Lindsay, Ontario

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Downtown Lindsay
Downtown Lindsay
Lindsay is located in Southern Ontario
Location of Lindsay in Ontario
Coordinates: 44°21′15″N 78°44′28″W / 44.354050833333°N 78.741244444444°W / 44.354050833333; -78.741244444444
Country Flag of Canada.svg Canada
Province Flag of Ontario.svg Ontario
Municipality Kawartha Lakes
Established 1831
 • Mayor Andy Letham
 • MP Jamie Schmale (CPC)
 • MPP Laurie Scott (PC)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 20,354
Postal Code K9V
Area code(s) 705 & 249
Highways  Highway 7
 Highway 35
 Highway 36

Lindsay is a community of 20,354 people (2011 census)[1] on the Scugog River in the Kawartha Lakes region of south-eastern Ontario, Canada. It is approximately 43 km (27 mi) west of Peterborough. It is the seat of the City of Kawartha Lakes (formerly Victoria County), and the hub for business and commerce in the region.

Lindsay Transit provides bus service to the community and surrounding area.


  • 1 History
    • 1.1 Railway
  • 2 Media
    • 2.1 Print
    • 2.2 Broadcast
  • 3 Geography
    • 3.1 Climate
  • 4 Education
    • 4.1 Colleges
    • 4.2 High schools
    • 4.3 Elementary schools
  • 5 Healthcare
    • 5.1 Ross Memorial Hospital
  • 6 Culture
  • 7 Cityscape
    • 7.1 Landmarks
  • 8 Nearby towns
  • 9 Notable residents
  • 10 Forest fire protection history
  • 11 References
  • 12 External links


The Township of Ops was surveyed in 1825 by Colonel Duncan McDonell, and Lots 20 and 21 in the 5th Concession were reserved for a town site. The same year settlers began to come to the region, and by 1827, the Purdy's, an American family, built a dam on the Scugog River at the site of present-day Lindsay. The following year they built a sawmill, and in 1830, a grist mill was constructed.

A small village grew up around the mills, and it was known as Purdy's Mills. In 1834, surveyor John Huston plotted the designated town site into streets and lots. During the survey, one of Huston's assistants, Mr. Lindsay, was accidentally shot in the leg and died of an infection. He was buried on the riverbank and his name and death were recorded on the surveyor's plan. The name Lindsay remained as the name of the town by government approval. Lindsay grew steadily and developed into a lumbering and farming centre.

With the arrival of the Port Hope Railway in 1857, the town saw a period of rapid development and industrial growth. On June 19 of the same year, Lindsay was formally incorporated as a town. In 1861, a fire swept through the town and most of Lindsay was destroyed with hundreds of people left homeless. It took many years for Lindsay to recover from this disaster. In the late 19th century, local photographers Fowler & Oliver worked out of the Sunbeam Photo Gallery. It was also the home to Sir Samuel Hughes, the Canadian Minister of Militia during the First World War. The Victoria Street Armouries were built during this time.

In 2001 Lindsay's town government was officially dissolved and merged, with Victoria County into the new City of Kawartha Lakes.


Lindsay railway station in 1921

The first railway to arrive in Lindsay was the Port Hope, Lindsay & Beaverton Railway (PHL&B), originally chartered in 1846 as the Peterborough & Port Hope Railway. The first train arrived at the St. Paul and King Streets station (Lindsay’s first) on the east side of the Scugog River on October 16, 1857. In 1871 it continued on over the Scugog River across a swing-bridge, gained height on the west bank, and then headed west out to Beaverton. It was renamed the Port Hope Railway in 1869.

Lindsay’s second railway began as the Fenelon Falls Railway in 1871, changing its name to the Lindsay, Fenelon Falls & Ottawa River Valley Railway, and then to the Victoria Railway. It reached and terminated at Haliburton in 1878. At its Lindsay end, it connected with the original Midland Railway route on William Street North at “Victoria Junction” in 1875, and its original Lindsay terminus was at the PHL&B/Midland station at St. Paul and King Streets. In 1877, it applied to the Town of Lindsay to extend its railway down Victoria Avenue to Glenelg Street to connect with the WPP&L (see below), where a brick station (Lindsay’s second) was built on Victoria Ave between Glenelg and Melbourne Streets to serve the two railways as a union station.

Lindsay’s third railway was the Port Whitby & Port Perry Railway, extended from Port Perry to Lindsay in 1876, reaching Albert Street, Lindsay on June 15, 1877 as the Whitby, Port Perry & Lindsay Railway (WPP&L).

In 1881, the Midland Railway acquired the neighbouring smaller railways and built two links important to Lindsay. One was between Wick (Blackwater) Jct., and Cresswell (Manilla Jct.) in early 1883 for a direct route between Lindsay and Toronto (hitherto via Lorneville Jct.); and the other (“the Missing Link”) between Peterborough and Omemee in late 1883, for a direct Lindsay – Peterborough connection (hitherto via Millbrook Jct.).

In Lindsay, a new entry from Omemee was then decided upon, and a bridge was built over the Scugog River at the east end of Durham St. The track now came along just south of Durham to Cambridge Street, where it curved north to connect with the former Victoria Railway on Victoria Avenue. A new station (Lindsay’s third) was built at the south end of William Street in 1883, at which time the King at St. Paul Street station was abandoned. The new station burned in 1885, and the former union station was taken back into use until 1890 when a grand new two-storey station was built (Lindsay’s fourth), that lasted until 1963. The union station was demolished around 1890. A freight shed was built on the site, which was destroyed by fire in 1954. (It was replaced by another freight shed, demolished in 2006.)

In 1887 the Midland Railway made Lindsay its operational headquarters. A large freight yard was built south of Durham between Lindsay and Hamilton Sts, and the Port Hope engine house was dismantled and rebuilt in Lindsay as a running shed, together with the attendant shops, on the east side of Albert St. south of Durham. In the meantime the old swing-bridge across the Scugog River at Lindsay and Colborne Sts. was dismantled in 1887, and the former Midland Railway route across Victoria Jct. and through what is now the Lindsay airport was abandoned when the new direct line from Lindsay out to Midland was built in 1907. The Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) took over the Midland in 1884, and Lindsay became a division point for the GTR’s 8 th (Belleville, Peterborough and Port Hope), 9th (Midland and Coboconk) and 10th (Scarboro Jct., Whitby and Haliburton) Districts. The GTR was merged into the Canadian National Railways in 1923. (The Maynooth Sub. was added to Lindsay’s control in 1931, then at its peak as a railway centre.)

In the meantime Bobcaygeon interests had applied for, and in 1890 obtained, a charter for the Lindsay, Bobcaygeon & Pontypool Railway (LB&P) from Burketon Jct. (west of Pontypool) on the CPR’s then main MontrealToronto line, north to Lindsay. Construction began in 1901, and the line opened in 1904. The LB&P ducked under the GTR at the Scugog River bridge, following the east bank of the river to a station at Caroline Street (Lindsay’s fifth). The last train to Bobcaygeon was in 1957.[2]

To commemorate the 150th Anniversary, a monument was carved in front of the old town hall on Kent Street, by chainsaw carver Gerald Guenkel, of Omemee. It shows the importance of locomotives to Lindsay’s history.



  • The Lindsay Post was a twice-weekly newspaper (paid circulation Tuesdays, free Fridays) that is part of Osprey Media and owned by Quebecor Inc. (Sun Media) that operated as a daily until May 2007. Its history dates back more than 150 years.[1] Ceased operation on June 14 2013.
  • Kawartha Lakes This Week is a weekly newspaper owned by Metroland Media Group, a subsidiary of Torstar Corp. It publishes Thursdays, on a "volunteer payment" basis. [2]


CKLY-FM plays a classic hits format branded as Bob FM. It was formerly known as 910 CKLY on AM.

Peterborough's CBC affiliate CHEX-TV covers the region daily with its Newswatch news programs. The municipality also draws intermittent news coverage from CTV Toronto and A-Channel Barrie.



Lindsay is in a humid continental climate zone with warm, humid summers and cold winters.

The coldest temperature on average that Lindsay experiences in the winter is -31.4 °C (−24.5 °F). On occasion the first snowfall occurs earlier than November, though the snow usually melts within a short period of time. Temperatures start to increase again in late February and last from late-June to mid-September.

Climate data for Lindsay (1981−2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 11.5
Average high °C (°F) −4.1
Daily mean °C (°F) −8.4
Average low °C (°F) −12.7
Record low °C (°F) −36.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 66.8
Average rainfall mm (inches) 22.4
Average snowfall cm (inches) 44.4
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 17.2 13.4 13.0 13.8 14.7 12.4 11.0 12.2 13.6 16.1 16.5 16.0 169.9
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 4.5 4.2 7.4 12.2 14.7 12.4 11.0 12.2 13.6 15.8 12.2 6.2 126.3
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 13.8 10.4 7.2 3.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.58 5.6 11.1 51.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 89.4 100.8 144.2 176.0 204.0 220.4 278.5 221.1 156.2 128.7 80.0 60.1 1,859.2
Percent possible sunshine 31.1 34.3 39.1 43.7 44.6 47.5 59.3 50.9 41.5 37.7 27.6 21.7 39.9
Source: Environment Canada[3]



  • Fleming College

High schools[edit]

  • I. E. Weldon Secondary School
  • Lindsay Collegiate and Vocational Institute
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School

Elementary schools[edit]

  • St. John Paul II Elementary - K-8 (Catholic)
  • St. Mary's Elementary - K-8 (Catholic)
  • St. Dominic's Elementary - K-8 (Catholic)(French Immersion)
  • Parkview Public School - K-6
  • Alexandra Public School - K-6
  • Central Senior School - 7-8
  • Jack Callaghan Public School - K-8 (formerly known as Ops Elementary)
  • King Albert Public School - K-6
  • Leslie Frost Public School - K-8 (French Immersion)
  • Queen Victoria Public School - K-6
  • Heritage Christian School - K-8 (Private)


Ross Memorial Hospital[edit]

Ross Memorial Hospital is the only hospital in Lindsay. It was founded on November 20, 1902 by James Ross, who died on September 20, 1913. On April 14, 2005 the hospital finished a major renovation. A new dialysis unit was opened in 2008.[4]


Through direction from the Hockey Hall of Fame the history of the world's oldest stick was traced through the Lindsay Public Archives to verify the stick was carved between 1852 and 1856 by Alexander Rutherford Sr. of Fenelon Township near Lindsay. This stick sold for $2.2 million at an auction.[citation needed]

Scenes from the movies "A Christmas Story"[5] (1983) and "A Cool Dry Place"[6] (1998) were filmed in Lindsay. In 2001,[7] Lindsay played host to an episode of the OLN Reality Series "Drifters: The Water Wars" as they passed through the Trent-Severn Waterway.[8]

The Kawartha Art Gallery, located on the 2nd Floor of the Public Library, is the only public art gallery in Lindsay, and by virtue of amalgamation, the City of Kawartha Lakes. It is the steward of a permanent collection of over 160 pieces, including pieces by A. J. Casson, Jack Reid, Robert Harris, and Norval Morrisseau.


Lindsay's burnt down sawmill

Lindsay has a 150th anniversary song, entitled A Song For Lindsay. It was written and performed by recording studio owner Bob May, and local high-school student/vocalist Bethany Rees.


One of Lindsay's popular landmarks is the old burnt down mill.

Nearby towns[edit]

  • Little Britain
  • Omemee
  • Fenelon Falls
  • Downeyville
  • Dunsford
  • Bobcaygeon
  • Port Perry
  • Peterborough

Notable residents[edit]

  • Ruth Abernethy, the sculptor was born here in 1960
  • Pearl Hart, outlaw
  • Sir Sam Hughes the Minister of Militia for Canada during World War I was born and raised in Lindsay. His house was demolished to build a parking lot.
  • William Samuel McGee (b 1868, Lindsay - d 1940, Beiseker, Alberta) was born on a farm just outside Lindsay. His name was to be the inspiration for the poem The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service.[9]
  • Leslie M. Frost (September 20, 1895 – May 4, 1973) was Premier of Ontario from 1949 to 1961. First elected in 1937 to the Ontario legislature representing Victoria-Haliburton, he was known as "The Laird of Lindsay." He combined small town values with progressive policies to lead the province through the economic boom of the 1950s.
  • Joe Primeau played for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1930s.
  • Ron Ellis played for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1960s and 1970s. He was also a member Team Canada 1972 in the Summit Series.
  • Other NHLers from the town include: Jeff Beukeboom, Don Maloney, Dave Maloney, Jamie Allison, Joe Junkin, Dave Roche, and Tom Thornbury.
  • Tyler Kyte from Instant Star and Popular Mechanics for Kids grew up in Lindsay.
  • CFL player Carl Coulter won the Grey Cup with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1999.
  • Fergus Patrick McEvay former catholic archbishop of Toronto.
  • Megan Park, actress best known for her role as Grace on Secret Life of the American Teenager
  • Matthew Rose, Canadian Olympic Swimmer
  • Jack Tunney, best known as an on-air authority figure for World Wrestling Entertainment in the 1990s made his second home in Lindsay, and died there in 2004.
  • Ernest Thompson Seton (1860–1946), famed artist, naturalist and writer of realistic wild animal stories. The Thompson family arrived in Lindsay in 1866 from South Shields, England. They resided in the home they built on Stony Creek until 1870, when Seton's father, Joseph Thompson, secured employment in Toronto as an accountant.
  • Joey Lawrence, commercial photographer behind the Twilight movie posters.

Forest fire protection history[edit]

Ontario's former Department of Lands and Forests (now the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources) ran one of its 17 forest fire districts from Lindsay. Formed in 1946 The Lindsay Forest Fire District served as the headquarters for the protection and study of forests in Haliburton, Victoria, Durham, Peterborough and Northumberland Counties. The Lindsay office was also responsible for the maintenance and manning of the 13 fire tower lookouts within its boundaries. The towerman's purpose was as an early detection to protect the local forests from fire. The district's towers included: Harburn, Bruton, Eyre, Glamorgan (Green's Mountain), Harvey, Cardiff, Digby, Lutterworth, Sherbourne (St. Nora), Dorset, Clarke (Ganaraska Forest), Haldimand (Northumberland Forest) and Methuen (Blue Mountain). When a fire was spotted in the forest a towerman would get the degree bearings from his respective tower and radio back the information to headquarters. When one or more towermen from other towers in the area would also call in their bearings, the forest rangers at headquarters could get a 'triangulation' read and plot the exact location of the fire on their map. This way a team of forest firefighters could be dispatched as soon as possible to get the fire under control. Most of these towers were put out of use in the late 1960s when aerial detection systems were put in place.


  1. ^ a b Statistics Canada (2015-11-27). "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and urban areas, 2011 censuses - 100% data (Ontario)". Retrieved 2016-02-23. 
  2. ^ Lindsay, ON A Brief Railway History Archived 2011-07-15 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Lindsay Frost". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Ross Memorial Hospital - Historical Milestones". Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Stellick Marketing & Communications - Case Studies
  8. ^ Playback :: Canadian reality series by Canadians for Canadians
  9. ^ Up Here - My Search for Sam McGee by Randy Freeman[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]

  • City of Kawartha Lakes Official Site
  • "De-amalgamating is a no-go in Victoria County"
  • Lindsay Rugby Football Club
  • Lindsay Ontario Chamber of Commerce Official site
  • The Lindsay Post Official Site
  • Ross memorial Hospital Official site

Coordinates: 44°21′14.583″N 78°44′28.48″W / 44.35405083°N 78.7412444°W / 44.35405083; -78.7412444

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