Winona, Ontario

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Winona (43°12′29″N 79°39′04″W / 43.20806°N 79.65111°W / 43.20806; -79.65111) is a small community in southern Ontario, that is officially a part of the city of Hamilton, Ontario.


  • 1 International acclaim
  • 2 Schools
  • 3 Early families
  • 4 Early churches
  • 5 History and geography

International acclaim[edit]

Winona is home to these internationally known entities:

1. The Winona Peach Festival began in 1967 when it was just a local street festival organized to raise a little money for local charitable organizations. By 2003, it was run by more than 2,000 volunteers, had attendances over 100,000 and generated about $3,730,000 that stayed in the community, as estimated by a 2003 Enigma Research study. The Festival is classified as an International event due to attendees from Western New York.

2. E.D. Smith, founded in 1882, a food service manufacturer of specialty sauces, ketchup, and fruit fillings. In 1918, a camp housed about a hundred young female members of the Farm Service Corps who could choose to live in tents or in a room in the barracks. A young woman of 18, Lois Allan was one person who lived in one of the tents. The Farm Service Corps was an initiative of the Government of Ontario to replace the men who had left the farms for the Front of the First World War.

3. Juno Award winner, Ian Thomas, born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, makes his home in Winona. He is the Canadian singer/songwriter of such hits, Painted Ladies (1973), Calabash (1976), Liars (1976), Pilot (1979), and Time is the Keeper (1979). In 1990, he started the band, The Boomers. Years later, he moved on to teaming up with Murray McLauchlan ("Down by the Henry Moore"), Marc Jordan (Marina del Rey) and Cindy Church and released a live CD and DVD of a performance titled, Lunch at Allen's. He is the brother of Dave Thomas, a famous actor known from Second City and the character Doug McKenzie from Bob & Doug McKenzie.


Winona's first school was a private school, located close to the Fifty Creek. 1816 marked a turning point for education as Winona's John Willson spearheaded Upper Canada's first Common School Act. The third elementary school building was located at Highway 8 and Winona Road and was called Saltfleet School No. 1. Winona's present Elementary School, Winona Elementary School, is located at 301 Lewis Road, Winona ON, L8E 5H1. It moved to this newly constructed facility in 2012 from its previous location at 255 Winona Road, Winona, Ontario, L8E 5L3. This building is the fifth Elementary School built and is on the same site that Winona High School existed. Winona High School, Winona High School, was located at the corner of Lewis Road and Barton Street until it was sold to the Roman Catholic School Board. The high school colours were Purple and White and the mascot was the Viking. Glover Road Public School was built to ease the congestion of Fruitland and Winona schools when the population boomed after WWII. It was located on the SE corner of Barton St. and Glover Road. The population boom was short-lived however, and the school closed in 1982. In 2009, the school building located at Lewis Road and Barton Street that was originally Winona High School was demolished with plans to relocate Winona Public School to this location. A time capsule was discovered by an operator of an excavator. It had been sealed in the cornerstone when the school was built in 1962. As now, Winona Public school was moved and people made a new one located at Barton street. They have created a time capsule which they won't open in 50 years.

Early families[edit]

Probably the most well known family in Winona is the Smith name. ED Smith and Sons dominated the economy and society of Winona from 1890-1980. John Willson and his son were some of the most prominent of the early settlers. His son's house became a palatial hotel in the late 1900s and the Willson farm became the first Winona Park. Many of the roads in Winona were derived from the names of the local farm owners. Alexander S. Glover: Glover Road, and Levi Lewis: Lewis Road. Other historical names include, Johnathon Isaac Pettit (located near Highway 8 and Winona Road), Inglehart (Fifty Conservation Area), Carpenter, Fred B. Henry, Puddicombe, Jacob Smith and Van Duzer.

Early churches[edit]

Winona's churches have been a source of stability in a shifting landscape. Winona Gospel Church, located near Glover Road and Highway 8; St. Johns Anglican Church, located at Winona Road and Highway 8; and Fifty United Church, located on Highway between Winona Road and Fifty Road.

History and geography[edit]

Winona's first settlers built a farming hamlet called "the Fifty" close to the creek of that name and tight to the waterfront. Winona's centre shifted in the late 19th century away from the water and the creek to a new central place built around the railway and roads, and tied together by Winona (then called Station) Road. Later, the focus shifted in favour of Highway 8, the escarpment, and Winona Road.

Winona was part of the township of Saltfleet. On January 1, 1974, it became part of the New Town of Stoney Creek. Stoney Creek became a city in 1985. Fifteen years later, it was forcibly merged with the City of Hamilton by order of the Ontario government.