By the Streetsville Historical Society
Around 1821, Timothy Street built the first mill on the Credit River in Streetsville. The Credit River was a big part of the prosperity that the early settlers enjoyed. It’s reported in some records that Timothy had 2 mills, the grist mill and a sawmill. These mills were a boon to the early settlers as they now had lumber for their homes and they no longer had to travel to Toronto to have their crops processed.
From 1821 to the present day there were many mills built along the Credit River. There were grist, flour, lumber, barley, flax and woollen mills. Within the Village of Streetsville 5 important mills sites were on the Credit River. The mills were the backbone of early industry, the economy and settlements. In the late 1820’s another set of mills were built at the foot of Ontario Street on both sides of the river. They were called Hydes Ontario Mills.
In the late 1850’s John Hyde sold his grist mill to Gooderham who converted it to a flax mill. The mill burned down in 1867. The Ontario Mills property was passed on to a syndicate and the mills were never revived. The latest mill to be built was called the Credit Mills, built in the late 1820’s by John Beaty. He had a flour mill and a sawmill at the foot of Reid drive. When Beaty died his wife and sons took over the operations. The Beaty’s joined in a partnership with Noah Barnhart.
On October 1902, the Beaty Grist mill was put up for auction and was purchased by Duncan W. Reid. Duncan and his son ran the operation and when the next generation of Reid’s joined the name was changed to Reid Milling Co. It was sold to Christie Brown & Co. in 1969 but the name remained the same. In 2000 the mill was sold to Kraft and today is owned by Ardent Mills, Canada. Just south of Streetsville was the Barber Mills. They manufacture wool and in 1862 employed 90 men and women from Streetsville. When the milling business declined the Barbers had to close the mill. It remained closed for nearly 20 years. It re-opened as the Oriental Textile Mills and in 1923 were brought out by the McCarthy Milling Company
More information on the mills can be found in a booklet called Mills & Waterways of Streetsville and can be purchase from the Streetsville Historical Society.