Survey – the Impact on Bolton

Leading up to the Survey of Albion


  • 1791:  Constitutional Act divides Quebec into Upper & Lower Canada
  • 1791-96:  John Graves Simcoe is appointed as Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada.  Goals:
    • Protect boundary against USA
    • Find more land for settlers
    • Settle more English speakers
  • 1793:  York (Toronto) is named as Upper Canada’s capital
  • 1805:  Mississaugas cede land along Lake Ontario
  • 1812- 15:  War of 1812
  • 1818:  Mississaugas cede more land to British Crown
    • Treaty 19 signed October 28, 1818 for 648,000 acres
      • Includes north Peel and Halton Counties
      • Crown to pay 522 pounds, 10 shillings annually
  • Next step: survey north Peel, starting with Albion township
TREATY 13 Ajetance Treaty
Ajetance Treaty

The Survey of Albion

The Earliest Land Grab

  • In early 1819, James Chewett was named Deputy Surveyor and was contracted to survey Albion Township and the east half of Caledon Township.  He would be paid in land.
  • Chewett’s survey plans had been prepared in advance based on the map outlined on the 1805 Mississauga Tract purchase document (show map)
    • Five out of every seven lots would be eligible for land grants to prospective settlers
    • The remaining lots were held as Crown and Clergy reserves
    • Military grants would be fulfilled before settlers were located
  • Chewett led a survey crew of perhaps a dozen men.
    • Their tools included a sighting instrument and a measuring chain which two chainmen hauled across the heavily forested region
    • The 100 link chain was exactly 66 feet long
    • Other crew members cleared sightlines, marked lots and hauled the supplies required for their 4 month trek
    • The sightlines still exist as our road grid
  • See survey map in the MAP Section of this site

Peel County Surveyors

Signing of TREATY 13 in 1805

First Mississauga Purchase


Survey of Albion

What do we know about James Chewett? 

James Chewett 
  • He was born in Kingston, Upper Canada and educated by Bishop Strachan
  • his father was Deputy Surveyor General and the family formed part of ‘The Family Compact’
  • He was 24 at the time he was contracted to undertake the survey of Albion.  The contract included being paid in land, calculated as a % of the land surveyed.  Chewett received 
    • 2635 acres in Albion
    • 1400 acres in Caledon Township
  • Chewett hand-picked the most valuable lots for himself including several with water-rights and suitable for mills 
    • One such 200 acre parcel was Lot 9 Concession 7 Albion which was purchased two years later by George Bolton in 1821
  • The end result was that he became the single largest landowner in Peel County
  • Chewett was also trained as an Architect and was responsible for several notable buildings in Toronto
  • He later became a prominent government banker

James Grant Chewett

Surveyor of Albion Township and Caledon Township EHS

Survey Map of Albion Township

Chewett’s Albion land holdings

Chewett owned 2635 acres in Albion alone.

Sources: PAMA and Dictionary of Canadian Biography Vol IX

In 1819 BOLTON’s Mill Site was Surrounded

Extraordinary Grant, Crown Lots and Clergy Reserves
SurveyorTownshipTotal Acres%Payment to Surveyor
James ChewettAlbion550004.792635
James ChewettCaledon EHS570002.451400
Samuel RykmanCaledon WHS570002.951685
Richard BristolChinguacousy North half660002.721800
Timothy StreetChinguacousy South half660002.871900
Timothy StreetToronto640001.541000
Reuben SherwoodToronto Gore170005.29900