Modern Mississauga and Heritage Mississauga have come together to present an ongoing series called “Way Back Wednesdays."
We’ll share information about the history of Mississauga here and answer your questions.
Today’s topic is the history of Parkerhill Road.
Historic Mississauga was home to the first commercial winery and vineyard in Canada. In 1864, on land near Cooksville, the Ontario Vinegrower’s Association was formed under the direction of Sir Meilville Parker. Under the management of J.M. DeCourtenay the vineyard produced a local wine under the name of “Clair House Wines”. Local legends attribute the success of the winery to a previous owner of the property, Johann Schiller, who it is said cultivated wild grapes and built the substantial house known as “Clair House” or “Chateau Clair”. Clair House is remembered on the “Welcome to Cooksville” signs, and the site of vineyard can be identified by the course of modern Parkerhill Road. Parkerhill Road is named in reference to the prominent Parker family, and notably Sir Melville Parker.
Sir Melville Parker was born in February of 1824 in England. His father was Sir William George Parker. Melville came to Canada in 1841. He married Jessie Hector on January 29th, 1847. Melville and Jessie had a daughter, May Elizabeth, who was born in 1853. Sir Melville Parker served as a reeve of Toronto Township in 1862, 1864, 1866, and from 1892 to 1896. He also served as a warden for Toronto Township for several years, and as a Jury of Peace for over forty years but declined to accept any fees for his services. He died in 1903 at his home in Cooksville, dubbed “Knoyle”, which was located adjacent to the vineyard along what is today Parkerhill Road.
If you’ve got a question about the history of our city, we want to hear from you.
Please send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Way Back Wednesday” in the subject line.