4 Queen St.
Ontario Tourism Region : Niagara Falls and Wine Country
- Postcards above used with permission from A Great Lakes Treasury of Old Postcards 2007 Lorenzo Marcolin, MD 176 pp. For Copies call the Huronia Museum 705 526 2844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pop. 127,442. In the Reg. Mun. of Niagara on L. Ontario and the Welland Canal and the QEW, 64 km. E of Hamilton.
The city is nicknamed "The Garden City" or "The Best Blooming Town in Ontario" because the soil and climate of a strip of the south shore of L. Ontario is ideal for growing grapes and plants such as wisteria, magnolia, and forsythia, which are abundant.
The city had its beginnings on the site of a crudely built First Nations Peoples bridge across Twelve Mile Creek. The site is believed to have been one of the most heavily populated First Nations Peoples encampments in North America prior to the arrival of the first settlers. The burial grounds alone covered an area of five or six acres (2-2.4 ha). The first settlers are believed to have been United Empire Loyalists John Hainer and Jacob Dittrick, who arrived in 1790, and other Loyalists, mostly former members of Butlers Rangers, soon arrived.
When the military surveyors came to survey the area into 100-acre lots to dole out to members of Butlers Rangers, they used the lakeshore as the survey base line and ran east-west survey lines inland parallel to the lake. These became some of the communitys main streets. Then the surveyors ran north-south survey lines inland straight back from the lakeshore. These became the main intersecting streets. As a consequence, the city does not have the ordinary rectangular grid road pattern with roads meeting each other at 90° angles to form square comers. St. Catharines has an angular grid road pattern with roads meeting each other at 65° or 115° angles, forming narrow comers on one side of the street and wide comers on the other.
The community was called St. Catharines after the first wife of wealthy merchant and land owner, Hon. Robert Hamilton, who died in 1796. Hamilton was superintendent of the Western District and a member of the first executive council of Upper Canada. He donated land for the first school and church.
The name was interchangeable for a time with The Twelve, after the creek, or Shipmans Corners after a tavern owned by Paul Shipman. The citys name is one of the most frequently misspelled in Canada. The post office spelled it St. Catherines from 1817 to 1849 and the Roman Catholic cathedral St. Catherines is located on St. Catherines St.
The first wooden canal, started in 1824 by the WeIland Canal Company, was completed by 1833 between Port Dalhousie (now part of St. Catharines) on L. Ontario, and Port Colborne on L. Erie. Competitive rowing became popular in Canada in the 1860s, and in 1880 the first Royal Canadian Henley Regatta for international rowers was held in Toronto. In 1903 a section of the old WeIland Canal at Port Dalhousie was chosen as the permanent site for this popular competition. In 1931 a concrete stand to seat 3,000 was built.
In 1874 Dr. Theophilus Mack established the St. Catharines Training School for Nurses. The school endorsed the Florence Nightingale system of training based on a sound knowledge of hygiene and medicine, and was the first of its kind in Canada. St. Catharines is also the home of Ridley College, established by the Anglican Church in 1889, and Brock University, chartered in 1964.
From Ontario Place Names 2007 David E. Scott Ph. 866 471 4123 or 905 680 7884
Map Below gives Canadian Geographical Names
Natural Resources Canada in the Region of Niagara.
Address of this page: http://www.ruralroutes.com/stcatharines