Source: Archives of Ontario.
Source: Discover the Land of Durham
Interviewee: Dave Mowat
Excerpt from a 2017 interview, with Dave Mowat, Consultation, Membership and Lands Supervisor, Mississauga of Scugog Island First Nation talking about the Scugog Carrying Place Trail.
[Music playing at the beginning of audio clip]
Dave Mowat: So you have to understand it is the treaty process that opens up the land in our territory, as I had mentioned the Gun Shot Treaty, Crawford Purchase, Toronto Purchase. Those treaties that found their…that are rooted in the Royal Proclamation, that is what opens the land, and rightly or wrongly once that is door is opened, there is no shutting that door. So I mentioned earlier, there were upwards of 17,000 settlers that came into this territory in a relatively short period of time. That gave the government justification to start laying out districts and townships surveying concession lines, roads and townships. It is a long period of time before the colony development. It is the treaty process that opens the land. For one reason or another communities have popped up in what is now Oshawa, Bowmanville, always where there is a stream or river, that is where a town is right, at one time, we had no other way around, but the water. Oshawa is a perfect example of a community that was developed at a relatively important point.
There is the old Scugog Carrying Place as well, that came down from the lakeshore at Oshawa made its way all the up to Lake Scugog and eventually Georgian Bay. So, if you can think of how the land was utilized before we had the 401 and before we had all the highways and byways, think about how the land was utilized. Some of our original roads are located on old portage trails or carrying places. Simcoe Street relatively follows the original Scugog carrying place, it comes across purple woods, that height of land, you can see Lake Simcoe when you come across there, it makes perfect sense that this was the trail people used. When you think about how Oshawa was created, well you can pretty well source that information out, how Oshawa, Bowmanville, Whitby, all these communities and how they popped up.