Petrolia, Ontario

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Petrolia
Town (lower-tier)
Town of Petrolia
Petrolia ON 2.JPG
Nickname(s): Canada's Victorian Oil Town
Petrolia is located in Ontario
Petrolia
Petrolia
Coordinates: 42°53′N 82°08.5′W / 42.883°N 82.1417°W / 42.883; -82.1417Coordinates: 42°53′N 82°08.5′W / 42.883°N 82.1417°W / 42.883; -82.1417
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
County Lambton
Settled 1866
Incorporated 25 December 1866
Government
 • Mayor John McCharles
 • Federal riding Sarnia—Lambton
 • Prov. riding Sarnia—Lambton
Area[1]
 • Land 12.68 km2 (4.90 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 5,528
 • Density 435.8/km2 (1,129/sq mi)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal code N0N 1R0
Area code(s) 519 and 226
Website town.petrolia.on.ca

Petrolia is a town in Ontario, Canada, near Sarnia. The town, an enclave within Enniskillen Township, is billed as "Canada's Victorian Oil Town" and is often credited with starting the oil industry in North America.[2]

Lambton Central Collegiate & Vocational Institute (LCCVI) is the only high school located in Petrolia.

History[edit]

Victoria Hall, housing Petrolia's municipal offices and a theatre, was built in 1889

In 1857 James Miller Williams of Hamilton began distilling some of the "tar" lying around Oil Springs (located a few kilometers south from Petrolia), after buying the property rights from Charles Nelson Tripp. In July or August 1858 he struck an oil deposit in Oil Springs while digging a shallow well, sparking the oil drilling industry. In 2008, the 150th anniversary of the discovery, Canada Post issued a stamp commemorating this first commercial oil well, featuring portraits of Charles Tripp and Williams.[3] However, these early wells resulted in a large amount of wastage from gushers, estimated at 5 million barrels (790,000 m3) of oil in 1862 alone.[4][5]

Petrolia got its start in 1866 when a major oil well was found, resulting in an oil boom that caused many to abandon Oil Springs in favour of this new settlement. The place separated from Enniskillen Township and was incorporated as a town on December 25 of that same year.[6]

Oil production went through several boom periods in Petrolia, one was in 1898 and another in 1938. Some wells sunk in 1938 were initially producing 100 barrels per day (16 m3/d) at a price of $2 per barrel. This output, however, often lasted only a few weeks, falling to less than a barrel a day.[7]

Oil men from Petrolia travelled to the far reaches of the world (Gobi Desert, Arctic, Iran, Indonesia, USA, Australia, Russia, and over 80 other countries) teaching others how to find and extract crude oil. Those born and raised in Petrolia are referred to as "Hard Oilers", paying tribute to the toughness of their ancestors. Petrolia is also home to the Petrolia Discovery museum. Some oil fields in the area are still operational to this day.

Media and entertainment[edit]

Petrolia is home to Victoria Hall, a National Historic Site of Canada.[8] Originally a fire hall, municipal office, police hall, jail and opera house, it was completed in 1889 for a total cost of $35 000. In January 1989, a fire caused extensive damage. It was subsequently restored, and re-opened in 1992. Currently it houses the town hall and Victoria Playhouse.[9]

Until September of 2013, The Petrolia Topic was the sole newspaper in the town of Petrolia. It is owned by Osprey Media. In September of 2013, The Independent of Petrolia & Central Lambton began being published.

The Oil Heritage District Community Centre was opened in Petrolia in 2006, after twenty years of campaigning by the group "The Oil Heritage District Community Centre Association" which was started in 1985. It was found to be on top of trace heavy metal deposits soon after its opening. [10] It serves rural and town residents in central Lambton County.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Petrolia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.0
(59)
21.0
(69.8)
26.5
(79.7)
31.5
(88.7)
33.5
(92.3)
39.5
(103.1)
38.0
(100.4)
38.0
(100.4)
35.0
(95)
29.4
(84.9)
23.3
(73.9)
18.5
(65.3)
39.5
(103.1)
Average high °C (°F) −1.6
(29.1)
−0.3
(31.5)
5.7
(42.3)
12.6
(54.7)
19.8
(67.6)
24.9
(76.8)
27.4
(81.3)
26.3
(79.3)
22.2
(72)
15.2
(59.4)
7.6
(45.7)
1.2
(34.2)
13.2
(55.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) −5.3
(22.5)
−4.4
(24.1)
1.0
(33.8)
7.2
(45)
13.8
(56.8)
18.8
(65.8)
21.5
(70.7)
20.6
(69.1)
16.6
(61.9)
10.3
(50.5)
3.9
(39)
−2.2
(28)
8.5
(47.3)
Average low °C (°F) −9.0
(15.8)
−8.5
(16.7)
−3.6
(25.5)
1.8
(35.2)
7.7
(45.9)
12.8
(55)
15.5
(59.9)
14.8
(58.6)
11.0
(51.8)
5.3
(41.5)
0.2
(32.4)
−5.5
(22.1)
3.5
(38.3)
Record low °C (°F) −30.0
(−22)
−27.0
(−16.6)
−25.0
(−13)
−13.0
(8.6)
−2.5
(27.5)
−1.7
(28.9)
5.6
(42.1)
2.0
(35.6)
−2.0
(28.4)
−7.2
(19)
−17.2
(1)
−22.0
(−7.6)
−30.0
(−22)
Precipitation mm (inches) 68.3
(2.689)
53.3
(2.098)
66.1
(2.602)
85.4
(3.362)
79.2
(3.118)
89.2
(3.512)
76.0
(2.992)
82.2
(3.236)
97.5
(3.839)
73.3
(2.886)
84.6
(3.331)
79.6
(3.134)
934.6
(36.795)
Rainfall mm (inches) 27.5
(1.083)
29.5
(1.161)
49.5
(1.949)
81.5
(3.209)
79.2
(3.118)
89.2
(3.512)
76.0
(2.992)
82.2
(3.236)
97.5
(3.839)
72.6
(2.858)
76.7
(3.02)
50.5
(1.988)
812.1
(31.972)
Snowfall cm (inches) 40.7
(16.02)
23.8
(9.37)
16.6
(6.54)
3.8
(1.5)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.6
(0.24)
7.9
(3.11)
29.0
(11.42)
122.6
(48.27)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 15.6 12.4 13.5 14.6 11.5 11.7 10.8 11.7 11.5 12.9 14.5 14.9 155.8
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 5.9 5.9 9.6 14.0 11.5 11.7 10.8 11.7 11.5 12.8 12.8 8.9 127.1
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 10.8 7.4 5.3 1.4 0 0 0 0 0 0.13 2.7 7.9 35.6
Source: Environment Canada[11]

Demographics[edit]

According to the Canada 2006 Census:[13]

  • Average value of owned dwelling [Ontario]: $169,158 [$297,479]
  • Median income - persons over 15 [Ontario]: $26,313 [$27,258]
  • Median income - all census families [Ontario]: $71,762 [$69,156]
  • Median income - couple households with children [Ontario]: $91,489 [$87,960]

Population trend:[13][12][14][15]

  • Population in 2011: 5528
  • Population in 2006: 5222
  • Population in 2001: 4849
  • Population in 1996: 4908
  • Population in 1991: 4598

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Petrolia census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  2. ^ http://www.petroliaheritage.com/oilSprings.htm/
  3. ^ http://www.canadapost.ca/cpo/mc/personal/collecting/stamps/2008/2008_may_industries.jsf
  4. ^ Gulless, Micky; Earle Gray and Robert Bott. "Petroleum History Society - Canadian Beginnings". The Petroleum History Society. Retrieved 7 February 2006. 
  5. ^ Gray, Earle (2008). "Gesner and Williams: two Canadians who launched the world’s petroleum industry" (PDF). Retrieved 31 December 2008. [dead link]
  6. ^ "History of Oil Springs". The Village of Oil Springs. Retrieved 20111-02-23.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  7. ^ Trestain, W.G. (15 July 1939). "unknown". The London Free Press. 
  8. ^ Victoria Hall / Petrolia Town Hall National Historic Site of Canada. Canadian Register of Historic Places.
  9. ^ "About the Victoria Playhouse Petrolia". 
  10. ^ "The Oil Heritage District Community Centre Association celebrated for excellence" (Press release). Foundation for Rural Living. 12 April 2006. Retrieved 8 December 2008. 
  11. ^ "Petrolia Town, Ontario". Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000 (in English & French). Environment Canada. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "2011 Community Profiles". Canada 2011 Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  13. ^ a b c "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "2001 Community Profiles". Canada 2001 Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  15. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996 census

External links[edit]