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The St. Laurence market area has been a place where Aboriginal people have traded with Europeans for many years before the official market block. The first permanent structure was established here in 1803 by Lieutenant Governor Peter Hunter; it was constructed of wood and was built at the North end of the market block, between King and Front Streets. It is in this area where an important but unfortunate event began.
Wabakinine was a warrior and chief of the Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation, as well as an important signatory on several land surrenders including the Toronto Purchase in 1787. Author and Professor Donald Smith notes that the “most important story in his life was his death” which eliminates the popular notion that the connections between Aboriginal people and Europeans were amicable.
In August of 1797 Chief Wabakinine, his wife and…
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