Bobcaygeon-Nipissing Road

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Bobcaygeon-Nipissing Road

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In 1852, William Lyon Mackenzie introduced to the Legislative Assembly a resolution asking for a survey of the Huron-Ottawa Territory. His intent was to increase settlement within the uninhabited region of Canada West, to encourage immigration from Europe, and discourage emigration from the province. This resolution, along with similar recommendations, led to the Colonization Roads policy, and ultimately to the passing of the Public Land Act in 1853 by the Legislature. This Act allowed the government "to appropriate as free grants any public land in the province to actual settlers, upon or in the vicinity of any public roads in any new settlements which shall or may be opened through the Lands of the Crown." The survey of the Bobcaygeon Road came about as a result of this legislation. Before 1854, the Bobcaygeon Road did not extend beyond the village of Bobcaygeon. By 1857, the road had been constructed to Kinmount. A year later, surveyor Michael Deane was commissioned by the Department of Crown Lands to conduct a survey of lot frontages along the proposed Bobcaygeon Road from just north of Kinmount (Somerville Township) to Bell's Line. In 1860, surveyor Crosbie Brady was hired to survey the Bobcaygeon Road from where Deane had left off, north of Bell's Line, to Nippissing Road Line, on the south shore of Lake Nippissing. Throughout the years, the road and the lots along either side of the road have been re-surveyed for the purpose of establishing specific boundaries and correcting any mistakes in the initial surveys. All that remains of the original Bobcaygeon Road today is Highway 649 which extends from the village of Bobcaygeon to Highway 121, south of Kinmount. (Taken from: Spragge, George W. "Colonization Roads in Canada West." Ontario History. Vol. XLIX, no. 1, 1957., and W. D. Thomas. Bobcaygeon: The Hub of the Kawartha's. Bobcaygeon: W. D. Thomas, 1980.)

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