The Village of King City, likely named after British undersecretary of state John King, began as a settlement in 1836. In 1890 James Whiting Crossley, son of original settler Nathaniel Pearson Crossley, was elected Reeve of King Township. He initiated a petition that was circulated and signed, asking the Municipal Council of The Township of King to set aside one thousand acres, as an incorporated village of King City.
The village of King City was the result of a merger of the hamlets Springhill, Eversley, Kinghorn and Laskay. The name Springhill was given to the village on account of the presence of a great many springs in the immediate area. Some of the prominent names in the history of King City include: Fisher, Gillham, Hogan, McClure, Norman, Wells. Two significant landmarks are Hogan's Inn at the four corners (Keele St. and King Road today), built in 1853, and Crawford Wells, built in 1863. The King train station, built in 1853, to serve the thriving community of Springhill, was relocated - having been moved to Kortright Centre in 1969 and then back to King City in 1989 to the King Township Museum site at Jane Street and King Road.
Local residents purchased products from the local general store, the bakery, harness shop, shoe store, iron foundry and smithy furniture store. Available services at the time included: hydro, as of 1924; banking at two local banks; postal services; funeral services; horse-drawn bus service to and from the railway station; medical care; library; barber shop. Residents could congregate for Sunday service at the local churches. Visitors could find accommodations at one of the two local hotels built by Isaac Dennis.