Wilmot, Ontario

The Township of Wilmot is a rural township in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo in southwestern Ontario, Canada.

Wilmot
Township of Wilmot
Peel Street in New Hamburg
Peel Street in New Hamburg
Motto(s): 
Building a Sure Foundation
Wilmot is located in Regional Municipality of Waterloo
Wilmot
Wilmot
Wilmot is located in Southern Ontario
Wilmot
Wilmot
Coordinates: 43°24′N 80°39′W / 43.400°N 80.650°W / 43.400; -80.650Coordinates: 43°24′N 80°39′W / 43.400°N 80.650°W / 43.400; -80.650
Country Canada
Province Ontario
RegionWaterloo
Settled1822
Incorporated1850
Government
 • MayorLes Armstrong[1]
 • Councillors
List
 • Federal ridingKitchener—Conestoga
 • Prov. ridingKitchener—Conestoga
Area
 • Land263.78 km2 (101.85 sq mi)
Elevation
370 m (1,210 ft)
Population
 (2016)[2]
 • Total20,545
 • Density77.9/km2 (202/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Postal Code
N3A
Area code(s)519 and 226
Websitewww.wilmot.ca

HistoryEdit

Wilmot Township was a Crown Reserve by 1791. After a survey in 1824, Mennonites from Waterloo Township and Amish from Europe began to settle here. The first settlement area was prepared by Christian Nafziger, an Amish Mennonite from Pennsylvania, but originally from Germany. After 1828, Roman Catholics and Lutherans from Alsace and Germany, Anglicans from Britain and others arrived and began to develop the area and construct buildings and roads.[3] Most settlers were farmers. Much of the area was settled by those of German heritage, but also included some of Scottish, English, and Irish origins; the latter groups owned land primarily in the southern third of the township.[4]

Likely to have been the first settler in what has been called Hamburgh or New Hamburg, Ontario since about 1840, millwright Josiah Cushman arrived from Germany in the early 1830s. He dammed Smith's Creek and built a sawmill that helped attract others. William Scott, (Lord Campfield in Scotland), now considered to be the founder of New Hamburg, arrived in 1838, after Cushman's death. He renamed Smith's Creek the Nith River, built a new dam and constructed a new lumber sawmill. The mill continued to plane lumber until 1902 when it burned down. The replacement building was a feed mill, later known as B-W Feed and Seed; that entity still exists, now as a sales outlet for feed.[5][6]

Arriving in Wilmot in 1838, were John Meyer, Peter Wilker, Jacob Stoebler, Deobold Segler, and John Marteyne. In 1840, the township became part of the District of Wellington and received the right to elect officials and to tax land owners. The first Township council was elected in January 1850.[3]

At the 1841 population count there were 2,200 people in the township, most of whom were self-described as "Germans". The post office opened in 1844.

Records from 1846 indicate that the township consisted of 51,463 acres of which 15,310 were being cultivated. Existing villages included Hamburg and Haysville, and there were two grist mills and nine sawmills on the Nith River (previously called Smith's Creek).[7]

By 1864, the township included a Lutheran church, a tannery, one store, two hotels, two wagon makers, shoe and boot makers, as well as carpenters and mechanics. The school had about 60 students. The settlement was receiving mail daily.[8] There were also two Roman Catholic Separate Schools in the township of Wilmot in 1864.[9][7]

Some of the original settlements have Heritage signs indicating their location in the 1800s: Holland Mills, Josephsburg, New Prussia, Pinehill, Punkeydoodle's Corner, Rosebank, Victoriaburg, and Waldau.[3]

CommunitiesEdit

The township comprises the communities of Baden, Berlett's Corners, Haysville, Josephburg, Luxemburg, Mannheim, New Dundee, New Hamburg, New Prussia, Petersburg, Phillipsburg, St. Agatha, Schindelsteddle and Wilmot Centre, as well as most of Punkeydoodles Corners, a crossroads which straddles the municipal boundaries of Wilmot, East Zorra – Tavistock and Perth East.

St. Agatha was initially called Wilmot and then it was renamed probably after the local Catholic church that had been built in the 1830s.[3] Most early settlers to this area were German: Amish Mennonites, Lutherans, and Roman Catholics. The latter were the majority, making St. Agatha the centre of Catholic community in the Township. By 1834, there were two public log schools and a Catholic log school. More modern school buildings were erected about 20 years later. The Amish Mennonites built their meeting house in 1885.[10]

Some of the settlers moved on to other areas so the community remained small. In 1869, the population was only and by 1890 it had dropped to 200. By 1906, there was a hotel, a blacksmith shop, some stores and various tradesmen.[10]

DemographicsEdit

Wilmot, Ontario historical populations
YearPop.±%
1991 13,107—    
199613,831+5.5%
200114,866+7.5%
200617,097+15.0%
201119,223+12.4%
201620,545+6.9%
[11][2]
10 largest self-identified ethnic groups:
Ethnic origin Population Percent
German 8,305 40.9
Canadian 5,785 28.5
English 5,525 27.2
Scottish 4,500 22.2
Irish 3,830 18.9
French 1,980 10.0
Dutch 1,570 7.7
Polish 1,005 5.0
Italian 615 3.0
Ukrainian 455 2.2
Source: StatCan, 2016 (includes multiple responses)[2]
Canada census – Wilmot, Ontario community profile
2016 2011 2006
Population: 20,545 (+6.9% from 2011) 19,223 (+12.4% from 2006) 17,097 (+15.0% from 2001)
Land area: 263.78 km2 (101.85 sq mi) 263.72 km2 (101.82 sq mi) 263.73 km2 (101.83 sq mi)
Population density: 77.9/km2 (202/sq mi) 72.9/km2 (189/sq mi) 64.8/km2 (168/sq mi)
Median age: 41.4 (M: 40.9, F: 41.8) 40.4 (M: 40.1, F: 40.8) 39.3 (M: 38.6, F: 40.0)
Total private dwellings: 7,612 7,158 6,296
Median household income: $96,154 $83,540
References: 2016[12] 2011[13] 2006[14] earlier[15]

At the time of the 2016 Canadian Census, 79.2% of the population lived in single detached houses, higher than the 55.7% in the Region of Waterloo overall,[16] as well as the 48.6% in nearby Kitchener.[17] The single largest self-reported ethnicity was German (40.9%); 3.7% also reported knowledge of the German language and 3.1% reported it as a mother tongue. The second-largest self-identified ethnic origin was Canadian (28.5%), followed by English (27.2%), Scottish (22.2%), and Irish (18.9%). 11.7% of people identified themselves as Eastern European, of which the largest ethnic group was Polish (5.0%). 7.8% of people identified themselves as Southern European, of which the largest ethnic group was Italian (3.0%). 2.6% of people identified themselves as Indigenous (1.9% as First Nations and 0.8% as Métis).[2]

Private dwellings occupied by usual residents: 7,516 (total dwellings: 7,612)[2]

TransportationEdit

Wilmot is bisected by both a mainline railway (the CN Guelph Subdivision) and a provincial highway (dual-designated as Highway 7 and Highway 8 through the township), which both run east–west. The railway passes through the cores of both Baden and New Hamburg, while the highway bypasses the town centres to the south.[18]

Passenger trains on Via Rail's Québec City–Windsor Corridor pass through Wilmot daily, but run as expresses through the township and do not stop. The nearest passenger train stations are Stratford to the west and Kitchener to the east. GO Train service on the Kitchener line is also available at Kitchener station, which is its western terminus. A GO train station and storage and maintenance yard were planned to be located near Baden, but these plans were deferred following the opening of a GO train depot on Shirley Avenue in Kitchener instead.[19]

As of 2021, Wilmot is served by a single bus route, Grand River Transit's Route 77 Wilmot. It operates on a 12-hour weekday schedule and uses "flex stops" to provide more convenient service to riders in certain areas. The route connects New Hamburg, Baden, and Petersburg to the Boardwalk bus terminal on the west end of Kitchener-Waterloo.[20] After an initial pilot in 2016–17 which was funded by a provincial community transportation grant, the route was made a permanent part of the Grand River Transit system.[21]

AthleticsEdit

  • Wilmot Aquatic Aces Swim Club
  • New Hamburg Firebirds (Hockey)[22]
  • New Hamburg Huskies (Hockey)
  • Wilmot Warthogs (Rugby)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "2018 Unofficial Election Results". Township of Wilmot. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Statistics Canada (8 February 2017). "Census Profile, 2016 Census - Wilmot, township [Census subdivision], Ontario and Waterloo, regional municipality [Census division]". www12.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d "History of Wilmot Township". Township of Wilmot. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  4. ^ "History of Wilmot Township". Waterloo Region Museum. 1 March 1997. Retrieved 17 February 2019. Wilmot Township comprised of three tracts of horizontally divided land: the German Block, Block B in the north, and Block A in the South. The German Block was controlled by the Crown. It was settled primarily by immigrants of German heritage (by which influence it acquired its name) including those from Pennsylvania, Europe, and Waterloo Township. Blocks A and B to the south and north of it, respectively, were controlled by the Canada Land Company. Although Blocks A and B were also settled by immigrants of German heritage, they were part of a mix of other immigrants of Scottish, English, and Irish origins who also settled in these areas. When Blocks A and B were acquired by the Canada Land Company in 1825, they were incorporated with the German Block and given the name Wilmot Township.
  5. ^ "Flash from the Past: Wilmot Township mills in the spotlight". Waterloo Region Record. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Local "history addict" sleuths story of town's founder". New Hamburg Independent. 12 August 2009. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  7. ^ a b Smith, Wm. H. (1846). Smith's Canadian Gazetteer - Statistical and General Information Respecting all parts of The Upper Province, or Canada West. Toronto: H. & W. Rowsell. p. 220.
  8. ^ County of Waterloo Gazetteer and General Business Directory, For 1864 (PDF). Mitchell & Co. 1864. p. 170.
  9. ^ County of Waterloo Gazetteer and General Business Directory, For 1864 (PDF). Mitchell & Co. 1864.
  10. ^ a b "Wilmot Township: Historical Place Names". Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum. Region of Waterloo. Retrieved May 22, 2019. (section: St. Agatha)
  11. ^ Statistics Canada: 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 censuses.
  12. ^ "2016 Community Profiles". 2016 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 21, 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  13. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". 2011 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  14. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". 2006 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  15. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012.
  16. ^ Statistics Canada (8 February 2017). "Census Profile, 2016 Census - Waterloo, regional municipality [Census division], Ontario and Ontario [Province]". www12.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  17. ^ Statistics Canada (8 February 2017). "Census Profile, 2016 Census - Kitchener, city [Census subdivision], Ontario and Canada [Country]". www12.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  18. ^ Moving Forward: Goods Movement Report (PDF) (Report). Region of Waterloo. 2018.
  19. ^ "New GO train yard in Kitchener leapfrogs plans for Baden". Waterloo Region Record. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  20. ^ CBC News (21 April 2016). "New GRT bus route to connect Wilmot Township with Kitchener". CBC.ca. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  21. ^ Cressman, Scott Miller (13 December 2016). "Wilmot votes to keep new Route 77 bus". New Hamburg Independent. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  22. ^ Firebirds, New Hamburg. "New Hamburg Firebirds".

Further readingEdit

  • Bergey, Lorna L. (1962). "A History of Wilmot Township". Fiftieth Annual Report of the Waterloo Historical Society (Report). Waterloo Historical Society. pp. 48–61.

External linksEdit