Johann Albrecht Ulrich Moll, also known as William Berczy, had recruited 64 families from the various german states for the purpose of settling in the new world. Originally bound for the Genesee Tract in upper New York State, they decided under Berczy's leadership, to take advantage of Governor Simcoe's land-grant offer. 186 people in all they formed the German Land Company, establishing a small hamlet known as German Mills on the Don river.

Starting with a saw mill, timber was squared and a grist mill was erected. For 10 years this establishment produced quality flour. Other buildings included; a brewing house, a malt house, a blacksmith shop, a cooperage and a tannery along with dwelling houses , barn and stable. The recreation shows how the original hamlet might have looked like. Some remains are still visible today, protruding from the banks of the Don river near John street. Go to the actual Site

William Berczy, co-founder of Toronto, along with his German Pioneers, cleared part of the townsite of York (Toronto), erected houses and a magazine, built 15 miles of Yonge street in addition to 30 miles of roads in Markham township and also cleared 24 miles of the Rouge river waterway for navigation.

Above all, they created the magnetic agricultural nucleus in a complete wilderness.

William Berczy, artist and architect, his many works range from London England, Toronto to Montreal. Some of his paintings include; Admiral Horatio Nelson, Indian Chief Joseph Brant, Peter Russel, Alexander McDonell, to name only a few. His architectural designs boast the Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal, known then as the most modern building in Canada. Russel Abey and the Givins House were some of his noted buildings in Toronto. Christ Church Cathedral proved that Berczy did not become an architect overnight. He was also the first to build a bridge across the Don river. It was built at "Dundas", the drawing in the archives of 1802 has surprised modern engineers by its advanced ideas. This wooden bridge was an elegant, simple and modern solution of an ancient problem.

I thoroughly recommend a book, "William Berczy Co-Founder of Toronto" written by John Andre in 1967 as a centennial project for the Borough of York.



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