Perth, Ontario

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Perth
Town of Perth
Perth ON 1.jpg
Motto(s): 
Pro Rege, Lege et Grege
Location of Perth
Perth is located in Southern Ontario
Perth
Perth
Perth in southern Ontario
Coordinates: 44°54′N 76°15′W / 44.900°N 76.250°W / 44.900; -76.250Coordinates: 44°54′N 76°15′W / 44.900°N 76.250°W / 44.900; -76.250
Country Canada
Province Ontario
CountyLanark
Settled1816
Incorporated1853 (Upper Canada Municipal Corporations Act, 1849)
Government
 • TypeTown
 • MayorJohn Fenik
 • Federal ridingLanark—Frontenac—Kingston
 • Prov. ridingLanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington
Area
 • Land12.25 km2 (4.73 sq mi)
Population
(2016)[1]
 • Total5,930
 • Density484.1/km2 (1,254/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Postal code
K7H
Area code(s)613
Websitewww.perth.ca

Perth (/pɜːrθ/) is a town in Eastern Ontario, Canada. It is located on the Tay River, 83 kilometres (52 mi) southwest of Ottawa, and is the seat of Lanark County.

History[edit]

The town was established as a military settlement in 1816, shortly after the War of 1812. The settlement of Lanark County began in 1815. In that year "the Settlement forming on the Rideau River" as it was officially referred to (and which soon became known as "Perth Military Settlement") began to function under Military direction. Several townships were surveyed to facilitate the location of farms for military and other settlers; and the site of the future Town of Perth, which had been chosen as the headquarters of the Military Establishment was surveyed in 1816.[2]

Many of the first settlers were military veterans on half pay, while others were military veterans from France, Germany, Poland, Italy, Scotland or Ireland who were offered land in return for their service. The Rev. William Bell, who arrived in June 1817, noted in his diaries that the settlement was more European than the Scottish settlement described to him. The first Scottish settlers came in 1816.[2] Many of the Scottish immigrants were stonemasons; their work can be seen in many area buildings and in the locks of the Rideau Canal.

The military regime lasted until 1824, when settlers were granted municipal rights, i.e., 'the right of self-government'.[2] For many years Perth was the military, judicial, political and social capital, not only of the County of Lanark, but of the whole of the Ottawa Valley, north and west, until owing to the construction of the Rideau Canal, and the development of the lumber industry further north and west along the Ottawa, it finally was eclipsed by the town called "Bytown"—the present City of Ottawa, the Capital of the Dominion. But for many years the people of the town of Bytown, while it was still 'Bytown' had to come to Perth for their law and justice, for the law courts of the whole great district were located there.[2]

The first secretary/stores-keeper (and eventually postmaster and superintendent) of the settlement was Daniel Daverne, brought up from the Quarter Masters General Department in Kingston, Ontario, to assume these positions.

Perth is home to Canada's oldest pioneer burial ground, St. Paul's United Church Cemetery, formerly The Old Methodist Burying Ground. This cemetery is at the south-east end of the Last Duel Park on Robinson Street.[3] The Craig Street Cemetery, sometimes referred to as the "Old Burying Grounds" also contains many historic graves and saw use from 1820–1873.

The town's motto is "Pro Rege, Lege et Grege" ("For the King, the Law and the People") which was adopted in 1980 along with a new crest. The previous motto, "Festina lente sed certo" ("Make haste slowly but surely"), and original town crest appears on the uniforms of the Perth Citizen's Band. Founded in 1850, this band continues a tradition of community music with numerous concerts each season.

Near the town is the home of world show jumping champion Ian Millar and Millar Brooke Farm where his great horse Big Ben (1976–1999) is buried. The town has erected a bronze life-sized statue of the horse and Ian Millar, in John A. Stewart Park, across from the Code's Mill building.

This town was the site of the last fatal duel in Upper Canada. Robert Lyon, a law student, was killed on June 13, 1833, after fighting over a woman (Elizabeth Hughes) with a former friend, John Wilson.

Perth is also the site of the first installation of a telephone other than Bell's experimental installations. A town dentist, Dr. J. F. Kennedy, a friend of Alexander Graham Bell, installed a direct telephone connection between his home and office. By 1887, there were 19 telephones in Perth, with a switchboard in Dr. Kennedy's office.

In 1893, a 22,000 pound cheese known as the 'Mammoth Cheese' was produced in Perth to be exhibited in Chicago at the World's Columbian Exposition to promote Canadian cheese around the world.[4][5][6][7]

In 2010, Perth held the historic "Kilt Run" in which 1,067 kilt-clad runners crossed the finish line. The idea to hold a kilt run in Perth was conceived of in October 2009 by Terry Stewart after the Mayor submitted a letter to the Perth Courier requesting town residents come up with an idea to help Perth, Scotland, celebrate its 800th anniversary. The Perth, Ontario, Kilt Run has since become an annual event. The 2016 Kilt Run attracted 5,000 runners as part of the town's 200th anniversary.[8] The Kilt Run normally takes place at the end of June but the 10th anniversary of the Kilt Run is scheduled for August 17, 2019. It holds the Guinness World Record for the world's largest kilted run.

Sites and attractions[edit]

Historic downtown Perth

The heritage downtown core of today's Perth consists of boutiques, specialty shops and restaurants, including crafts, antiques and flea market, and summer Farmers' and Craft Markets. Most of these operate out of the century-old stone buildings in town. The Links O'Tay Golf course, walking distance from the downtown core, began its trek through golfing history in 1890 and is now Canada's oldest continuously operating golf course. The Perth Citizens Band, still giving concerts on the band stand behind City Hall, is a tradition dating back over 150 years. The band is Canada's oldest active town band. The Perth Citizens Band played "The Maple Leaf Forever" as the Mammoth Cheese departed to the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. The bandstand has been behind the Town Hall since it was moved there in 1901 and free summer concerts have taken place there ever since.

An interesting feature of the downtown core is the Crystal Palace, constructed from the discarded remnants of the glass street enclosures that used to be on Rideau Street in nearby Ottawa. This structure houses the Perth Farmers' and Craft Markets on summer Saturdays and is filled with Christmas trees decorated by community groups in November and December. It also houses children’s activities during the popular Festival of the Maples held in April each year. In 2019, the festival will be held on April 27 [9].

Each summer in July, the Stewart Park Festival takes place in Stewart Park. It is a popular free festival featuring live music as well as artisan and food vendors.[10]

The Tay River splits into two main channels for much of its course through Perth. Much of downtown Perth, including the town hall, is on the island formed by the two channels. During the summer and fall of 2015, the fork in the river was modified to reduce erosion and flooding downstream in town.

The Rideau Trail passes through Perth, which is the base for the Central Section of the Rideau Trail.

Demographics[edit]

Perth Town Hall, built in 1863
Canada census – Perth, Ontario community profile
2016 2011 2006
Population: 5930 (-1.5% from 2011) 5840 (-1.1% from 2006) 5907 (-1.6% from 2001)
Land area: 12.25 km2 (4.73 sq mi) 10.36 km2 (4.00 sq mi)
Population density: 484.1/km2 (1,254/sq mi) 476.7/km2 (1,235/sq mi) 570.2/km2 (1,477/sq mi)
Median age: 48.8 (M: 46.4, F: 50.6)
Total private dwellings: 3131 3110
Median household income: $42,168
References: 2016[11] 2011[12] 2006[13] earlier[14]

Population:[15]

  • Population in 2011: 5840
  • Population in 2006: 5907
  • Population in 2001: 6003
  • Population in 1996: 5886 (or 5902 when adjusted for 2001 boundaries)
  • Population in 1991: 5576

Mother tongue:[13]

  • English as first language: 94.1%
  • French as first language: 2.3%
  • English and French as first language: 0.2%
  • Other as first language: 3.4%

The 2016 census revealed that Perth has the lowest ratio of men to women in Canada: 80 men to 100 women.[16]

Sports and Recreation[edit]

Hockey is very popular in Perth as it has been home to senior and junior teams. Currently, Perth is represented by the Blue Wings in the Eastern Ontario Junior "B" Hockey League. Perth was home to a professional baseball team for two years (1936–37) as part of the Canadian–American League. Minor hockey combines Perth and Lanark children with practices and games shared between the Perth and Lanark arenas. The Perth Stingrays Aquatic Club has a competitive swimming program which offers a masters program as well. Perth United Soccer Club also provides recreational and competitive soccer programs for all ages[17].

Both high schools in Perth also offer a variety of other sports, such as basketball, football, volleyball, hockey, cross country running, soccer, curling, golf and track and field.

Conlon Farm Recreation Complex is a 54-acre recreation hub comprised of several soccer fields and baseball diamonds and as well tennis courts, basketball courts, beach volleyball courts, skateboard park, play structures and a splash pad.[18]

Schools[edit]

French Immersion is offered at the elementary and high schools listed above.

Notable people from Perth[edit]

Local media[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Perth census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  2. ^ a b c d "A History of the Perth Area". www.electricscotland.com.
  3. ^ Neelin, James M. et al. The old Methodist burying ground in the town of Perth, Lanark County, Ontario. Ottawa Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, 1978.
  4. ^ www.urbanmarket.com Archived 2008-09-22 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ www.town.perth.on.ca Archived 2011-07-06 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ See a history of the mammoth cheese.G. M. Trout of the University of Michigan Journal of Dairy Sciences, Vol. 43, No. 12, pp1871-1877
  7. ^ "Giant Cheeses – Canadian Giants – Cool Canada – Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2011-02-06.
  8. ^ http://www.perthkiltrun2016.ca/about.html
  9. ^ https://www.insideottawavalley.com/events/9072626--festival-of-the-maples/
  10. ^ https://www.stewartparkfestival.com/
  11. ^ "2016 Community Profiles". 2016 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 21, 2017.
  12. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". 2011 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  13. ^ a b "2006 Community Profiles". 2006 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  14. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012.
  15. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006 census
  16. ^ "Statistics: 2016 census: Canada's seniors outnumber its children for first time in history". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  17. ^ https://www.pusc.ca/
  18. ^ https://www.beautifulperth.com/conlonfarm.html
  19. ^ "Heritage". www.perth.ca.

External links[edit]