Ontario Community Namesakes

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Notables whom Ontario communities past and present are named after.

Arthur - The Township of Arthur, in the County of Wellington was opened up in 1835, with the Village of Arthur as one of its community centers. It is named after Arthur Wellesley,1st Duke of Wellington, an Anglo-Irish statesman, soldier, and Tory politician.[1]

Aylmer - Named in 1835 after Lord Aylmer, Governor General of British North America.[2]

Barrie - The Barrie area was first settled during the War of 1812 as a key supply depot for British forces. It would be named twenty years later for Sir Robert Barrie, who consistently commanded forces through the region.[3]

Belleville - Belleville's founder is considered to be Captain John Walden Meyers , a United Empire Loyalist who built a gristmill beside the river in 1790. The village of Meyer's Creek grew up at the site. In 1816, it was officially surveyed and the name was changed to Belleville after Arabella, wife of Francis Gore, lieutenant governor of Upper Canada.[4]

Brantford - In 1784, Captain Joseph Brant and the Mohawk people of the Iroquois Confederacy left New York State for Canada. As a reward for their loyalty to the British Crown, they were given a large land grant, referred to as the Haldimand Tract, on the Grand River. The original Mohawk settlement was on the south edge of the present-day city at a location favourable for landing canoes. Brant's crossing (or fording) of the river gave the original name to the area: Brant's ford.[5]

Brockville - After British General Sir Isaac Brock.[6]

Collingwood - After Cuthbert Collingwood, who served with Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar.[7]

Dryden - The settlement was founded as an agricultural community by John Dryden, Ontario's Minister of Agriculture in 1895.[8]

Fort Frances - Named after Frances Ramsay Simpson, the wife and cousin of George Simpson, Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company.[9]

Goderich - Named after UK Prime Minister F.J. Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich.[10]

Hamilton - After founder George Hamilton.[11]

Hawkesbury - After Charles Jenkinson, Baron Hawkesbury.[12]

Hearst - Named after William Howard Hearst, the seventh Premier of Ontario.[13]

Huntsville - Named after its founder, George Hunt, who built a log cabin on the site of today's town in 1869.[14]

Ingersoll - Thomas Ingersoll's farm is the site of today's town of Ingersoll.[15]

Kirkland Lake - Named by a surveyor after Winnifred Kirkland, a secretary in the Ontario Department of Mines in the early 1900s.[16]

Kitchener - Previously named Berlin, it was renamed in 1916 after Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, a British Empire Field Marshal killed during the First World War.[17]

Vaughan - Now a city, originally a township, it was named for British political radical Benjamin Vaughan.[18]

Walkerville - Founded by distiller Hiram Walker.[19]


  1. Wikipedia: Wellington County, Ontario
  2. Wikipedia: Aylmer
  3. Wikipedia: Barrie
  4. The Canadian Encyclopedia: Belleville
  5. Wikipedia: Brantford
  6. Wikipedia: Brockville
  7. Wikipedia: Collingood
  8. Wikipedia: Dryden, Ontario
  9. Wikipedia: Fort Frances
  10. Wikipedia: Goderich
  11. Wikipedia entry for George Hamilton (politician)
  12. Wikipedia: Hawkesbury
  13. Wikipedia: Hearst
  14. Wikipedia: Huntsville
  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ingersoll,_Ontario
  16. Wikipedia: Kirkland Lake
  17. Wikipedia: Kitchener, Ontario
  18. Wikipedia: Vaughan
  19. Wikipedia: Walkerville, Ontario

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Categories: Ontario Project