Walking Into WildernessWalking Into Wilderness:

The Toronto Carrying Place & Nine Mile Portage


Author: Heather Robertson



This is the sweeping tale of the crucial land and water trails between Lake Ontario and Georgian Bay. Beginning with the region's geological history and early archaeology, author Heather Robertson delves into the history of these much-used trails - about 130 kilometres as the crow flies but nearly twice that distance using the ancient paths and waterways. Here are the stories of the success and ultimate destruction of the Wendat, the coming of the French, the fur trade, the War of 1812, the settlement and railway periods, the transformation of  Holland Marsh and the devastation wrought by Hurricane Hazel.


Within this panorama are beautifully wrought portraits of Etienne Brûlé, the first European to tred on Ontario soil; Father Jean de Brébeuf, martyr to his evangelism; Robert Cavelier de La Salle, North America's ceaseless wanderer; Governor John Graves Simcoe, whose brief tenure left a lasting mark; William Lyon Mackenzie, the City of Toronto's first mayor, and many others.

Robertson clearly demonstrates that what might be seen as regional history is, in fact, the history of Ontario, Canada and North America.