Archaeology has shown that the area we know today as Whitchurch-Stouffville was occupied as early as the late sixteenth century. Visit Archaeology Alive! The Jean-Baptiste Lainé Site in Whitchurch Stouffville Virtual Exhibit to learn about the Northern Iroquoian settlement now known as the Jean-Baptiste Lainé Site that was home to approximately 2,000 ancestral Wendat.
European Settlers arrived in Whitchurch Township as early as 1794. At that time at least three Indigenous trail systems were in use. The Mississauga claim to portions of Whitchurch are on record from the time of the very first attempt by settlers to take up residence in the Township. In 1923 Whitchurch was included as part of the Williams Treaties.
Whitchurch Township was originally 59,743 acres (24,178 hectares) in size. The Township was named c. 1798 by Colonel John Graves Simcoe, first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, after the birthplace of his wife in Whitchurch, Herefordshire, England. The boundaries of the Township were present day Davis Drive, Yonge Street, Stouffville Road, and Durham Regional Road 30.
With the implementation of the Baldwin Act, the Township of Whitchurch became an organized municipal government in 1850, with a Reeve (Joseph Hartman) & appointed Councillors. While maintaining their names, existing hamlets were absorbed into this newly formed Township. The inaugural meeting of the municipal government of the Township of Whitchurch was held at Smith’s Inn in Stouffville on January 6, 1851.
Three hamlets grew into villages and separated from Whitchurch Township for administrative purposes to form their own municipal governments in the following years. They were Newmarket (1858), Aurora (1863), and Stouffville (1877).
Boundary changes took place in 1967 at the request of York County which resulted in the creation of the Regional Municipality of York on January 1, 1971. After much discussion & debate the result was that the fourteen municipalities that existed were amalgamated into nine.
With boundaries redrawn, Whitchurch Township & the Village of Stouffville would come together to form the “Whitchurch Area” as one of the 9 newly formed municipal governments. The option existed for the name to be changed through consensus and the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville was selected. In 2019, the Town began using the name “Stouffville” for marketing purposes although the name Whitchurch-Stouffville remains the official name of the municipality.
This self-guided driving tour will take you through the different historical hamlets of Whitchurch-Stouffville and provide you with a snippet of information on each one.