East Gwillimbury began with the early expansion of Upper Canada by Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe in the late 18th century.
On his order, Yonge Street was build up from Lake Ontario to what is now the village of Holland Landing. The ranges to the north and east were named East Gwillimbury and North Gwillimbury in honour of Simcoe's wife, Elizabeth Gwillim. In 1849 the Baldwin Act assimilated the Township of East Gwillimbury effective January 1, 1850. As the East Gwillimbury area advanced, a number of communities developed. They were the villages or districts of Brown Hill, Franklin, Holland Landing, Holt (formerly Eastville), Mount Albert, Queensville (formerly colloquially known as The Four Corners), Ravenshoe, River Drive, and Sharon (formerly Hope). The Sharon Temple is a National Historic Site and Museum, as well as restored buildings and pioneer artifacts relating to the Children of Peace and their contributions to Canadian history.