Clinton, Ontario

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Coordinates: 43°36′57″N 81°32′22″W / 43.615883°N 81.539454°W / 43.615883; -81.539454

Clinton is located in Ontario
Coordinates: 43°36′57″N 81°32′22″W / 43.615883°N 81.539454°W / 43.615883; -81.539454

Clinton is a community in the Canadian province of Ontario, located in the municipality of Central Huron. Clinton was established in 1831, when Jonas Gibbings and brothers Peter and Stephen Vanderburg cleared out a small area to start.[1] Clinton started to grow in 1844 when William Rattenbury laid out the plans to begin making a village. In 1954, Clinton's population was 2,625 people. Today, it has an estimated population of 3201.[2]

Clinton New Era from November 14, 1918. End of the First World War.

Clinton is known as Canada's home of radar and has a huge radar antenna in the downtown due to its association with RCAF Station Clinton during World War II. Clinton was known as The Corners or "Rattenbury Corner" in its earlier days.

The School On Wheels, a school car that visited remote Northern Ontario communities to educate children who would otherwise not have access to school, is permanently on display in Clinton as a museum about education.[3]

Clinton was the home of the highly influential 19th-century ethnologist and anthropologist Horatio Hale, who involved himself locally in real estate development and other business and educational endeavours. Several of the streets in the centre of the town were personally named by him.[4] Hale is interred in the municipal cemetery north of the community.

Clinton is home to three elementary schools, Clinton Public School, St.Joseph's School, and Huron Christian School (formerly Clinton and District Christian School); and to two high schools, Central Huron Secondary School and St. Anne's Catholic Secondary School. Because of its centrality in the county, most students are bussed into the schools from surrounding areas.


Clinton was established in 1831, when Jonas Gibbings and brothers Peter and Stephen Vanderburg cleared out a small area to start. It was named after Sir Henry Clinton, who distinguished himself during the Peninsular War. Clinton started to grow in 1844 when William Rattenbury laid out the plans to begin making a village. Soon after, people began buying land from Rattenbury as well as the Gibbings.[1]

In 1858, the Lake Huron Railway set up a stop in Clinton.[1]

In 1863, the first fire department was set up, with 40 men volunteering for duty.[5]

The population in 1869 was 1,500.[6]

In 1875, Clinton was incoporated as a town.[1]

In 1954, Clinton's population was 2,625 people.


In 1879, Clinton's original town hall burned, destroying the town's library and other municipal facilities.

In 1907, a fire burned a substantial business section of the town - with the town's first hotel going up in flames, along with a threshing company, a barn and 20 houses.[7]


  0-14 15-64 65+ Total % of population
Male 260 880 315 1,450
Female 255 940 400 1,595
Total 515 1,820 715 3,045 100
Source: Stats Canada 2016 [8]


In 1959, the Clinton area was shocked by the murder of 12-year-old Lynne Harper. Her remains were discovered in a local woodlot near RCAF Station Clinton on June 11, 1959. A local youth, Stephen Truscott (aged 14 years at the time), was falsely convicted of the crime and sentenced to be executed. After a 48-year struggle to clear his name, Truscott was finally acquitted by the Ontario Court of Appeal on August 28, 2007.

In 1978, a protest by church members demanded that three titles be censored from high school reading lists: Margaret Laurence's The Diviners, J.D Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, and John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.[9] A meeting with the Huron County Board of Education, based in Clinton, was attended by prominent Canadian writers including Alice Munro along with local church members.[10] The school board voted to ban The Diviners from the five high schools within its jurisdiction because of sexual references and objectionable language.[11] This event prompted the Book and Periodical Council of Canada to for a Freedom of Expression Committee later that year and was the driving factor behind a library-driven Freedom to Read week, which continues to occur across Ontario libraries.[9]


Clinton is at the junction of Highway 4, Highway 8 and County Road 4.


The local paper of Clinton is the Clinton News-Record located at 53 Albert Street. The local radio stations are 101.7 The One, AM920, 94.5 The Bull and 104.9 The Beach.

  • CKNX-FM 101.7 "The One" - local, regional and national news and adult contemporary music
  • CIBU-FM 94.5/91.7 "Classic Rock" - local, regional and national news and classic rock music
  • CKNX AM AM920 The area's most trusted news source featuring Country Hits

The Farm Show by Theatre Passe Muraille was based on Clinton.

Notable persons[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Emslie, T. David, ed. (26 July 2000). A brief look at how Clinton came to be settled. Clinton, Ontario: Clinton News-Record. p. 5.
  2. ^ "Clinton (Ontario, Canada) - Population, Map and Location by "City Population"". 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
  3. ^ "Official site". School On Wheels Railcar Museum. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Dictionary of Canadian Biography online". Retrieved 2012-11-09.
  5. ^ Bell, Julie (2000). "Clinton's fire department dates back to 1863". Clinton 125, 1875-2000. Clinton: Clinton News Record. p. 7.
  6. ^, page 106
  7. ^ Bell,, Julie (2000). "Many buildings lost in town's worst fire in 1907". In Emslie, T. David. Clinton 125, 1975-2000. Clinton: Clinton News Record. p. 6.
  8. ^ "Census Profile, 2016 Census, Clinton". Statistics Canada. Statistics Canada. 24 April 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Hamilton Public Library uses censored novels to create blackout poetry session | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  10. ^ "Alice Munro challenges censorship - CBC Archives". Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  11. ^ Bennett, H. (1992). "The top shelf: The censorship of Canadian children's and young adult literature in the schools". Canadian Children's Literature / Littérature canadienne pour la jeunesse. 68: 17–26.
  12. ^


  • Scott, James. Huron County In Pioneer Times, 1954.

External links[edit]