Aboriginal peoples were the first occupants of this area. Along what was called the "Indian Trail" they hunted deer, bears and fox amongst tall stands of pine, oak and maple trees. They also fished in the river to the east, following the ancient course of a valley filled by glacial debris.
European settlement of the range began in the very early 19th century. By the mid-19th century the area was fully agricultural land and served by the nearby villages of Erindale and Streetsville, which were located just to the east along the Credit River.
There was one smaller habitation along present-day Dundas Street at Winston Churchill Boulevard named Frogmore, which emerged along the Toronto-Hamilton stagecoach route. This road would eventually become known as Dundas Street. Dundas Street was paved for automobile traffic in 1924.
Beginning in the 1950s, a wealthy Canadian entrepreneur, E.P. Taylor began buying farmland for future enlargement by Canadian Equity and Development Limited, which owned Don Mills Development Corp. In 1969 Don Mills Development Corp. publicized its plans to build a "New Town" in four phases. The first two phases - "Erin Mills South" and "Erin Mills West" - today form the heart of the Erin Mills community.
The name 'Erin Mills' was the creation of land developers, likely for its close adjacency to Erindale, a historical village whose earlier inhabitants had renamed it in honor of their former homeland, Ireland. The second part Mills makes hint to the many grist mills that were operating on the banks of the nearby Credit River, although none of them were physically occupying in what is today Erin Mills.