Front of Yonge Township was incorporated as a separate municipality in 1905, and has remained independent to this day. Located in the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, it has a rich history dating back centuries.
The largest settlement area is the Village of Mallorytown, founded by United Empire Loyalist Nathanial Mallory. He came ashore at Mallorytown Landing in 1784, and later moved inland in search of better farmland. Other Loyalists soon followed and the area became active in the War of 1812 by providing safe passage for British soldiers. A garrison was constructed on Chimney Island, which still stands today and is a National Historic Site of Canada.
This village is also the site of Canada’s first glassworks factory, which began in 1839, and closed in 1840. Only a few pieces of Mallorytown glass still exist, the most famous being the ‘Mallorytown Pitcher’ which is on display at the Royal Ontario Museum. A reproduction of this piece is currently on display at the Mallory Coach House, a stone home build in the 1850’s which has been renovated and is open to visitors on weekends during the spring and summer months.
The book “Fact, Folklore and Fiction: The History of Mallorytown” written by local David J. Wells, recalls some of the history of Front of Yonge and is available for purchase at the Township Office.
The book “The Last Front: A People’s History of Mallorytown & the Front of Yonge Township” a second book written by local David J. Wells, recalls more of the history of Front of Yonge and is available for purchase at the Township Office.