Brooklin is a community in the town of Whitby, Ontario, Canada. It is located north of the urban area of Whitby, at the south junction of Ontario Highways 12 and 7. It is part of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Brooklin is located primarily in a rural area, with hills covering the north and the west. The hills and forests that dominate the north are part of the Oak Ridges Moraine. About 40 to 50 percent of the area of the hills are made up of forests. The population has grown steadily since the early 1990s, with the addition of thousands of homes surrounding the heart of Brooklin.
Farmlands dominated and some farms have now become residential areas to the south and east; hills and forests are covered with pine and other types of forests especially oaks and birches covers the west, the north and east with some farming. Macedonian Village is located about 6 km to the southwest, housing about 100 residents. The villages of Ashburn and Myrtle are about 5 km to the north of the village. A future plan calls for Hwy. 407 ETR to travel just south of Brooklin along a power line transmission corridor.
The area around Brooklin began to be settled in the 1820s. The community itself grew after 1840, when brothers John & Robert Campbell built a flour mill on Lynde Creek. (The present mill building was built in 1848 after a lightning fire destroyed the original.) The village was originally named Winchester, but renamed when the post office was established to avoid duplication with a village named Winchester in eastern Ontario. In 1847, the residents chose to rename the community Brooklin, possibly from Brooklyn, New York or Brooklin, Maine. It could have been named for the "brook" that ran through the town, but this waterway has always been described as a "creek", and naming the village after a community in New England or New York is logical since several prominent early residents migrated from there.
Prominent people from Brooklin include John Dryden (1840-1909), long-serving agriculture minister of the Province of Ontario. While a government minister, Dryden created the northwestern Ontario experimental farm that eventually led to the formation of the town of Dryden.
Housing developments arrived in the late 1950s with the Meadowcrest subdivision, which expanded the village to the west of Baldwin Street. For several decades after this, there was no further major house construction and Meadowcrest was known colloquially as "The Subdivision". Housing activity resumed in the mid-1990s east of the village between Queen Street and Thickson Road with the Village of Brooklin subdivision, and continued into the late-1990s with further developments to the southeast. Housing developments reached Ashburn Road to the west in 2000, the development featuring a decorativepond, and the Olde Winchester subdivision was begun east of Thickson in 2001. It is expected that the population of the village will reach 90,000 residents by 2015.
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