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Twentieth-Century Todmorden: A Community in the Don Valley
Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum and Arts Centre
Toronto , Ontario


   By the middle of the
nineteenth century, the
community of Todmorden Mills,
located on the Don River,
provided lumber, flour,
paper, bricks and beer for
the growing city of Toronto.
While Todmorden's nineteenth-
century history has been well
documented, its twentieth-

century stories have received
less attention. Few people
realize that Todmorden
remained a vibrant community
well into the twentieth
century. At that time, much
of the Don Valley surrounding
Todmorden was still a
wilderness. Hundreds of
Torontonians enjoyed the

Valley year-round for its
swimming holes and densely
wooded forests. In the
winter, the Don River froze
creating a natural skating
rink, just minutes away from
downtown Toronto. The Valley
inspired painters, writers
and members of early
conservation movements.

   Industrial activity
continued in the Valley until
Hurricane Hazel struck in
October 1954. In the
aftermath of the flood, the
Ontario government restricted
future development on
floodplains. The landscape of
the Don Valley was further
altered by the construction

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