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The town's settlement formed at the eastern end of the harbour behind the peninsula, near the present-day intersection of Parliament Street and Front Street (in the "Old Town" area).
The new province of Upper Canada was in the process of creation and needed a capital.
American soldiers destroyed much of the garrison and set fire to the parliament buildings during their five-day occupation.
The sacking of York was a primary motivation for the Burning of Washington by British troops later in the war.
In the 19th century, an extensive sewage system was built, and streets became illuminated with gas lighting as a regular service.
Long-distance railway lines were constructed, including a route completed in 1854 linking Toronto with the Upper Great Lakes.