotland that are based on the same names.
Picture of Toronto via Wikimedia.
Communities and neighbourhoods with names that occur only in Scotland and not elsewhere in the British Isles, and/or are definitely, or most probably, of Scottish origin are:
- Alloa (Clackmannanshire). The town in Scotland takes its name from Gaelic words meaning 'rocky place' (Ayto & Crofton, 2005). The picture is of Alloa Tower in the Scottish town of Alloa.
- Andrewville - Andrew is a Scottish family name from Caithness and is found today across Scotland. The Andrew family is a sept of Clan Ross.
- Angus Glen East Village and Angus Glen West Village - the names of these Markham neighbourhoods are based presumably on the Scottish county of Angus, or a personal Scottish name.
- Armadale (two places in Highland and one in West Lothian). The Wikipedia article on Armadale retrieved in November 2007 states that the Toronto neighbourhood was originally known as Magdala. However, when a postal station was established in 1869 along what is now Passmore Avenue, the post office became known as Armadale, "aptly named after a small village near Edinburgh, Scotland." According to Room (2003), an authority on British place names, the town near Edinburgh in West Lothian dates from the mid-19th century, and derives its name from William Honeyman, Lord Armadale, whose title was taken from Armadale in the Scottish Highlands.
- Armour Heights - Armour is a Scottish and English family name, said to have originated in the former county of Berwickshire (now part of the Scottish Borders). The earliest record of this family name in Scotland is 1297. A well-known Scottish bearer of this name was Jean Armour, Robert Burns' sweetheart. According to the Toronto Neighbourhoods website, Armour Heights was named after John Armour, who settled in the area in the 1830s. The Armour family sold their farm in 1911 to Colonel F.B. Robins, who planned the Armour Heights neighbourhood. In a communication received from Mary Muir, Fife, Scotland, it is stated that John Armour was born around 30th March 1791 at Belloch (now the farm of Glencreggan) in the parish of Killean and Kilkenzie, Argyll, Scotland, the son of Alexander Armour and Jane Love. He emigrated in 1820 with two of his sisters, while his widowed mother and most of his other siblings joined him later. This information comes from an unpublished manuscript of a family history of some Kintyre Armours compiled by the late Mrs Isabella Champion née Armour (a distant relative of Mary Muir) who lived in Unionville, Ontario.
- Ballantrae (South Ayrshire). According to the article on Ballantrae retrieved from Wikipedia in December 2007, this fast growing outer suburb of Toronto was named for the village of Ballantrae in South Ayrshire, Scotland. The name of this village was popularised by Robert Louis Stevenson's novel 'The Master of Ballantrae', published in 1889, part of the setting of which was the wilds of upstate New York. Stephanie Foley, Acting Curator of the Whitchurch-Stouffville Museum, advises that there is no definitive information on the origin of the name, but is of the opinion that the community "was probably named after the town in Scotland." (information sent to Jean Brittain, Ayrshire, Scotland, April 2008).
- Beaton - Beaton is a Scottish surname, members of the family being septs of Clans MacDonald, Maclean of Duart and MacLeod of Harris. The reason for the name of this Oshawa neighbourhood has not been found.
- Bendale - also known as Cedarbrae (see below). The Toronto Neighbourhoods website provides the following account of the name of this community: "Bendale was originally known as Benlomond, which was the name given to the local post office in 1878. However the Benlomond name had already been in use elsewhere and in 1881, this community was renamed Bendale. When the development of the present-day neighbourhood took place in the 1950's the Bendale name was adopted by Bendale Public School, Bendale Park, and Bendale Boulevard." It is clear therefore that this is a made-up name containing the element 'ben', from the Gaelic 'beinn' - a 'mountain', though its inspiration was obviously the mountain called Ben Lomond near Scotland's most famous loch.
- Ben Jungle - this section of the Bendale neighbourhood (see above) contains streets that all begin with 'Ben'. Of the 15 streets in Ben Jungle a third have Scottish names: Ben Alder Drive (named after a tall mountain overlooking Loch Ericht), Ben Doran Boulevard (Ben Doran is the name of at least two hotels in Scotland), Ben Nevis Drive (named after Scotland's tallest mountain), Benadair Court (Adair is a Scottish family name) and Benary Crescent (Benary is a village in Fifeshire). The other streets seem to have made-up names, e.g. Benlark Crescent and Benshire Drive and there is even a Benhur Crescent.
- Brown's Corners - there are numerous places in both Scotland and England that appear to be based on the family name of Brown. The surname Brown is very common in both countries, with surveys in the 1970s suggesting that it is the second most common family name in Scotland (after Smith) and the third most common in England (after Smith and Jones). The article on Brown's Corners retrieved from Wikipedia in September 2013 gives the following explanation of the origin of the name of this Markham neighbourhood: "The community, founded in 1842, was named for local settler Alexander Brown, Sr. (1771-1851) who acquired 100 acres (40 ha) in 1838.....The hub of the community was Browns Presbyterian Church, with land donated by Brown and located next to his farm." It seems quite likely, therefore, that Alexander Brown's ancestry was Scottish, or perhaps Ulster Scots.
- Caledonia - the Latin name for Scotland, which was loosely used by the Romans to describe any part of the country north of the Antonine Wall, especially the Scottish Highlands. The Toronto neighbourhood takes its name from Caledonia Road, a major north-south thoroughfare.
- C.D. Farquharson - Farquharson is a Scottish family name and a clan in its own right (see clan crest on the right), descended from a branch of Clan Chattan. The name means 'very dear one' in Gaelic (Fearchar) with the addition of the English suffix 'son'. The Toronto neighbourhood takes its name from the C D Farquharson Junior Public School on Brimley Road, founded in 1954.
- Cedarbrae and South Cedarbrae - Although there is no such place in Scotland, the 'brae' element suggests a Scottish connection, brae (pronounced "bray") meaning a hillside or slope.
- Christie Pits - there is a Christielands in Dumfries & Galloway, a Christie's Hole in the Shetland Islands and Christie Park in Alexandria (Argyll & Bute). This Scottish family name is also found just over the border, for example, Christies Bog in Northumberland and Christie Wood in North Yorkshire. The entry on Christie Pits in the Toronto Neighbourhoods website gives the following explanation: "The Christie Pits neighbourhood is named after the former Christie Sand Pits, that were a local landmark in this area until the early 1900's. Christie Street is named after William Mellis Christie, who co-founded the Christie & Brown Cookie Company, in downtown Toronto in 1861." Christie was born in Huntly, Aberdeenshire.
- Dunbarton - presumably a reference to the former county of Dunbartonshire, with its county town at Dumbarton ('fortress of the Britons'). The Scottish county was abolished in 1975 but was resurrected in 1996 as two unitary authorities (West and East Dunbartonshire), though the area is considerably smaller than that of the historic county. The illustration shows Dumbarton Castle near the Scottish town. No information has been found on the reason for the name of this community in Pickering.
- Eglinton East, Keelesdale-Eglinton West, Yonge and Eglinton and York-Eglinton - there is an Eglinton Castle and Eglinton Park in North Ayrshire as well as Port Eglinton in Glasgow. There is also the town of Eglinton to the east of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, the name having been taken there no doubt by Scottish settlers. These Toronto neighbourhoods all derive their names from Eglinton Avenue, a major east-west thoroughfare. According to the article on Eglinton Avenue, retrieved from Wikipedia in December 2007, the avenue was named for Castle Eglinton in Scotland, while the park on Eglinton Avenue was named in 1929 after the Earl of Eglinton, Ayrshire. Keelesdale and Yonge, on the other hand, are English family names (Yonge Street was named in honour of Sir George Yonge, the British Secretary of War) while York is obviously English. Eglinton West is today also known as Little Jamaica.
- Elder's Mills - there are several places in both Scotland and England featuring the element 'elder' in their names, many of which probably refer to elder trees. Elder is a Scottish family name, the Elder family being a sept of Clan Mackintosh. The name originally signified the elder of two people bearing the same forename but later became a surname in its own right. An article in the Historical Plaques of York County website provides the following account of the name of this City of Vaughan neighbourhood. "Elder's Mills, built by James Gibb Thompson on the main branch of the Humber, were owned and operated consecutively by Thompson, McLeod, and Wm. Taylor. In 1869 the mills were purchased by Taylor's nephews, David and James Elder, who operated a grist mill, sawmill, and carding mill. In the spring, farmers used the mill pond for washing sheep. James Elder sold out to his brother David, whose family ran the mills until 1916, when the grist mill was moved to Toronto by David's son George." (Historical Plaques of York County).
- Elgin Mills and Elgin Mills Business Park - Elgin is the county town of Moray, its meaning possibly being 'Little Ireland', a reminder of the days when Celts from Ireland were gradually colonising parts of Scotland. According to the Richmond Hill website, the neighbourhood of Elgin Mills, like the towns of Port Elgin and Kincardine in Bruce County, Ontario, were named in honour of James Bruce, the 8th Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine (pictured here). Bruce was appointed Governor General of Canada from 1847 to 1854 and Governor-General of India from 1861 to 1863. Although he was born in London, his ancestry was Scottish.
- Flemingdon Park - this name does not occur in Scotland or in any other part of the British Isles. The name of the Toronto neighbourhood is based, however, on a Scottish family name - Fleming. The articles in both the Toronto Neighbourhoods and the Wikipedia websites attribute the name to Robert John Fleming, the mayor of Toronto from 1896 to 1897. Fleming owned the farm on which the neighbourhood was built. The "Don" part of the name is a reference to the East Don River, which forms the eastern boundary of Flemingdon Park.
- Glen Park (Renfrewshire). There is no guarantee, of course, that the name of this neighbourhood necessarily has a link with Scotland.
- Glendale (Highland). The name simply means 'valley'. The unusual feature of this name is that it is a tautology - 'valley' features twice, first in Gaelic (gleann) then in Norse (dalr). Glendale is one of the most commonly used names for suburbs and neighbourhoods in North American cities.
- Glenfield-Jane Heights - the second element in the name of this neighbourhood has a definite connection with Scotland - see Jane and Finch below. Glenfield, on the other hand, is an English family and place name, though there is a village in the Orkney Islands with this name.
- Glenorchy - the name of this Oakville neighbourhood probably refers to the valley formed by the river Orchy in Argyll & Bute.
- Gordon Park and Gordon Woods - Gordon is a well-known Scottish family that takes its name from a place in the Scottish Borders. The name is said to be derived from two Old Celtic words meaning 'great fort' (Ayto & Crofton, 2005). The name has spread to other parts of Scotland, resulting in places such as Gordonstoun, Gordonstown and Gordonsburgh. Gordon is also the name of a place on the Isle of Man, probably having been taken there by Scottish settlers. The Gordon tartan seen most frequently is the regimental tartan of the Gordon Highlanders, a former regiment of the British army, formed in 1881 - that's their regimental crest shown here. No explanation has been found for the origin of the names of these Mississauga neighbourhoods.
- Grandview Heights - there is a Grandview in the Shetland Islands. Grandview was a popular name for neighbourhoods as well as streets in all English-speaking countries during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In most instances, the name was applied to localities that literally afforded a wide panorama.
- Hendersons Corners - there is a Henderson's Rock in Argyll & Bute, presumably a reference to an individual bearing the Scottish family name of Henderson. The name has also travelled to England, e.g., Henderson's House in County Durham. According to Scarlett (1975), the Henderson clan can trace its ancestry to two sources: the Henrysons/Henrisons from Dumfiesshire in the border region, and Clan MacEanruig, or MacKendrick, who anglicised their name as Henderson, 'son of Henry' and who held lands near Glencoe in the Highlands.
- Highland Creek - a descriptive name, possibly recalling the Highlands of Scotland.
- Hills of St Andrews - this neighbourhood in the NW corner of the Town of Aurora possibly derives its name from St Andrews College, or the St. Andrews Valley Golf & Country Club. St Andrew (see illustration) is the patron saint of Scotland.
- Hogg's Hollow - According to the Toronto Neighbourhoods website, this neighbourhood is named after James Hogg, a Scotsman from Lanarkshire, who settled in the area in 1824. "Hogg operated a whisky distillery and a grist mill, and was considered the most successful of all the millers in the valley. In 1856 James Hogg's sons John and William, subdivided their late father's estate under the name 'Hogg's Hollow'." Black (1996) states that Hogg has been used as a surname as far back as the 11th century. One of the best-known bearers of the name is the poet James Hogg (1770-1835), the 'Ettrick Shepherd'.
- Jane and Finch - This neighbourhood takes its name from two intersecting streets: Jane Street (a north-south thoroughfare) and Finch Avenue, which runs east-west. Jane Street was named after Jane Barr by her husband James. "They immigrated from Glasgow in 1907, and a few years later James became a real estate developer in the region north of then York or Toronto. James named numerous streets in the development after his children, but the most important was named after his wife Jane." (List of north-south roads in Toronto, Wikipedia, September 2013). Finch Avenue was named after John Finch (ancestry not reported), who leased the Bird-in-the-Hand Inn in 1830.
- John Fraser - there is a Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire and a Fraserford in Dumfries & Galloway, both based on this Scottish surname. The Mississauga neighbourhood presumably takes its name from the John Fraser Secondary School, which was named for John Fraser who retired as Director of the Peel District School Board in 1984.
- Kennedy Park - there is a Kennedy's Cairn and Kennedy's Corner in Dumfries & Galloway and Kennedy's Pass in South Ayrshire, Galloway being the original territorial base of the Kennedy family. Kennedy is an ancient Scottish family name, though there are many Irishmen with this name as well. The origin of the name is Gaelic, 'ceannaideach' (ugly head). The Toronto neighbourhood takes its name from Kennedy Road, a north-south thoroughfare. The road, in turn, was named for an early farming family who settled in the area. "It is likely linked to Private John Kennedy of the 3rd Regiment of the York Militia (now The Queen's York Rangers (1st American Regiment) (RCAC) who was granted 200 acres (0.81 km2) of land near Kennedy Road and Ellesmere Road." (List of north-south roads in Toronto, Wikipedia, September 2013). Thomas Laird Kennedy (1878-1959), Premier of Ontario, was a member of this family.
- Kerr Village - Kerr is a Scottish surname, the family being of Norman descent. The Kerrs are a border clan from Roxburghshire; their name is derived from the Brythonic Celtic word 'caer' meaning 'fortress' (Scarlett, 1975). Kerr Village, in Oakville, presumably takes its name from Kerr Street. One wonders whether Kerr Street is a tribute to Robert Kerr Chisholm (1819-1899), or his father William (1788-1842), a United Empire Loyalist of Scottish descent, both of whom were prominent Oakville pioneers.
- Kinghorn - a royal burgh in Fife. The name means 'at the head of the bog' in Gaelic (Ayto & Crofton, 2005). Kinghorn is also a Scottish family name. Whilst a connection with Scotland is quite likely, it should be noted that Kinghorn is a community in King Township, which suggests the possibility that the name was inspired by (or made up from) 'King'. King Township was named for Major John King, an English Under-Secretary of State from 1794 to 1801 (Wikipedia article on King, Ontario, retrieved in September 2013).
- Leslieville - there are places called Leslie in Aberdeenshire and Fife; also Lesliedale in the Orkney Islands. The Wikipedia article on Leslieville, retrieved in November 2007, provides the following explanation: "This quiet east-end neighbourhood forms a part of the broader neighbourhood of South Riverdale. Leslieville began as a small village in the 1850s, which grew up around the Toronto Nurseries owned by George Leslie and sons, after whom the community is named." The Leslies are an ancient Scottish clan, whose roots go back to the 12th century. According to Scarlett (1975), the clan takes its name from the place in Aberdeenshire.
- Lorne Park and Lorne Park Estates - Lorne is the name of an ancient district in Argyll & Bute, whence the 'Firth of Lorne' (pictured here), the name of the large estuary at Oban into which Lochs Linnhe and Etive flow. These Mississauga communities were named for the 9th Duke of Argyll, John Douglas Sutherland Campbell, better known by the courtesy title of Marquess of Lorne (Wikipedia article on Lorne Park, September 2013, citing the City of Mississauga's Clarkson Book - Part 4 (1951-2002). The Marquess of Lorne served as Governor General of Canada between 1878 and 1883 and was a son-in-law of Queen Victoria.
- Mansewood (a district of the City of Glasgow).
- McGregor Park - the Toronto neighbourhood presumably takes its name from that of the local park. Clan MacGregor is the principal branch of Clan Alpine. Probably the most famous member of the clan was Rob Roy MacGregor (born about 1660), whose cattle rustling lifestyle was romanticised by Sir Walter Scott.
- Milliken, Milliken Mills and Milliken Park - Milliken is one of many variations of the Scottish surname Milligan, along with Millican, Millikin and Mullikin (there is a Millikenpark in Renfrewshire and places such as Milligansbush and Milliganton in Dumfries & Galloway). According to Black (1996), these surnames are derived from the double diminutive of 'mael-oc-an' - 'the little bald or shaved one', probably alluding to the ancient Gaelic tonsure. According to the Wikipedia article on Milliken, retrieved in November 2007, the community was named after Norm Milliken, a United Empire Loyalist from New Brunswick who settled in Markham in 1807 and who operated a lumber business in the town.
- Milnesville - Black (1996) states that Milne is "a very common surname in Aberdeenshire. Of local origin from residence at or near a corn-mill". The Markham neighbourhood of Milnesville was founded in 1851 by Peter Milne (Wikipedia article on Milnesville, Ontario, retrieved September 2013).
- Morningside and Morningside Heights - there are several places in Scotland called Morningside (in Dumfries & Galloway, North Lanarkshire, Perth & Kinross and, most notably, in the City of Edinburgh). Morningside is one of the most commonly recurring Scottish place names in cities around the world, especially in North America and South Africa. The picture shows Morningside Church in Edinburgh.
- New Glasgow - Glasgow is Scotland's largest city, with Greater Glasgow being the fourth largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom after London, Birmingham-Wolverhampton and Greater Manchester. A cathedral city since the 12th century, Glasgow's era of great prosperity began in the 18th century when it became a major port handling trade with the American and Caribbean colonies. Shipbuilding, steam locomotive construction and other heavy engineering works soon followed, earning Glasgow the title "Second City of the Empire." New Glasgow, Ontario, is a suburb of Bolton and is thus very much on the fringe of the Greater Toronto area. There is another community to the north east of Toronto near Stouffville simply called Glasgow (which has been excluded from the present analysis because of its essentially rural character).
- Nobleton - According to Black (1996), an English family bearing the name Noble settled in East Lothian at the end of the 12th century. Other families of that name can be found in other parts of Scotland, the Nobles being a sept of Clan Mackintosh. According to the Wikipedia article on Nobleton, retrieved in November 2007, this village in the town of King on the fringe of Greater Toronto takes its name from Joseph Noble (ancestry not reported), an early settler of the town, and local tavern keeper.
- Norval - Although the only place in the British Isles with this name happens to be in Worcestershire, England (Norval Farm), Black (1996) considers this to be a Scottish family name, stating that it is a curtailed form of Normanville. The name, with the usual lengthy list of variants, is recorded from 1373. Norvalspont, a town on the Orange River in South Africa, was definitely named for a Scotsman. An article in Wikipedia, retrieved in May 2008, attributes the name to Young Norval, the hero in the Scottish play 'Douglas' by poet John Home (1722-1808) who was born at Leith, near Edinburgh, where his father was town clerk. It is interesting to note that earlier names for the Halton Hills community of Norval near Georgetown were also Scottish - McNabsville and McNab's Mill.
- Patterson - Patterson is a variant spelling of the Scottish family name of Paterson ('Patrick's son'). The Paterson clan was originally located on the north side of Loch Fyne in Argyll. Patterson, according to Black (1996), is one of the most common family names in Scotland. The neighbourhood in Vaughan was probably named for an early settler.
- Princess Gardens and Princess-Rosethorn - these neighbourhoods were named in the 1950s as a tribute to Princess Anne, the Princess Royal and her aunt Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon.
- Princess Margaret - this neighbourhood was named in honour of Princess Margaret Rose (1930-2002), the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II. Princess Margaret (pictured here) was born at Glamis Castle in Strathmore, Angus, the ancestral home of her mother, the Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne (the late Queen Mother).
- Rattray Park Estates - Rattray is a suburb of Blairgowrie in Perth & Kinross. There are also places in Aberdeenshire called Rattray Head and Rattray House. The Mississauga neighbourhood of Rattray Park Estates was named after Major James Halliday Rattray who was born in 1887 in Portsmouth, Ontario, to Scottish parents. On May 26, 1945, Major Rattray purchased Bexhill Farm, the property of the late Harris H. Fudger. Major Rattray graduated from Queens University as a geologist. Having served in World War I, he received the Military Cross (City of Mississauga's Clarkson Book - Part 4)
- Rosebank and Rosebank Station - there are many places in Scotland called Rosebank (in Angus, the Scottish Borders, City of Edinburgh, Dumfries & Galloway, East Dunbartonshire, Fife, Highland, Moray, Orkney Islands, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian). The name also occurs in Devon, England but is far more Scottish than English.
- St Andrews and St Andrew-Windfields - St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. No information has been found on the reason for the names of these neighbourhoods in the York Mills area. (The Windfields element is not Scottish - it refers to the former site of Windfields Farm, a thoroughbred racing stable owned by the legendary E.P. Taylor.)
- Stevenson - there is a place in the Scottish Borders called Stevenson, as well as Stevenson House and Stevenson Mains in East Lothian and Stevenson Station in North Ayrshire. Stevenson is a Scottish as well as an English family name, originating in the border county of Northumberland. Two of the most famous members of the Stevenson family were Scotsmen. These were Robert Stevenson (1772-1850), engineer (not to be confused with the Englishman George Stephenson, inventor of the steam locomotive) and Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), the author of classics such as 'Treasure Island', 'Kidnapped', 'The Master of Ballantrae' and 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'. Information on the origin of the name of the Oshawa neighbourhood of Stevenson has not been found.
- Stewart's Mill and Stewarttown - there is a Stewarton in Argyll & Bute, Scottish Borders, East Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway plus numerous other place names throughout Scotland and parts of England and Northern Ireland that are based on the Scottish surname of Stewart. The Stewarts/Stuarts are descended from a Breton, Alan Fitzflaald; the crown of Scotland was brought to his descendants by Walter (1293-1326), fifth Steward of Scotland, whose son became King Robert II. The last of the Royal Stewarts was Queen Anne (1665-1714). The tartan shown here is the Royal Stewart.
- Syme - Syme is a Scottish surname, the family being a sept of Clan Fraser. According to an article retrieved from Wikipedia in May 2008 the Toronto neighbourhood was named after a George Syme. In a communication received from Elizabeth Berry on 8 September 2013, it was stated that George Syme, a great-great-grandfather of hers, was a former Reeve of York and that he was definitely Scottish. Ms Berry adds: "He kept great gardens and his lands north of the Junction in Toronto (on Symes Road near Symes Street School) were named Tory Glen. His sons were also councilors. The school and street are still there today and named after him."
- Tam O'Shanter - Tam O'Shanter is Robert Burns' most famous narrative poem about the problems of bumping into witches at Halloween, particularly when under the influence of drink! The neighbourhood takes its name from the Tam O'Shanter Golf Course (Wikipedia article on Tam O'Shanter-Sullivan, retrieved in May 2008).
- Tormore - the name of at least three places in Scotland (a village in Strathspey, Highland, a village on the Isle of Skye, and a village north of Blackwaterfoot on the Isle of Arran in North Ayrshire).
- Wilson Heights - there are several places in Scotland based on the surname of Wilson. The list includes Wilsonhall (Angus), Wilson Burn and Wilson's Pike (Scottish Borders), Wilson's Noup (Shetland Islands) and Wilsontown (South Lanarkshire). Wilson is even more commonly found in England, including the town of Wilson itself in Herefordshire and Leicestershire. The surname Wilson is very common in both Scotland (ranked 3rd in a 1976 survey of family names) and in England (ranked 6th in a 1975 survey). The Scottish Wilsons are a sept of Clan Gunn and now have their own family tartan. The Toronto neighbourhood is most probably named because of its proximity to Wilson Avenue. According to the article retrieved from Wikipedia in May 2008, the avenue may have been named after Norman Douglas Wilson (1884-1967), the city traffic consultant who was instrumental in the design of the Toronto subway system. Judging by his name, Norman D. Wilson's ancestry was likely to have been Scottish.
- Woodbine-Lumsden - Lumsden is a Scottish clan originating in the 12th century in the border county of Berwickshire, members of the family being signatories to the Ragman Rolls. Lumsden is a habitational name derived from a place in the parish of Coldingham, Berwickshire (Ancestry.com). The Toronto neighbourhood takes its name from two intersecting roads: Woodbine Avenue and Lumsden Avenue.
Some of the following localities may also prove on further investigation to have a link with Scotland. Most of these names, however, have associations with other parts of the British Isles:
- Carrville - there is actually a place in County Durham, northern England called Carrville. The element 'carr' also occurs widely in English place names since 'carr' in the north of England is a geographic term for a 'stony hill'. This does not guarantee, of course, that the name of the community in Richmond Hill is necessarily English. Like most place names given during the colonial period, Carrville is far more likely to refer to an early pioneer bearing the surname 'Carr'. Black (1996), the authority on Scottish family names, says that Carr is a variant of Ker/Kerr. A group of families of this name appeared in Central Scotland from the 15th to 17th centuries. Consequently, the name of this Richmond Hill neighbourhood is quite likely to have a Scottish link.
- Claremont - there is a village in Fife called Claremont, not to mention Claremont Park, a district of Edinburgh. Claremont is also found as an element in place names in southern England, including the famous Claremont Estate near Esher, Surrey (one of the royal homes of England). County Clare in Ireland could be another source of the name of the Pickering community.
- Clarkes Hollow - The family name Clarke is usually regarded as being an Irish or English name. In Scotland members of the Clarke family are entitled to wear the Cameron tartan.
- Clarks Corners - there is a Clark Fell in Dumfries & Galloway. Clark occurs more frequently in English place names, however, and is also found in Ireland. As a family name, Clark is more likely to be English than Scottish (Ancestry.com) but as in the case of Clarke and Clarkson, Scottish bearers of this name are entitled to wear the Cameron tartan.
- Clarkson - As a place name, Clarkson can be found in two English counties. As a family name, Clarkson is associated with Scotland as well as England. Black (1996) notes that Scottish records of the name (which means 'son of the clerk, or scholar') go back to the 15th century in places as far apart as Aberdeenshire and Lanarkshire. The Mississauga neighbourhood was named after Warren Clarkson, who left his home in Albany, New York in 1808 to seek his fortune in Canada. Clarkson built the community's first store along the stagecoach trail which eventually bore his name. For many years, members of the Clarkson family ran the local post office (Wikipedia article on Clarkson, Mississauga, retrieved in May 2008). It is not known whether the Clarksons had Scottish ancestors.
- Cooksville - Cook is a Scottish as well as an English family name. The Scottish Cooks are a sept of the Stewarts; their ancestral lands were on the Isle of Bute. Known originally as Harrisville, after an early pioneer, the village (now a Mississauga neighbourhood) was renamed in 1836 in honour of its leading entrepreneur, Jacob Cook, whose ancestry has not been reported. "Cook was a mail carrier for Toronto Township. By 1820, Cook was running stagecoaches as far as Kingston and Goderich for both mail and passengers." (mississauga4sale.com)
- Crosby - On the surface, this would appear to be an English name, or a reference to the town on the Isle of Man. However, Crosby is also a variant of Crosbie, a surname that is quite common in SW Scotland. Black (1996) also points out that there are places named Crosbie in the former Scottish shires of Ayr, Kircudbright and Berwick. Corsbie and Crosseby are other variants of Crosbie.
- Dean Park - the name of a suburb of Glasgow in Renfrewshire but it also occurs in England, e.g. as the name of a district of Bournemouth. This small neighbourhood in the Highland Creek area presumably takes its name from Dean Park Road.
- Dickson Hill - Dickson is a Lowland Scottish and English family name meaning, literally, 'the son of Dick' or 'the son of Richard'. Black (1996), the authority on Scottish family names, states that Dickson is a name from the Scottish Borders, with records going back to 1307. No explanation has been found for the origin of the name of this Markham neighbourhood. Since Dickson is also an English name, it would be premature to classify this neighbourhood as having a Scottish connection.
- Georgetown and Georgetown South - there are places in Scotland (Dumfries & Galloway, Moray and Renfrewshire) called Georgetown. It is also the name of a town in Blaenau Gwent, Wales. None of these towns and villages was the source of the name, however. Georgetown takes its name from George Kennedy, who settled in the area in the 1821. George Kennedy (1799-1870) was a Canadian businessman whose loyalist parents left the United States at the end of the American Revolutionary War to settle in the Niagara District. There is a strong possibility, therefore, that the name is Scottish. However, Kennedy is also a common Irish family name.
- Glenway Estates - the name of this estate surrounding the Glenway Country Club in Newmarket is probably made up from the Gaelic word for a valley (glen) with the addition of the second element in 'fairway'. However, travel brochures refer to 'the Great Glen Way', a 73 mile (117km) walking trail between Inverness and Fort William in the Scottish Highlands, which was officially opened in April 2002 by H.R.H. Prince Andrew, Earl of Inverness. There is also a Glenway Golf Club in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
- Graydon Hall - there do not appear to be any places in the British Isles with this name. There is the possibility of a Scottish connection, however, since the neighbourhood may have been named for the Gray family, Gray being a Scottish (and English) name originating in the Scottish borders. The article in the Toronto Neighbourhoods website states that the neighbourhood takes its name from the English Manor style house that was built in 1936 by financier Henry Rupert Bain. It is also stated that Graydon Hall was named, most likely, after the 19th century Gray family who up until 1914 operated a grist mill on the banks of the Don River. In a communication received on 6 October 2008 from John Gray, of Thornhill, Ontario, the following explanation was given: "The name Graydon Hall is the merger of names, Gray the family that settled the area and Donalda farms, which itself is the combination of Don and Alda the first names of the couple that purchased the land. The farms eventually became the Donalda Club, a rather ritzy golf course."
- Greenwood and Greenwood-Coxwell - there is a Greenwood in the Scottish Borders, Moray and South Lanarkshire. The name also occurs in England and Ireland. Coxwell, on the other hand, is an English family name.
- Harwood - there are places in the Scottish Borders and West Lothian called Harwood; also Harwood Burn in the Scottish Borders and East Ayrshire, Harwood Moss, Harwood-on-Teviot, Harwood Rig and Harwoodmill in the Scottish Borders, and Harwood Water in West Lothian. Places with Harwood as an element in the name are even more numerous throughout England, especially in the north.
- Hermitage - there are places called Hermitage in Dumfries & Galloway (including Hermitage Castle, pictured here), the Scottish Borders and the City of Edinburgh. However, Hermitage occurs even more frequently throughout England and is also found in Wales.
- Highfield (Aberdeenshire, Argyll & Bute, East Ayrshire, East Lothian, Highland, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire) but found even more commonly throughout England. Which of the many places in Scotland or England gave its name to the Toronto neighbourhood has not been established.
- Hillside - there are many places in Scotland called Hillside (in Aberdeenshire, Angus, City of Edinburgh, Dumfries & Galloway, Fife, Inverclyde, Moray, Orkney Islands, Perth & Kinross, Shetland Islands and South Lanarkshire) but the name is used just as frequently in England, sometimes spelt Hill Side, and is also found in Wales. "The Hillside neighbourhood is named after 'Hillside', a Gothic style mansion built in 1872 by William A. Milne on the hillside of the Rouge River Valley. Hillside is still standing today at the corner of Old Finch Avenue and Sewells Road." (Toronto Neighbourhoods website). Since Milne is a mainly Scottish surname, the chances of a Scottish connection are reasonably high.
- Hope and Hopedale - Hope is an element in numerous Scottish place names, for example Hopetoun House in West Lothian and Hopefield in East Lothian. Hope is also a noble Scottish family name, the family being descended from John de Hope who probably came to Scotland from France in the 16th century with Magdalen de Valois, the wife of King James V. However, Hope is also considered to be an English family name from Derbyshire and many places in England have Hope as part of their name. Hope, in place names, can also refer to pioneers' anticipation of finding peace and prosperity in their new home. No explanation has been found for the origin of the name of both Hope (in Vaughan) and Hopedale (in Oakville).
- Huttonville - there is a town in the Scottish Borders called Hutton. However, places with Hutton as an element in their name are very frequently found throughout England, especially in Yorkshire and Cumbria. As a family name, Hutton is considered to be both Scottish and English.
- King's Park (City of Glasgow and Stirling) also in England and Wales.
- Manse Valley - this Toronto neighbourhood takes its name from Manse Road. Manse is the term used mainly by Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists for the dwelling of a minster. It is possible, therefore, that the name of this neighbourhood could have a Scottish connection.
- Mayfield (Aberdeenshire, Dumfries & Galloway, East Ayrshire, City of Edinburgh, Fife, Highland, Midlothian, North Ayrshire, Orkney Islands, Perth & Kinross, Shetland Islands and South Lanarkshire). Mayfield is also found throughout England but less commonly so than in Scotland.
- Middlefield - there are many places in Scotland called Middlefield (in Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, the Scottish Borders, East Ayrshire, Falkirk, Fife, Moray and South Lanarkshire). The name is also used in England, however.
- Mitchell's Corners - there is a Mitchell Hall in East Lothian, a Mitchell Hill in Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders, Mitchellhill in Aberdeenshire and Mitchellslacks in Dumfries & Galloway. Place names based on Mitchell are even more numerous throughout England, including Mitchell itself in Cornwall. However, the name Mitchell is found frequently enough in Scotland for there to be a family tartan (seen here).
- Mount Pleasant, Mount Pleasant East and Mount Pleasant West - there are places called Mount Pleasant in Aberdeenshire, Argyll & Bute, Scottish Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, East Ayrshire, Fife, Highland, Moray and the Orkney Islands. The name also occurs widely in other parts of the British Isles and has proved to be equally popular in Canada, the USA and Australia. Mount Pleasant in Brampton takes its name from a local farm (Wikipedia article on Mount Pleasant, Brampton, Ontario, August 2009).
- Newkirk Business Park - surprisingly, Newkirk (Scots and northern English for 'new church') does not seem to occur as a place name either in Scotland or in England. The name of the business park in Richmond Hill probably refers to an individual and, according to the House of Names heraldic website, could well be of Germanic origin, from Neukirch (German) or Nieuwkerk (Dutch), both of which mean 'new church'.
- North Park (Dumfries & Galloway; there are also places spelled Northpark in Argyll & Bute, Aberdeenshire and Dumfries & Galloway). However, North Park is also the name of a place in Yorkshire, England.
- Old Mill (Highland) also in four English counties.
- Orton Park - there is a place called Orton in Moray, near Bridge of Spey. However, there is actually an Orton Park just south of the border in Cumbria, while many places in northern and central England feature Orton in their names. Black (1996) quotes only one record (from 1224-42) of someone with that name in Scotland, though misspelled or misread as Urcane. Consequently, it is far from certain whether the name of this Toronto neighbourhood has any connection with Scotland.
- Pape Village - Black (1996) lists the surname 'Pape' as a variant of the family name 'Pope'. He states that a family of Paips or Popes belonged to Elgin. In Caithness, Sutherland and Orkney, the Pope surname is still pronounced 'Paip'. The Toronto neighbourhood (one of several business improvement areas in the city) takes its name from Pape Avenue, the main north-south thoroughfare in The Danforth. No explanation has been found for the origin of the name. One wonders whether the name honours Alexander August Wilhelm von Pape (1813-1895), a Prussian Field Marshal who was much admired for his victory over the French during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, in which event there would obviously be no Scottish connection.
- Preston Lake - there are places called Preston in East Lothian and the Scottish Borders, not to mention Prestonpans, the battlesite near Edinburgh. Preston, however, is a very popular place name throughout England. It is also an English and Scottish family name, originating in the English county of Lincolnshire. The name Preston is derived from Old English words meaning 'priests' farm'.
- Riverside (Stirling) also in England and Wales. There appear to be two neighbourhoods in Greater Toronto called Riverside. The name of the neighbourhood in the Town of Ajax is probably simply descriptive of its location on the east bank of Duffins Creek. The neighbourhood within the City of Toronto was formerly known as Queen-Broadview Village.
- Rockcliffe-Smythe - there is a Rockcliffe in Dumfries & Galloway as well as in three English counties. As a surname, Smythe is just as likely to be English as Scottish since it is a variant of Smith.
- Smithfield (Angus, Borders, Fife and South Ayrshire) but places called Smithfield are found in Cumbria and in Belfast, Northern Ireland as well. Smithfield is also the name of the well-known meat markets in London and Dublin. The Toronto neighbourhood is named after Robert Smith, a major landowner in this area dating back to the 1830s and who donated the land for the first community church at the corner of Albion and Martin Grove Roads (Toronto Neighbourhoods website). Smith is the most common surname in both Scotland (where there is a family tartan - illustrated here) and England; it is also the 5th most common surname in Ireland and 13th in Wales.
- Southwood (Perth & Kinross) but far more common in England, and also found in Wales.
- Summerville (Dumfries & Galloway) also across the border in Northumberland.
- Sunnyside - there are many places in Scotland with this cheerful name (in Aberdeenshire, City of Glasgow, Dumfries & Galloway, East Ayrshire, East Lothian, Fife, Perth & Kinross, North Ayrshire, Orkney Islands, Scottish Borders and South Lanarkshire). The name is also used in England but not as commonly as in Scotland which probably says something about the premium placed on sunshine in Scotland!
- Taylorwoods - Taylor is a very common surname in both Scotland and England. A survey of surnames undertaken in the 1970s suggests, however, that it is the 5th most common surname in England compared with the 14th in Scotland.
- Thompson Orchard - this section of Toronto's Sunnylea neighbourhood was named for the Thompson family. Alexander Thompson purchased 200 acres of land in the area in 1803, and lived in a distinguished residence, just south of Bloor Street at Royal York Road that was known as 'Rose Bank Cottage.' His son Archibald lived in a nearby country Georgian farmhouse called 'Spring Bank Cottage' which still stands today at number 7 Meadowcrest Road. The Thompson property was renowned for its apple, cherry, pear and plum orchards (Toronto Neighbourhoods website; entry on Sunnylea). Thompson is a Scottish and English family name. Judging by their names, Alexander and Archibald, there is a strong possibility that the Sunnylea Thompsons were Scottish.
- Thornton Woods - there are no places in the British Isles with this name but Thornton on its own is found in Angus, East Lothian, Fife, Midlothian, Moray, Perth & Kinross and South Lanarkshire. There are also places called Thornton Burn in East Lothian, Thornton Hill in Perth & Kinross, Thornton Wood in Fife, Thorntonhall in South Lanarkshire and Thorntonloch in East Lothian. However, Thornton is far more commonly used as a place name throughout England and is also found in Ireland and Wales. This Oshawa neighbourhood presumably takes its name from Thornton Road.
- Trinity-Bellwoods - also known as Portugal Village. Trinity occurs as a place name in Angus and the City of Edinburgh. It also occurs in Devon and the Channel Islands. Bellwood is used as a place name in both Scotland (Midlothian) and Yorkshire.
- Underwood (Dumfries & Galloway and South Ayrshire) also in England and Wales. Underwood is also an English family name.
- Whitevale - White is a common surname in both Scotland and England. In Scotland, the family is a sept of both Clan Lamont and Clan MacGregor. The community of Whitevale in Pickering was named for Truman Pennock White who bought the local saw mill in the 1850s and also built a gristmill, cooperage and planing factory (Wikipedia article on Whitevale, September 2013). Truman Pennock White (1825-1900) was born in Markman Township.
- Woodhill (Highland, Perth & Kinross; also Aberdeen City (Woodhill House), Angus (Woodhill House), Dumfries & Galloway (Woodhill Edge - a water feature). However, the name is found even more commonly throughout England.
- Woodland Hill and Woodland Park - there is a Woodland in South Ayrshire as well as in five English counties. Woodland is also a fairly common name for neighbourhoods in American cities. The names of these neighbourhoods in Newmarket and Mississauga were probably made up to sound rustic.
- Woodlands (Aberdeenshire, Argyll & Bute, Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, Fife, Highland, Perth & Kinross, South Lanarkshire) also all over England and is found in Ireland and Wales as well.
A final category of neighbourhood and suburban names comprises places that can be found in Scotland but which, in Toronto's case, definitely or most probably have no Scottish connection.
- Alexandra Park (City of Glasgow - the fountain in the park is shown here) also in two English cities. The Toronto neighbourhood was named for Queen Alexandra, wife of Edward VII, rather than places in Scotland or England (which themselves were probably named for the Queen).
- Ashgrove (Aberdeen City and Moray) also in three English counties. According to the article on Ashgrove retrieved from Wikipedia in December 2009, the name of this community in Halton Hills dates from 1852 when the local residents requested their own post office, naming it for the grove of black ash there.
- Bolton and Bolton Station - there is a Bolton in East Lothian as well as in five English counties, including the well-known industrial town of Bolton in Greater Manchester. According to the Wikipedia article on Bolton, Ontario, retrieved in September 2013, these outer suburbs owe their names to James and George Bolton, who built a flour mill on the Humber River. Since Bolton is an English family name, a Scottish connection seems unlikely.
- Brock Industrial Park, Brock Ridge and Brockton Village - Brock features in many Scottish place names, some examples being Brock Burn in East Renfrewshire, Brock Hill in Dumfries & Galloway and Brockholes in Aberdeenshire. Brock occurs even more commonly in English place names. The origin of the names of these neighbourhoods is probably neither Scottish nor English, however. Brockton Village, for instance, "was likely named after Captain James Brock, who held a large parcel of land in this area in the early 1800's. Captain Brock was a cousin of Sir Isaac Brock, a Canadian war hero who fought in the War of 1812." (Toronto Neighbourhoods website). Sir Isaac Brock (1769-1812) was born on Guernsey in the Channel Islands.
- Cabbagetown - there is a Cabbagehall in Fife, but Cabbage occurs more frequently as part of English place names. The name of this historic neighbourhood near the city centre has more of an Irish connection, however. According to the Wikipedia article on Cabbagetown, Toronto, retrieved in May 2008, "Cabbagetown's name derives from the Irish immigrants who moved to the neighbourhood beginning in the late 1840s, said to have been so poor that they grew cabbage in their front yards."
- Carleton Village - there is a Carleton, Carleton Croft and Carleton Port in Dumfries & Galloway, and a Carleton Bay, Carleton Fishering and Carleton Mains in South Ayrshire, but places with Carleton as an element in the name are more numerous in England, particularly in the north. According to the Toronto Neighbourhoods website, Carleton Village is named after Guy Carleton, who served as the first Govenor of Canada, in 1768. Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester (1724-1808) was born at Strabane, County Tyrone, in Northern Ireland. The connection is therefore more immediately Irish than Scottish, though an ultimate Anglo-Irish or Scots-Irish connection is a possibility.
- Cashel (a village in Stirling; also Cashel Dhu in Highland). However, the name of this Markham locality is far more likely to refer to one of several places in Ireland, especially the town in County Tipperary. In the article on Cashel, Ontario, retrieved from Wikipedia in September 2013, it is stated that the settlement was originally called Crosby Corners after John Crosby (b. 1797), the village's first store owner, who came originally from New York State. The name was changed to Cashel in 1851 with the opening of its first post office.
- Churchill Meadows - Churchill is a district of the City of Edinburgh. The name also occurs very frequently in English place names and is found in Wales as well. The name of this Mississauga neighbourhood is actually English, since it takes its name from its eastern boundary, the Winston Churchill Boulevard. Winston Churchill was Prime Minister of Great Britain during World War II.
- Davisville - there is a Davishill in Aberdeenshire. Davis is also a Scottish family name, a sept of Clan Davidson. However, Davis is also a variant spelling of Davies, a very common Welsh family name. The name of this neighbourhood appears to be neither Scottish nor Welsh, however. As explained in the Toronto Neighbourhoods website, "Davisville Village is named after John Davis, who immigrated to Canada from Staffordshire, England in 1840. John Davis served as Davisville's first postmaster and helped found the Davisville Public School. He also operated the Davis Pottery, which became the Village's largest employer."
- Deer Park (Dumfries & Galloway, and Highland) also three places in England. "The name dates from 1837, when the Heath family purchased 40 acres (162,000 m²) of land on the northwest corner of Yonge and St. Clair (then the Third Concession Road) and named it Deer Park." (Wikipedia article on Deer Park, Toronto, November 2007). Heath is an English family name, which lessens the probability of a Scottish connection.
- Forest Hill, Forest Hill South and Forest Hill Village - there is a hill in Dumfries & Galloway called Forest Hill. The name is far more likely to be of English origin, however, as it occurs widely south of the border, including the well-known suburb in south London. In the Wikipedia article on Forest Hill, retrieved in November 2007, it is stated that "the village was named after the summer home of John Wickson; previously it had been known as Spadina Heights (a name that continued to be applied to the neighbourhood into the twentieth century). Wickson is an English family name, which reduces the chances of a Scottish connection with Toronto's Forest Hill.
- High Park and High Park North - there are villages in Argyll & Bute, East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire called High Park but this descriptive name is found even more commonly in England. The Toronto neighbourhood took its name from the High Park estate south of Bloor Street, purchased by John George Howard, Toronto's first surveyor, and which he donated to the city in 1873. Howard had named his estate 'High Park' because of its magnificent view of Lake Ontario (Toronto Neighbourhoods website). John Howard was born near London, which suggests that the name of the Toronto neighbourhoods has no connection with Scotland.
- Holland Landing - there is a place called Holland in the Orkney Islands as well as in three English counties. Holland is an Old English name meaning 'land of hill spurs', though it may also refer, of course, to the Dutch province of Holland. This community, in the far north of the metropolitan area, was actually named for Samuel Johannes Holland (1728-1801), the first Surveyor General of British North America, who was born in Deventer, Netherlands (Wikipedia articles on Holland Landing and Samuel Holland, retrieved in December 2007).
- Humewood - there is a Hume in the Scottish Borders, as well as Humehall, Hume Castle (pictured here), Hume Craigs, Hume Mill and Hume Orchard; also Humesett and Humeston in Ayrshire, all presumably based on the Scottish family name Hume. The Toronto neighbourhood takes its name from the estate of William Hume Blake (Wikipedia article on Humewood-Cedarvale, retrieved in May 2008). William Hume Blake (1809-1870), Canadian jurist and politician, was born in Kitegan, County Wicklow, Ireland. The connection is thus Irish rather than Scottish, though a distant Scots-Irish origin is a possibility.
- Lambton - there is a village in the Scottish Highlands called Lambton. However, the Toronto neighbourhood was named in honour of John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham, High Commissioner and Governor General of British North America, who visited the area (Wikipedia article on Lambton, Toronto, retrieved in May 2008). The town of Lambton in Sunderland, England was also named for the family seat of the Earls of Durham.
- McLaughlin - according to Ancestry.com the family name McLaughlin is considered to be both Scottish and Irish (MacLachlan being the usual form in Scotland while McLaughlin is more typically associated with Ireland). The Oshawa neighbourhood of McLaughlin was named as a tribute to Robert McLaughlin (1836-1921) who founded the Oshawa-based McLaughlin Carriage and McLaughlin Motor Car companies which later became part of General Motors (A Brief History of the City of Oshawa). Robert McLaughlin was born in Cavan Township, Ontario, the son of Irish immigrants. A Presbyterian, it is quite likely that his cultural heritage was Ulster Scots (Dictionary of Canadian Biography).
- Milton and Milton Heights - Milton is an extremely common place name throughout both Scotland and England and is also found in Wales. The names of these suburbs appear to be purely descriptive, however, as the original name was Mill Town (Wikipedia article on Milton, Ontario, retrieved in December 2007).
- Moss Park - there is a village in Dumfries & Galloway with this name. "Moss Park is named for the abundant moss that grew on the Allen family estate home, which stood on the west side of Sherbourne between Queen and Shuter until demolished during the redevelopment of the area into a failed social housing project with a large park and community centre on the site of the old estate." (Wikipedia article on Moss Park, August 2009). Any connection with Scotland is therefore probably more apparent than real.
- Newmarket and Newmarket Industrial Park - Newmarket is a village in the Western Isles, but the name also occurs in England and Ireland. The origin of the name of this suburb in the far north of metropolitan Toronto appears to be purely descriptive of the establishment of a new market in the current downtown location (Wikipedia article on Newmarket, Ontario, retrieved December 2007).
- Seaton and Seaton Village - Seaton is a district of Aberdeen City. However, it is also a common place name throughout England. According to the Wikipedia article retrieved in August 2006, these neighbourhoods were named after John Colborne, 1st Baron Seaton, Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada from 1828 to 1836. John Colborne (1778-1863), British field marshal, was born at Lyndhurst, Hampshire and entered the 20th (Lancashire Fusiliers) in 1794, "winning thereafter every step in his regimental promotion without purchase." (Wikipedia article on John Colborne, retrieved in September 2006). The connection is therefore English rather than Scottish.
- South Hill (Angus and Shetland Islands) but the name occurs even more commonly in England and is also found in Wales. The article on South Hill retrieved from Wikipedia in September 2013 simply states that "the area is dominated by the steep hill of the former Lake Iroquois shoreline." In all probability this is a purely descriptive name without any intended reference to a particular place in Britain.
- Thornhill (Aberdeenshire, Dumfries & Galloway, East Ayrshire, Moray, Perth & Kinross and Stirling) also fairly commonly found in both England and Wales. Kirkconnell (1970) is of the opinion that Thornhill, Ontario, derives its name from the place in Dumfries & Galloway but provides no evidence to support this assertion. On the other hand, in the Wikipedia article on Thornhill, Ontario, retrieved in November 2007, it is stated that Thornhill takes its name from Benjamin Thorne, an 1820s settler who operated a gristmill, a sawmill, and a tannery in the community. The settlement came to be known as Thorne's Mills and later, Thorne's Hill, from which its current name is said to be derived. Thorne is an English family name.
- West Hill (Scottish Borders, East Lothian, Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands) but the name occurs widely in England as well. Judging by the following statement made in the Wikipedia article on Highland Creek, Toronto, retrieved in September 2013, the Toronto neighbourhood appears to have been named for purely descriptive reasons: "Opposite the former village of Highland Creek is West Hill, named for its position on the tablelands above the valley."
- Weston, Weston Industrial Park and Weston Downs - there are villages in Highland, Moray and South Lanarkshire called Weston; also Weston Burn in the Scottish Borders, but places called Weston are found far more commonly in England and they can also be found in Wales. The Toronto neighbourhood of Weston appears to have no connection with Scotland. In the Wikipedia article on Weston, Toronto, retrieved in May 2008, the following explanation is given: "In 1815, James Farr, a prominent local mill owner, named it 'Weston' after the place of his birth north of London in Hertfordshire, Britain." No explanation has been found for the names of the neighbourhoods of Weston Downs and Weston Industrial Park in the City of Vaughan.
- Yonge and St Clair - St. Clair is the original name of the Scottish Sinclair clan. There are two theories regarding the etymology of St. Clair Avenue, a major thoroughfare from which the neighbourhood takes its name. Neither theory involves Scotland. The first theory is Augustine St. Clare, a character from the novel 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'; the second is Albert Grainger, who supposedly adopted St. Clair as his middle name after reading the novel (Wikipedia article on St Clair Avenue, retrieved in May 2008). Yonge Street was named in honour of Sir George Yonge, the British Secretary of War around 1796 and who came from Devon in England.
Canada was of course a major destination for Scottish settlers, resulting in many Scottish place names in most of its cities and surrounding countryside. Judging purely by the names of its suburbs and neighbourhoods, Greater Toronto does not appear to be as 'Scottish' as many of the other cities in Anglophone Canada. This is partly because of the preponderance of English names (many of which are based on Humber or York) and an abundance of purely descriptive names like Bayview Village, High Park and Riverdale. Toronto's cosmopolitan character has also resulted in many names like Chinatown, Little India, Corso Italia, Portugal Village, German Mills and Greektown. Another factor limiting the use of Scottish names is the elevated number of neighbourhoods with names of Irish origin. Irish names appear to account for about 6.5% of the names in Greater Toronto, which is exceptionally high in relation to most of the other cities around the world. French names, on the other hand, account for just over 2% of the total! There are at least 14 communities with Scottish names immediately beyond the limits of Greater Toronto's urban sprawl, and which, at the current rate of urban expansion, might well be absorbed into the metropolis at some point in the future. Some of these communities already serve as 'bedroom' or commuter communities. These communities are: Campbellville, Kelso and Kilbride (in the Town of Milton); Bannockburn, Scotch Block and Speyside (in the Town of Halton Hills); Brisbane (in the Town of Erin); Campbells Cross, Castlederg, Coulterville, Inglewood, McLeodville and Melville (in the Town of Caledon), New Scotland (in the Township of King); Glasgow (in the Town of Uxbridge) and Ashburn (in the Town of Whitby). In addition, the City of Burlington is often considered to be the western-most limit of Greater Toronto, though it is probably more a suburb of Hamilton. Neighbourhoods in Burlington that have Scottish-sounding names include Glenwood Park, McDonald Court and Strathcona Gardens.
Scottish influences on the development of Canada's largest city are also clearly evident when looking at the names of major thoroughfares throughout the metropolitan area. A few of these names could also be English (e.g., Shaw, Walker) or Irish (e.g., McLaughlin, Kennedy) but the vast majority are bound to have Scottish links.
- City of Toronto: Belfield Road, Caledonia Road, Carlaw Avenue, Dundas Street, Eglinton Avenue, Elder Avenue, Glen Road, Glencairn Avenue, Kennedy Road, Jameson Avenue, Laird Drive, Leslie Street, Logan Avenue, McCaul Street, McCowan Road, McLevin Avenue, McNicoll Avenue, Morningside Avenue, Neilson Road, Pape Avenue, Shaw Street, Strachan Avenue, Wilson Avenue and, of course, the partly Scottish Macdonald-Cartier Freeway.
- City of Mississauga: Dundas Street, Eglinton Avenue, Glengarry Road, Kennedy Road, Lorne Park Road, Matheson Boulevard, McDowell Drive, McLaughlin Road, Orr Road and Paisley Boulevard.
- City of Brampton: Balmoral Drive, Cochrane Avenue, Elgin Drive, Fletchers Creek Boulevard, Kennedy Road, McLaughlin Road, McVean Drive, Peter Robertson Boulevard, Rutherford Road and Walker Drive.
- City of Vaughan: Aberdeen Avenue, Barrhill Road, Cunningham Drive, Drummond Drive, Glen Shields Avenue, Henderson Avenue, Major MacKenzie Drive, Melville Avenue and Rutherford Road.
- City of Pickering: Glenanna Road, Magill Drive and Rossland Road.
- City of Oshawa: Rossland Road, Stevenson Road and Wilson Road.
- Town of Ajax: Williamson Drive.
- Town of Whitby: Anderson Street, Ashburn Road, Burns Street, Cochrane Street and Rossland Road.
- Town of Markham: Highglen Avenue, Major MacKenzie Drive and McCowan Road.
- Town of Richmond Hill: Coon's Road, Elgin Mills Road, Major MacKenzie Drive, Newkirk Road and Strathearn Avenue.
- Town of Aurora: Henderson Drive, Kennedy Street, Leslie Street, McClellan Way and Murray Drive.
- Town of Newmarket: Alexander Road, Elgin Street, Lorne Avenue and Stonehaven Avenue.
- Town of Halton Hills: Adamson Street, Argyll Road, Armstrong Avenue and Sinclair Avenue.
- Town of Milton: Wilson Drive.
- Town of Oakville: Dundas Street, Kerr Street and Morrison Road.
Many parks, reserves and golf courses throughout the metropolitan area also have Scottish names. The following list is not necessarily exhaustive - there may be many smaller parks and reserves whose names were not given on the maps that were consulted.
- City of Toronto: Albert Campbell Square, Alexander Muir Memorial Gardens, Alexmuir Park, Baird Park, Balmoral Park, Barbara Ann Scott Park, Bell Manor Park, Bendale Playfield, Blantyre Park, Cairns Avenue Parkette, Caledonia Park, Campbell Avenue Park, Canmore Park, Carscadden Greenbelt, Cedarbrae Golf & Country Club, Christie Pits Park, Clydesdale Park, Cummer Park, Dalrymple Park, David A. Balfour Park, David Crombie Park, Douglas Gardens, Douglas Park, Duncairn Park, Duncan Creek Park, Duncan Mills Greenbelt, Duncan Park, Duncanwoods Park, Dunlop Parkette, Dunvegan Parkette, Eglinton Park, Eglinton Ravine Park, Ester Lorrie Park, Farquharson Park, Fennimore Park, Flemingdon Park, Flemingdon Park Golf Course, Flemington Park, Fred Hamilton Park, Galloway Park, Glen Long Park, Glenshepard Park, Glen Stewart Park, Gwendolyn McEwen Park, Highland Creek Park, Highland Yacht Club, Jim McPherson Park, Jimmie Simpson Park, Kirkwood Park, Langholm Park, Leonard Linton Park, Lochleven Park, Marilyn Bell Park, McAllister Park, McCowan Park, McDairmid Woods Park, McGregor Park, McLevin Community Park, McNicoll Park, Milliken Park, Mitchell Field Park, Morningside Park, Muir Park, Muirhead Park, Muirlands Park, Nairn Park, Neilson Park, Perth Square Park, Rennie Park, Rosebank Park, Rosetta McClain Gardens, Sandy Bruce Park, St Andrews Park, Stuart Greenbelt, Strathburn Park, Summerlea Park, Tam O'Shanter Park, Tam O'Shanter Golf Course, Thomson Memorial Park, Turnberry North Park.
- City of Mississauga: Albert McBride Park, Andy Bathgate Golf Centre, B. Machree Park, Bell Harbour Park, Bonnie Brae Park, BraeBen Golf Course, Cedarbrae Park, Dean Henderson Memorial Park, Douglas Kennedy Park, Duncairn Downs Park, Dunn Park, F.B. McFarren Memorial Park, Fletcher's Flats, Glen Eden Park, Gordon Memorial Park, Grand Highland Golf Course, Hunter's Green, Kennedy Park, Leslie Trail Park, Lochlin Green, Lornewood Creek Trail, McCauley Green, McKechnie Woods, McKenzie Park, R.K. McMillan Park, Rattray Marsh Conservation Area, Scott's Brae Park.
- City of Brampton: Balmoral Park, Elgin Woods Park, Fletchers Creek Park, Glendenning Green, Glen Eden Park, Kennedy Valley Park, Maitland Park, Massey Park, McLaughlin Valley Park, McMurchy Park, Murray Street Park, Nancy McCredie Park, Nasmith Park, Scottsdale Park.
- City of Vaughan: Airdrie Park, Airdrie Woods, Boyd Conservation Area, Doctors Mclean Park, Findley Park, Gilmore Park, Glen Shields Park, Grahams Forest, Hunter's Glen Golf & Country Club, Mackenzie Glen District Park, McClure Meadows Park, McNaughton Park, Melville Park, Robert Watson Memorial Park.
- City of Pickering: Alex Robertson Park, Douglas Park, Dunbarton Creek Ravine, McPherson Park, Rosebank Reservoir.
- City of Oshawa: Coldstream Park, Cowan Park, Dundee Park, Glen Stewart Park, Humewood Park, MacKenzie Park.
- Town of Ajax: Carruthers Creek Golf Centre, J.A. Murray Park, Lord Elgin Park.
- Town of Whitby: Glenayr Park, Guthrie Park, Jack Wilson Park, Pringle Creek Park.
- Town of Markham: Angus Glen Golf Course, Armadale Park, Duncan Park, Milliken Mills Park, Walker Park.
- Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville: Ballantrae Golf and County Club.
- Town of Richmond Hill: Ada MacKenzie Park, David Hamilton Park, Lennox Park.
- Town of Aurora: Herb McKenzie Park, Highland Park.
- Town of Newmarket: Art Ferguson Park, Drew Doak Park, George Richardson Park, Leslie Valley Park, St Andrews Valley Golf & Country Club.
- Town of Halton Hills: Ewing Street Park.
- Town of Milton: Kelso Conservation Area, Livingston Park.
- Town of Oakville: Dunvegan Park, Gairloch Gardens.
- Municipality of Clarington: Highland Park, Lord Elgin Park, Stuart Park, Waverly Park.
The author of this article suspects that the Greater Toronto metropolis contains many more than 785 communities and neighbourhoods. Maps that have been consulted to date show far fewer names in the Cities of Mississauga and Oshawa, for instance, than are shown in the City of Toronto itself. This may well reflect reality but any assistance from readers in identifying additional names would be gratefully received.
- Ayto, John and Crofton, Ian (Compilers) (2005). Brewer's Britain and Ireland: The History, Culture, Folklore and Etymology of 7500 Places in These Islands. (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London).
- Black, George F. (1996). The Surnames of Scotland. (Birlinn Ltd, Edinburgh).
- A Brief History of the City of Oshawa
- City of Mississauga's Clarkson Book - Part 4 (1951-2002).
- Deluxe Street Atlas of Toronto & Area, 2006 (MapArt Publishing Corporation, Oshawa).
- Dictionary of Canadian Biography
- Google Maps for the names of recently established neighbourhoods.
- Historical Plaques of York County
- The House of Names heraldic website.
- Kirkconnell, Watson (1970). Scottish Place Names in Canada. In J.B. Rudnyckyj (Editor), Onomastica, No. 39 (Winnipeg).
- Mary Muir, Fife, Scotland for information on Armour Heights, Jean Brittain, Ayrshire, Scotland for information on Ballantrae, John Gray, Thornhill, Ontario, for information on Graydon Hall and Elizabeth Berry for information on Syme.
- History of Richmond Hill - Richmond Hill website.
- Room, Adrian (2003). The Penguin Dictionary of British Place Names. (Penguin Books, London).
- Scarlett, James D. (1975). The Tartans of the Scottish Clans. (Collins, Glasgow and London).
- Thorne, J.O., & Collocott, T.C. (1974). Chambers Biographical Dictionary (Revised Edition). (W & R Chambers, Edinburgh).
- Toronto neighbourhoods website.
- Wikipedia - List of Neighbourhoods in Toronto .
- Websites, placename gazetteers and published Ordnance Survey maps of British and Irish cities, towns, villages and counties.
© Ian Kendall
Melbourne, Australia, May 2008
Revised September 2013
If you wish to contact Ian about his research, his e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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