In 1923 the North York Fire Department began as 7 separate volunteer fire brigades that served 6,303 persons spread
over the 70 square miles of North York.

In 1941, Chief Ivan Nelson, Deputy Chief William Balantyne, Firefighters Charles Prowse, Charles Dawson and Frank Bennett became the first full-time firefighters of the North York Fire Department, and assisted by volunteers, looked after the needs of 22,953 residents. January 1, 1942 saw the first fire station open at 5125 Yonge Street with a staff of 5 and two pumper vehicles; a 1926 Reo and 1936 Bickle. Chief Nelson remained as head of the Fire Department until 1975.

In 1997 the North York Fire Department had 19 Stations. The 19th Station, was a combination Station, Education Center
& Museum. These stations were divided into 4 Districts which covered an area of 70 square miles & an approximate population of 580,000. Each District was commanded by a District Chief. The department utilized 20 Pumpers, 5 Foam / Haz-Mat Pumpers, 6 Aerials, 1 Aerial Platform Truck, 1 Pumper / Aerial Truck, 1 Heavy Rescue Truck, 5 Rescue / Pumpers, 1 Hazardous Materials Truck, 1 Air Recharging/Lighting Truck, 1 Incident Command Unit and 5 Chiefs Vehicles.

Each Pumper, Foam / Hazmat Pumper, Rescue / Pumper, Aerial and Aerial Platform Truck was staffed with 3 Firefighters & 1 Captain. The Rescue was staffed with 2 Firefighters & 1 Captain.

The North York Fire Department offered a high level of service in a multitude of situations including fire safety education, inspections, fires, accidents, rescues, heart attacks, breathing problems and hazardous chemical spills. As well as providing services to the large residential, commercial and industrial population, they were also responsible for responding to incidents on sections of 5 major highways which run through the city.

On January 1st, 1998, an amalgamation took place with 5 other surrounding Fire Departments. On this date the North York Fire Department ceased to exist as a individual Fire Department. The name North York Fire Department may be gone but the Heritage and History of the North York Fire Department and it's Members shall be forever remembered.