Initiated in 1859 by the then president of the Toronto Turf Club, Sir Casimir Gzowski, the Queen's Plate was inaugurated on June 27, 1860, at the Carleton racetrack in Toronto, Ontario, with the prize of 50 guineas awarded by Queen Victoria. In 1902, the year after Victoria's death, the race became the King's Plate, after her successor, Edward VII. It became the Queen's Plate again when Elizabeth II came to the throne in 1952.
Woodbine Racetrack hosted the race in 1876 and 1881 and then continuously from 1883 to 1955. The Queen's Plate has been running at Woodbine since 1956.