Pain Court, Ontario

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Pain Court
Unincorporated community
Skyline of Pain Court
Coordinates: 42°24′35″N 82°18′30″W / 42.40972°N 82.30833°W / 42.40972; -82.30833
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
Municipality Chatham-Kent
Settled 1780s
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Forward sortation area N0P 1Z0
Area code(s) 519 and 226
NTS Map 040J08
A commemorative plaque in the village

Pain Court (often incorrectly spelled Paincourt), is an agricultural village in southwestern Ontario, Canada, in the municipality of Chatham-Kent. It was established in 1854, as one of the earliest French-speaking settlements in southern Ontario. Pain Court was founded when English and French-speaking squatters from the Detroit, Michigan, area began to settle the Indian lands along the lower Thames River in the region in the 1780s. It derived its name from the small loaves of bread which the impoverished parishioners offered to Roman Catholic missionaries.[1]

By the 1820s in the nearby "Pain Court Block", one of the earliest French-speaking (franco-ontarian) communities in southern Ontario had developed. Named Pain Court (literally meaning "short bread") by Catholic missionaries in reference to the small loaves of bread which was all the impoverished parishioners could offer, the settlement was surveyed in 1829. In 1852 a chapel was built and two years later construction of a church commenced. It quickly became the cultural and educational centre of French-speaking Catholics in the area. By 1866 when a post office was established, a small village had developed.[2]

Joseph Caron, the former Canadian High Commissioner to India, was raised in Pain Court.

The 2018 International Plowing Match will be held in Pain Court.


The Conseil scolaire catholique Providence (CSC) operates Francophone Catholic schools serving the community. It maintains its Chatham-Kent regional office in Pain Court.[3]

Pain Court has an elementary and a secondary French-language (francophone) school. École Sainte-Catherine is a very small elementary school located directly across the street from its sister school, École secondaire de Pain Court, a small high school with approximately 200 students.[4]


Just west of Pain Court, on the shores of Lake St. Clair, an Environment Canada National Wildlife Area (St. Clair NWA) provides a variety of migrating birds with wetland habitat of international importance. It is one of only 51 such sites in Canada.[5]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°24′35″N 82°18′30″W / 42.40972°N 82.30833°W / 42.40972; -82.30833