Ridgeway, Ontario

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Ridgeway
Unincorporated Community
Coordinates: 42°53′1.0104″N 79°03′26.751″W / 42.883614000°N 79.05743083°W / 42.883614000; -79.05743083
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
Regional Municipality Niagara
Government
 • Mayor (Fort Erie) Doug Martin
 • MP Rob Nicholson (CPC)
 • MPP Kim Craitor (OLP)
Area[1]
 • Land 166.24 km2 (64.19 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 29,960 (Fort Erie)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal code span 1N0
Area code(s) 905, 289, 365
Website www.ridgewayont.ca

Ridgeway is a small, unincorporated village near Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada. The community is within the Niagara Regional Municipality. It used to be the seat of government for Bertie Township within Welland County. Ridgeway is now a part of the Town of Fort Erie. In recent years the rail line has been converted to a walking and cycling trail, part of a trail system circling the Niagara region.

History[edit]

Ridgeway takes its name from the limestone ridge which runs through it from north to south. The main street of town aptly named Ridge Road, follows this ridge, and was part of one of the first two wagon trails in Bertie Township, connecting Point Abino on Lake Erie to Miller’s Creek on the Niagara River.

Ridgeway was settled by the United Empire loyalists in the late 1700s, and was originally a farming community. In the 1850s the Buffalo, Brantford and Goderich Railway line was put through, and service industries began to develop around the train stop on Ridge Road. The business district spread north from there towards Dominion Road. In 1873 the post office was opened, having been moved from Point Abino.

Battle of Ridgeway[edit]

It is notable for being the location of the 1866 Battle of Ridgeway, resulting from a raid by the Irish-American Fenian Brotherhood near the intersection of Ridge and Garrison Roads on June 2, 1866. Irish-American revolutionaries known as Fenians invaded Canada as part of an attempt to oust the British and create an independent Irish republic. This was the largest of these border skirmishes. Canadian militiamen under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Booker arrived by train and marched to battle the invaders. The Fenians retired to Fort Erie and returned to Buffalo the same night. The Battle of Ridgeway shocked the country, spurring improvements to Canada’s defenses, and helping to bolster the movement for confederation, which took place the next year.

Events[edit]

Ridgeway is home to the Ridgeway Shores Golf Club and Cherry Hill Country Club which once hosted the Canadian Open golf tournament.

Ridgeway Summer Festival[edit]

Within the Town of Fort Erie, the Village of Ridgeway offers Victorian charm to visitors and residents. The Ridgeway Summer Festival is held every year on the second weekend in July. The streets are closed off, and thousands of visitors stroll the historical downtown enjoying music, food, vendors, and shows. An event called Spirit of Christmas is held on the first weekend in December, Friday evening and Saturday only, featuring horse-drawn carriage rides, school choirs singing outdoors, Victorian carollers, strolling Santa, food and more.

Canadian Motor Speedway[edit]

Fort Erie is the location of the proposed Canadian Motor Speedway development. This large mixed-use development, located adjacent the QEW, will feature a 65,000 seat motor speedway and road course.

Geography[edit]

Fort Erie area is generally flat, but there are low sand hills, varying in height from 2 to 15 metres, along the shore of Lake Erie, and a limestone ridge extends from Point Abino to near Miller's Creek, giving Ridgeway its name. The soil is shallow, with a clay subsoil.

Situated just North of Crystal Beach and Bay Beach which are considered the best beaches in the area and draw many weekend visitors from the Toronto and Buffalo areas. While summers are enjoyable, winters can occasionally be fierce, with many snowstorms, whiteouts and winds whipping off Lake Erie.

Communities[edit]

Ridgeway is one of the neighbourhoods of Fort Erie, along with Black Creek, Bridgeburg/NorthEnd/Victoria, Crescent Park, Crystal Beach, Point Abino, Snyder, and Stevensville.

Fort Erie Secondary School and Ridgeway-Crystal Beach High School are the two public high schools serving Fort Erie and area communities.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Fort Erie (1981−2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.0
(59)
16.5
(61.7)
25.0
(77)
32.0
(89.6)
31.0
(87.8)
34.0
(93.2)
34.5
(94.1)
35.5
(95.9)
31.7
(89.1)
29.0
(84.2)
22.5
(72.5)
18.0
(64.4)
35.5
(95.9)
Average high °C (°F) −0.2
(31.6)
1.0
(33.8)
5.1
(41.2)
11.8
(53.2)
18.3
(64.9)
23.3
(73.9)
26.1
(79)
25.5
(77.9)
21.6
(70.9)
15.0
(59)
8.7
(47.7)
2.8
(37)
13.2
(55.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) −4.1
(24.6)
−3.3
(26.1)
0.4
(32.7)
6.6
(43.9)
12.7
(54.9)
18.1
(64.6)
21.2
(70.2)
20.6
(69.1)
16.7
(62.1)
10.4
(50.7)
4.9
(40.8)
−0.8
(30.6)
8.6
(47.5)
Average low °C (°F) −8
(18)
−7.6
(18.3)
−4.3
(24.3)
1.4
(34.5)
7.1
(44.8)
12.8
(55)
16.1
(61)
15.5
(59.9)
11.7
(53.1)
5.8
(42.4)
1.1
(34)
−4.3
(24.3)
4.0
(39.2)
Record low °C (°F) −28.5
(−19.3)
−31
(−24)
−25.5
(−13.9)
−12
(10)
−4.5
(23.9)
1.0
(33.8)
5.5
(41.9)
1.5
(34.7)
−1
(30)
−6.1
(21)
−15.5
(4.1)
−24.5
(−12.1)
−31
(−24)
Precipitation mm (inches) 78.9
(3.106)
66.6
(2.622)
71.0
(2.795)
78.8
(3.102)
93.2
(3.669)
81.7
(3.217)
84.7
(3.335)
88.5
(3.484)
105.4
(4.15)
96.7
(3.807)
102.8
(4.047)
103.2
(4.063)
1,051.3
(41.39)
Rainfall mm (inches) 34.2
(1.346)
32.8
(1.291)
44.7
(1.76)
74.4
(2.929)
92.3
(3.634)
81.7
(3.217)
84.7
(3.335)
88.5
(3.484)
105.4
(4.15)
95.3
(3.752)
89.9
(3.539)
52.5
(2.067)
876.3
(34.5)
Snowfall cm (inches) 44.7
(17.6)
33.8
(13.31)
26.3
(10.35)
4.4
(1.73)
0.85
(0.335)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
1.4
(0.55)
12.9
(5.08)
50.7
(19.96)
175.0
(68.9)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 15.8 12.2 12.2 13.2 13.0 11.4 10.4 10.2 11.4 12.9 14.7 15.2 152.3
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 5.9 5.0 7.9 12.3 13.0 11.4 10.4 10.2 11.4 12.9 12.8 7.9 120.9
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 10.6 8.0 5.4 1.5 0.08 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.08 2.9 8.2 36.6
Source: Environment Canada.[2]

History[edit]

The Fort Erie area contains deposits of flint,[3] and became important in the production of spearheads, arrowheads, and other tools. In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, the Niagara Peninsula was inhabited by the Neutral Nation, so named by the French because they tried to remain neutral between the warring Huron and Iroquois peoples. In 1650, during the Beaver Wars, the Iroquois Confederacy declared war on the Neutral Nation, driving them from their traditional territory by 1651, and practically annihilating them by 1653. The Grand Trunk Railway built the International Railway Bridge in 1873, bringing about a new town, originally named Victoria and subsequently renamed to Bridgeburg, north of the original settlement of Fort Erie. By 1876, Ridgeway had an estimated population of 800, the village of Fort Erie has an estimated population of 1,200, and Victoria boasted three railway stations.[4] By 1887, Stevensville had an estimated population of "nearly 600", Victoria of "nearly 700", Ridgeway of "about 600", and Fort Erie of "about 4,000".[5] In 1970, the provincial government consolidated the various villages in what had been Bertie Township, including the then town of Fort Erie, into the present Town of Fort Erie.

Demographics[edit]

The 2011 Census of Canada indicates a current population of 29,960 for Fort Erie. This is a 0.1% increase over the last Census (2006).[1] The median household income in 2005 for Fort Erie was $47,485.00, which is below the Ontario provincial average of $60,455.00.[6]

Canada 2006 Census Population  % of Total Population
Visible minority group
Source:[7]
South Asian 225 0.8%
Chinese 365 1.2%
Black 300 1%
Filipino 50 0.2%
Latin American 410 1.4%
Arab 40 0.1%
Southeast Asian 45 0.2%
West Asian 30 0.1%
Korean 85 0.3%
Japanese 20 0.1%
Other visible minority 35 0.1%
Mixed visible minority 20 0.1%
Total visible minority population 1,620 5.5%
Aboriginal group
Source:[8]
First Nations 750 2.5%
Métis 150 0.5%
Inuit 0 0%
Total Aboriginal population 940 3.2%
White 26,985 91.3%
Total population 29,545 100%
Census Population
1871 835
1901 890
1911 1,146
1921 1,546
1931 2,383
1941 6,566
1951 7,572
1961 9,027
1971 23,113
1981 24,096
1991 26,006
2001 28,143
2006 29,925
2011 29,960

According to the 2001 census, the population was 28,143, broken down as follows: 92.8% White, 3.2% Aboriginal, 1.4% Chinese, 0.9% Black, and a very small percentage of Asian, Arab, and Hispanic populations.

Transportation[edit]

Ontario Highway 3 runs through Ridgeway and was named King's Highway 3A from 1927 to 1929, Within Ridgeway, Highway 3 is named Garrison Road, and is the major East-West connection through the town. Dominion Road was designated as King's Highway 3C from 1934 until 1970, when it was downloaded to the newly formed Regional Municipality of Niagara and redesignated as Niagara Regional Road 1.

Trails[edit]

Fort Erie is the Eastern terminus of the Friendship Trail, and the Southern terminus of the Niagara River Recreation Pathway. Both trails are part of the Trans-Canada Trail system.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c 2011 Census Profile
  2. ^ "Fort Erie, Ontario". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  3. ^ Old Fort Erie: History
  4. ^ Bertie Township
  5. ^ The Township Papers of Bertie Township, Welland County
  6. ^ "Fort Erie, Ontario - Detailed City Profile". Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  7. ^ [1], Community Profiles from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision
  8. ^ [2], Aboriginal Peoples - Data table

External links[edit]