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Waterford, Ontario

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Waterford, Ontario

Waterford is one of the Communities in Norfolk County, Ontario and had a population of 3,132 at the time of the 2016 Census.[1] Waterford's earliest known inhabitants, from around the year 1000 until approximately 300–350 years later, were the Algonquin nation. They were noted flint-workers and evidence of the skill in crafting arrowheads is still to be found in open worked field areas surrounding the village. The next wave of inhabitants were the Attawandaron nation, the Neutrals, who occupied the region from about 1350 until their absorption by the Iroquois 300 years later. The last significant native nation to occupy the area was the Mississaugas.

Antiques from different historical eras can be purchased from nearby antique stores. Norfolk FS (formerly known as the Norfolk Co-Operative) also holds a major base of operations here, which provide chemicals and most agriculture-related goods in addition to animal feed for local farmers. Close access to railway and air travel allow local travelers to maintain a low-cost "home base" in Waterford while allowing almost instant access to international destinations, resorts and getaways.

The Townsend Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Company has its headquarters in Waterford where it was started by farmers in 1879. As a mutual insurance company, every one of its customers is also a member and owner. [2]



Established in 1794, this community was first established as a saw and grist mill community.[3] Paul Averill would operate the first successful grist mill venture during the start of the 19th century.[3] The earlier names of the settlement included: Sayles' Mills, Sovereign's Mills and Lodersvile, before finally becoming Waterford in 1826 when they opened their first post office.[3] Waterford became the northernmost marketplace in Norfolk County; complementing Simcoe as its center marketplace.[3] The village would become incorporated in 1878 when its population reached 1100 people.[3]

A historic plaque in the area adds specifics. Settlement of this area, with rich soil and large forests, within Townsend Township, started in 1794 and by 1782, Paul Averill was operating saw and grist-mills on Nanticoke Creek. By 1851, Waterford contained the township hall and many industries, including a large agricultural implements factory built by James Green. The railway arrived in 1871 and helped increase growth, to 1100 by the time the village was incorporated in 1871.[4]

The local high school is called Waterford District High School and their teams are collectively called the Wolves. Founded in 1892 and once having its sports teams collectively called the Redmen. The high school started out with only 58 students.[5] A high school rugby program was initiated in 1991 by teacher David Zeldon and is considered to be one of the most dominant teams in the NSSAA boys' rugby league.[6]

This community sits on the old Canada Southern Railroad,[7] preceding various other rail company takeovers, the latest of which was by CN/CP. The now idle line passes through Ontario between Buffalo, New York and Detroit, Michigan. An electric railroad once operated in Waterford; the official fare from Galt to Waterford was a mere $1.05 ($11.05 in the day's gold-money) while taking it to nearby Simcoe cost $1.25 plus taxes ( CAD $43.25 in today's gold-money equivalent at USD $1250 per ounce and $1.33 CAD to $1 USD exchange rate).[8] By the 1950s, Waterford was a thriving hub for railway travel; although the Grand Erie Railway Company had already scrapped passenger service to Waterford by the winter of 1950.[9]

The area surrounding the town is primarily agricultural land, with tomatoes, tobacco and corn among the chief crops. Other natural health and organic crops are being explored, such as ginseng, but area farmers are generally suffering from the decline of the tobacco industry. Many non-essential services and businesses would traditionally close their operations one hour earlier on Wednesday afternoons in order to allow workers to have time with their families; this tradition would cease during the 1970s as extra demand for services and economic recessions would force most business owners to adopt a seven-day work week. In 1979, a freak tornado swept through Waterford, devastating trees, homes, and public property.[10]


During the middle of October, locals celebrate Pumpkinfest, a local celebration of pumpkins.[11] A huge "pumpkin pyramid" of 1500 carved pumpkins is an annual tradition for this local fall festival.[11] An annual car show and a soap box derby are some of the other attractions at Pumpkinfest.[11] Many banks, convenience stores, LCBO dealerships, and restaurants observe this festival as a boost to the local economy.[11]


Waterford traditionally belongs to the humid continental climate zone; even with the recent epidemic of mild winters and extremely warm and dry summers. Like in all communities, towns, and cities throughout the world, global warming due to human industrial activity has drastically altered the climate of Waterford throughout the decades.

Notable peopleEdit

  • Nelson Emerson, retired National Hockey League player
  • Douglas Glover, Canadian author
  • Paul Hellyer, Canadian engineer, politician, writer and commentator
  • Win Kellum, retired Major League Baseball player
  • Walker Powell, Canadian businessman, militia officer and political figure
  • Robin Shulman, author of Eat the City: A Tale of the Fishers, Foragers, Butchers, Farmers, Poultry Minders, Sugar Refiners, Cane Cutters, Beekeepers, Winemakers, and Brewers Who Built New York
  • Chester Samuel Walters, Canadian politician and bureaucrat
  • Fred Eaglesmith, Canadian singer, songwriter, performer


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e The Founding of Waterford at Ontario Plaques
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Our Past". Waterford District High School Website. Retrieved 2007-04-22. 
  6. ^ Waterford boys look to keep dynasty going at Brantford Expositor
  7. ^ Canada Southern Railroad map at Canada Southern
  8. ^ Electric railway ticket for May 14, 1949 at Train Web
  9. ^ The Official Guide to the Railways: February 1950 Edition at Dave's Rail Pix
  10. ^ Memories whirl of tornado '79 at Simcoe Reformer
  11. ^ a b c d Pumpkinfest in Waterford at

Coordinates: 42°55′55″N 80°17′22″W / 42.931856°N 80.289459°W / 42.931856; -80.289459