Whitby was incorporated as a Village through a proclamation effective March 11, 1852 under the terms of the Baldwin Act, Chapter 81, Canada Statutes, 1849. In 1855, Whitby was incorporated as a Town made up of the three small communities of Port Whitby, Perry's Corners, and Hamer's Corners. Whitby's primary industry of the 19th century centred around the harbour and the transportation of local grain and lumber across Canada and to the United Kingdom.
In 1968, the former Town of Whitby amalgamated with the communities of the Township of Whitby to become known as the Corporation of the Town of Whitby. The Town of Whitby includes the Village of Brooklin and the hamlets of Ashburn, Myrtle, and Myrtle Station.