The history of Mount Dennis, both in geological and human terms, continues to be written by forces located far away.  It is essential that we understand that names and dates are far less important than the cultural values of the groups that influenced our history


Our future health and safety require us to understand what is driving the problems confronting us, and how our approach must solve those problems both at a global level, as well as at a community level.

Environmental History

SO let’s start with the environment, given the fires and heat warnings we are experiencing, as well as extreme weather and flooding that affect us.

An understanding of both the basic science and history is required.  The universe started as fundamental particles, and those particles combined.  Gravitational forces withing succeeding generations of stars merged atoms into increasingly larger atoms, hydrogen eventually becoming lead and uranium

Yet even after billions of years, the universe is still 75% hydrogen with decreasing quantities of the other 93 naturally occurring heavier elements.  24 additional elements have been created by physicists, most breaking down quickly.

Oxygen and carbon comprise about 1% and ½% of the galaxy and are the basis of life on Earth, where they combine with hydrogen to form the hydrocarbons our ecology is based on..

Human life depends on an atmosphere with a critical ratio of water, oxygen, and carbon dioxide diluted by nitrogen.  Initially, a huge amount of carbon dioxide (, CO2) made the planet tropical, but as vegetation trapped carbon in large organic molecules like crude oil and coal.  So global temperatures , (far higher when Mount Dennis was beneath a tropical sea and the fossils in the Humber were forming 500 million years ago), began to drop.

As , CO2 levels dropped, the polar ice caps grew, and as land, most of which is located in the northern hemisphere, became covered in a kilometer of ice, ocean levels dropped.  But then the weight of the ice tipped the tectonic plates and increased volcanic  activity.  This released more , CO2 and the temperature rose to modern levels.  This remained stable for the last 5,000 years, until humans started burning coal and driving cars.   Today CO2 levels are again where they were when the planet was covered in tropical seas,  the ice caps and glaciers are melting, and oceans rising and warming. Warmer oceans create more clouds, more clouds bring more rain, more rain brings floods.

In the past 100 years, CO2 levels have risen to levels not seen since 20 million years ago when temperatures were about 6* C warmer than today.

So it becomes very urgent to reduce carbon emissions and that means using clean energy.  The Mount Dennis ecoNeighbourhood Project is MDCA’s response, to create a sustainable Mount Dennis.

And it is our desire to make the community sustainable that makes MDCA want Metrolinx to protect the natural areas of Eglinton Flats and not to destroy the naturalized areas of the Flats.  This can be achieved either by a subway, or by placing an elevated system over the sidewalks, or by running the trains in the roadway like is done for the Crosstown east of Bayview.  Protecting natural areas should be the default, not destroying them.


North American Human History compared to North Western Europe


The human history of Mount Dennis has no kings, no battlefields, rather we trace our European heritage back to the Roman Empire, the Roman Catholic Church and our Great Lakes history to the Wendat.  Both parts of the world have recorded their history so we know what the leaders expected of their people, what they asked their fighters to do, when and where they did it, and what was the result.  We can can study the impacts of those actions and see if there were missed opportunities, if our ancestors were driven by necessity or by greed.


‘Bad Apples’ is the excuse often given for unacceptable behaviour by the agents of the crown.  A quick review of the instructions issued by European popes and royalty indicates that the shameful treatment of people by those in power was a direct result of the written directions by the Church and State.  And the victims of those actions were as likely to be of the same race and religion as those issuing the orders.  Conquest was often small scale, family versus family, but also often the succession of kings was dictated in Rome and enforced by armed conflict.

The nations bordering the English Channel 2000 years ago were in many ways similar to North American First Nations of the Great Lakes basin, both in population and in territory, with a handful of linguistic groups controlling territories of a few thousand square kilometers.

The Great Lakes Basin is 240,000 km2, twice the size of England and about half the size of France.

While the Bretons/Celts/Saxons/Normans/Angles were fighting over England at Hastings in 1066, the First Nations of the Great Lakes Basin were implementing the first Dish with One Spoon agreement for the Basin, allowing safe passage and agreeing to protect natural resources.  The Haudenosaunee confederation was finalizing the Great Law in 1142 decades before a few English lords limited the power of a the ‘divine’ English monarch with Magna Carta in 1215.  And Magna Carta was resisted territories in both France and England changed their loyalties.,as%20a%20power%20in%20itself.,Confederate%20Council%2C%20they%20shall%20be

Just in England, Celts, Bretons, Normans, Saxons, Angles fought for 1000 years following 400 years f Pax Romana

The results of the Norman invasion of 1066 still reverberate in British society to this day, with particular resonance during the Reformation period when the House of York (Planagenet Normans ) and the House of Lancaster (aligned with the general population) warred .


Massacres were ordered with the victims often local Catholics killed by other Catholics sent by Rome!   Today, you can still buy a T-shirt (such as the illustration) expressing a common sentiment that is still heard.


Kill them all, God will know his own

First spoken in 1209, and still a best seller on t-shirts today! The phrase is attributed to the Abbot of Bezier authorizing the slaughter of both Catholics and heretics since there was no practical was to distinguish one from the other.

Thousands of Albigensian townspeople were massacred by Catholic Crusaders and the outcome was a land transfer (think Greenbelt) where expropriated lands were to be given to different people with connections to the Papacy.  There is a bit of irony here, because the ‘crusaders, (aka Templars) decided to keep the land for themselves.


Three hundred years later, the Protestant Reformation will permanently destroy Papal control of the monarchies of Europe, and Reformation becomes a major factor in the movement to democracy. However, the Protestant churches continued to promote the Doctrine of Discovery issued by Pope Nicholas V in 1455. 


This document permits Christian counties to enslave non=Christians, and to take their land.,were%20superior%20to%20all%20others.  


This is the basis of Canadian property law.  All land in North America was seized, and then assigned to settlers.  The existing populations were confined, and forcibly sent to residential schools  run by the Churches that had spread the Doctrine.


Sir Humphrey Gilbert was given similar instructions by Queen Elizabeth I when dealing with Irish rebels in 1567 and again in 1578 for settlement of Newfoundland and Virginia.

But before that happens, in 1569 Sir Humphrey Gilbert slaughters Catholics in Ireland

 to discouer, finde, search out, and view such remote, heathen and barbarous lands, countreys and territories not actually possessed of any Christian prince or people, as to him, his heirs and assignes, and to euery or any of them, shall seem good: and the same to haue, hold, occuppie and enioy to him, his heires and assignes for euer, with all commodities, iurisdictions and royalties both by sea and land: and the sayd sir Humfrey and all such as from time to time by licence of vs, our heires and successours shal goe and trauell thither, to inhabite or remaine there, to build and fortifie at the discretion of the sayde sir Humfrey, and of his heires and assignes, the statutes or actes of Parliament made against Fugitiues, or against such as shall depart, remaine, or continue out of our REalme of England

and is then rewarded with a charter to ‘civilize’ North America


 ‘During the three weeks of this campaign, all Irish were treated without quarter and put to the sword, including women and children. Soldier and author Thomas Churchyard described the practice by Gilbert to cow the rebel supporters, utilising the decapitated heads of his Irish enemies:’


As a result of this, generations of English were educated to consider themselves to have a right of conquest to create an empire and to assume the properties of the conquered, supported by the Church of England.

But realize that the slaughter of Catholics and Protestants was endorsed by the same churches that endorsed slavery and conquest.  This is the enduring source of the Irish ‘troubles’ of the 20th century.

Meanwhile on Turtle Island…..

Against this backdrop, the Nations of North America had a documented history of agreements to share the waterways used to travel between seasonal lands, and to protect the land.  Even the Wendat and Haudenosaunee co-existed for centuries until Champlain introduced warfare with firearms, and the English retaliated by arming a larger Haudenosaunee force.  A smallpox epidemic and religious fracture of Wendat society then created the opportunity for ethnic cleansing of the enormously reduced Wendat population from Southern Ontario in the late 17th century.  Only a tiny number of people were living in the Toronto region when Governor Simcoe arrives.  The last Wendat presence, including a village near Roselands school, ended 150 years prior to his arrival.

If typical of Wendat society, Eglinton Flats would have been a huge corn field, similar to fields documented at Ste Marie near Midland (Martyr’s Shrine) or Eglinton Park.


Safe to say, morality in the 16th and 17th century was largely driven by the financial interests of the aristocracy, as best stated in Machiavelli’s 1513 book, ‘The Prince’


 a new prince has the more difficult task in ruling: He must first stabilise his newfound power in order to build an enduring political structure. Machiavelli suggests that the social benefits of stability and security can be achieved in the face of moral corruption. Machiavelli believed that public and private morality had to be understood as two different things in order to rule well.[46] As a result, a ruler must be concerned not only with reputation, but also must be positively willing to act unscrupulously at the right times. Machiavelli believed that, for a ruler, it was better to be widely feared than to be greatly loved; a loved ruler retains authority by obligation, while a feared leader rules by fear of punishment.[47] As a political theorist, Machiavelli emphasized the “necessity” for the methodical exercise of brute force or deceit, including extermination of entire noble families, to head off any chance of a challenge to the prince’s authority.


The Prince was immediately banned by the Catholic Church, but remains a major contributor to Modernism.  Machiavelli ‘emancipated politics from theology and moral philosophy. He undertook to describe simply what rulers actually did and thus anticipated what was later called the scientific spirit in which questions of good and bad are ignored, and the observer attempts to discover only what really happens’.



Two of the founders of Mount Dennis, John Dennis and John Dennison  were both supporters of the British military, Dennis as a ship builder, and Dennison as a provider of beer to the troops.

They both were opposed to the Americans, Dennis moving from Philadelphia after the revolution, and Denison was invited by JG Simcoe

George Taylor Denison III    Louis Riel. US Civil War

Alan Tonks  mdca founder and York’s most successful politician?  ( or no, see FN ) n  


John Nunziatta –  Beech Hall

Francis Nunziatta   anti corruption crusader