Baby Point Heritage Foundation
The history of the Baby Point area is detailed and fascinating
Located in the West End, Baby Point is one of the most upscale residential areas in the Greater Toronto area. Like many of the richest neighbourhoods in the city, Baby Point can boast origins that go right back to the dawn
of human habitation in the country. Let's take a quick look at Baby Point in the day of its infancy.
Before European Settlement
There are several distinguishing characteristics which attract the attention of potential residents to Baby Point.
The most obvious of these, of course, is the Humber River. Right along with the river is the excellent view afforded to residents,
and the fact that the community has a feeling of really getting back to nature due to its isolated position on the peninsula.
In fact, it is these same features that attracted the very first people who settled at the location which we know today as Baby Point.
A group of Seneca, part of the Five Nations League in early North American history, saw the point as the ideal place to set up a village.
The peninsula was advantageously set up for defence and the river itself was able to supply food and water for irrigation.
For whatever reason, the Seneca eventually abandoned the peninsula, and it lay vacant until the arrival of James Baby in 1815.
Baby was originally from Upper Canada, where he had served as a judge, a politician in the powerful Family Compact, and also as a military officer.
In fact, Baby had spent time as a prisoner of war of the Americans in the War of 1812. The family farm, near present day Windsor, was captured by American forces and served as their campaign headquarters during that conflict
Baby was enchanted by the location and settled in, taking advantage of the natural spring, the extensive apple orchard, and the salmon that still made t
heir yearly migration up the waters of the Humber. He made the land his permanent home, and it remained in the Baby family for almost a century.
Sale and Development
In 1910, the last heirs of Baby to live on the land sold it to the government. The intention was to build a military fortress
and army barracks on the site, but the rapidly changing nature of alliances, machinery, transportation, and other technological advancements
rendered the plan useless.
Instead, the government in turn sold Baby's land to local developer Robert Home Smith. It was Smith who began to plan and develop Baby Point
into the subdivision that we know today. In addition to the Baby Point area, Home Smith and his companies developed Riverside Drive, the Kingsway community and built the Old Mill as well as preparing the land for the building of St. Georges Golf Course.