Place Published: Mono
Publisher: Mono Township, UC
Date Published: 1853-56
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: No binding
47 small pieces of legal signed document for road maintenance and repairs from 1853- 1856 in Mono Township.
These 47 documents vary in size and condition with an average size of 7" x 3 " and average condition good however a number of old water stains to sides. Virtually all are docketed with a number and or description and many are signed by the person receiving payment.
A fascinating collection of pre-confederation documents relating to the building and improved roads infrastructure in Upper Canada, specifically Mono Townships which is just north of Orangeville.
Some background on road maintenance receipts such as these 1853-63 ones issued primarily relating in Mono, Upper Canada. These Mono Township receipts were for the regular form of "statute labour" performed by able bodied men acting under an overseer (ie, for the township.)
The Upper Canadian government assisted with the cost of improving some of the major roads (eg. Yonge Street, Dundas Street, Kingston Rd) as early as 1833, but that was only after a direct request for assistance from the city of Toronto and York Township. Otherwise, roads within the townships.
Road maintenance was done by all able bodied men (aged 16-60) within the township. And the township was divided up into "road divisions," each one being the responsibility of an "overseer of highways" for that division. He was appointed/elected to the post at the first township meeting in the New Year, and would have served for a year. It was the responsibility of the overseer to make sure that all men performed their "statute labor" on the roads. He would keep track of the men, and if any didn't perform their statute labour, the overseer was empowered to fine them for non-performance of their duties. The overseer would be paid a modest fee for his work, and he could also charge certain expenses to the township (eg. gravel, bridge repairs, blacksmithing work &c.) For example, some receipts offered are pay receipts for a road overseer, as well as expenses being paid to three men (for goods or services not specified), and for a bailiff or deputy to summon a jury. Starting in the 1840s, government legislation permitted the formation of "joint stock companies." So starting around 1845 and after, private companies were formed such as the "Yorkville and Vaughan Plank Road Company," which were legally allowed to collect tolls on roads. It was expected that a certain amount of the money collected would be used for paving and maintaining the road, and any amount over and above what was spent would be profits for the company. The companies would be audited every so often, to ensure that they maintained the roads in exchange for the tolls collected. The Cottage Tollgate in Toronto, now a museum, is an example of toll collecting. The tolls were unpopular, and by the 1890s the companies and their tollgates were fast disappearing from the landscape. Around 1914-17, the province of Ontario introduced its "good roads" legislation, after which time almost all of the private toll road companies folded up and went out of business.
Good. Item #4351