Picton, Ontario

Coordinates: 44°00′30″N 77°08′20″W / 44.00833°N 77.13889°W / 44.00833; -77.13889
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Unincorporated community
Picton Harbour in the winter
Picton Harbour in the winter
Picton is located in Prince Edward County
Picton is located in Southern Ontario
Coordinates: 44°00′30″N 77°08′20″W / 44.00833°N 77.13889°W / 44.00833; -77.13889
Regional municipalityPrince Edward County
Incorporated (town)1837
 • MayorSteve Ferguson
 • MPRyan Williams (Bay of Quinte, CON)
 • MPPTodd Smith (Prince Edward—Hastings, PC)
 • Total4 km2 (2 sq mi)
79 m (259 ft)
 • Total4,702
 • Density931.7/km2 (2,413/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (EDT)
Postal Code FSA
K0K 2T0 & K0K 0A0
Area code(s)613

Picton is an unincorporated community located in Prince Edward County in southeastern Ontario, roughly 160 km (99 mi) east of Toronto.[2] It is the county's largest community and former seat located at the southwestern end of Picton Bay, a branch of the Bay of Quinte, which is along the northern shoreline of Lake Ontario.[3] The town is named for Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Picton, who served in the British Army during the Peninsular War in Spain and Portugal. He also saw action at the Battle of Waterloo, where he was killed. It was formerly incorporated as a town. Picton is home to the Picton Pirates of the Provincial Junior Hockey League Tod Division.


General overview[edit]

A street in Picton decorated in honour of Sir Rodmond Roblin, Premier of Manitoba, 1900-1915

Picton, originally named Hallowell, was first settled in the 1780s by Loyalists from the Thirteen Colonies.[2] Prior to its incorporation in 1837, the modern-day town of Picton consisted of two separate villages, Hallowell Bridge and Picton, which occupied the opposite sides of Picton Bay. Named for General Sir Thomas Picton, an Allied Divisional commander at the Battle of Waterloo, the Town of Picton has a profound and rich history. It was here that Sir John A. Macdonald managed a law office for his uncle, Lowther P. MacPherson. In 1998, the town and all other municipalities in the county were dissolved and amalgamated into a single-tier municipality, the Corporation of the County of Prince Edward. Each of the former municipalities is now a ward of the county. Picton is Ward 1.

Census Population
1841 1,200
1871 2,361
1901 3,698
1911 3,564
1921 3,356
1931 3,580
1941 3,901
1951 4,287
1961 4,862
1971 4,875
1981 4,361
1991 4,386
2001 4,563
2006 4,375
2011 4,474
2016 4,702
Picton, Ontario
Bay of Quinte
L a k e O n t a r i o
Hillier, Ontario
Hillier, Ontario
Ameliasburgh Township, Ontario
Ameliasburgh Township, Ontario
Wellington, Ontario
Wellington, Ontario
Bloomfield, Ontario
Bloomfield, Ontario
Map of Picton and Prince Edward County,


During the Second World War, the United Kingdom came under siege and required training facilities outside the British Isles for the thousands of pilots needed for its defence. Because of geographical similarities to Great Britain, sparsely populated Prince Edward County was considered an ideal location for a Royal Air Force Bombing and Gunnery School. In the summer of 1940, an aerodrome was rapidly constructed and in November 1940, the RCAF moved in and began small-arms training at the facility. In April 1941, the RAF took over the station and No 31 Bombing and Gunnery School was formed. The school was part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and used to train many of the aircrew needed to help defend Great Britain.

Abandoned barracks at Picton Airport
The Armoury, 206 Picton Main Street, Picton, ON K0K 2T0

Following the end of the war, the Canadian Army maintained a training facility at the old aerodrome. It was renamed "Camp Picton" in 1960 when it became a fully operational Army base. In 1966, it was renamed Canadian Forces Base Picton, but this proved short-lived: in 1969, the base was closed down and sold as part of the consolidation and downsizing of the Canadian military. Portions of the base have been divided up and have served many functions, including conversion of one of the newer barracks sections into a hospital (now defunct). Much of the old base housing is currently occupied as rental homes. The airfield is now known as Picton Airport. The original aerodrome facilities were built using different construction methods than most bases built by the Canadian military. The rapid construction meant that the hangars and other buildings were not designed for longevity, although most still remain standing today. The former Camp Picton[4] now serves many diverse functions but the unique appearance of the base makes it a significant, if obscure, historical landmark. Due to its distinctive appearance, the dilapidated airport has been used as a filming location for several productions. External scenes for the made-for-TV film Haven, starring Natasha Richardson, Colm Feore and Martin Landau were filmed there. It also served as a backdrop for the 1993 CBC production Dieppe and was the filming location of Bomber Boys. It also served as the home of the Driver Rehabilitation Centre for the reality television program Canada's Worst Driver in 2005. Many businesses use the facilities, including a hammock outlet, an auction house and, since the late-1970s, the local Air Cadet squadron, 851 RC(Air)CS, Prince Edward. The airstrip is also the host to various motorsports events, such as those held by the St. Lawrence Auto Club, which regularly runs Solo II racing events in the summer months.



Picton Airport is a general aviation airport used primarily for recreational flying. It is also used regularly in the summer season for Canadian Air Cadet flight training using Schweizer SGS 2-33A glider sailplanes and Bellanca Scout 8GCBC aircraft. Highway 33, also known as the Loyalist Parkway, passes through the centre of Picton and serves as its main link to the larger Ontario highway system. It is the main artery from the Glenora Ferry[5] terminal (approximately 10 km (6.2 mi) from Picton) in the east to Carrying Place and the Murray Canal (approximately 40 km (25 mi) from Picton) as you exit the county in the northwest. Proceeding north-northeast from Picton is County Highway 49 which eventually connects to Highway 401 between Greater Napanee and Shannonville, after passing through a portion of Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. Highway 33 also connects to Highway 62, which provides a link to the city of Belleville, approximately 30 km (19 mi) to the northwest. The city of Kingston, the eastern terminus of Highway 33, is located approximately 60 km (37 mi) by road east of Picton if you use the year-round Glenora Ferry to exit the county travelling east. At one time, Prince Edward County was served by an extensive rail system. However, the railway no longer exists. The former rail beds have been converted into recreational trails which wind around the outskirts of Picton and throughout the county and are used for various purposes year-round. Picton has extensive small-craft docking facilities and boat launch ramps. There are no facilities for heavy shipping at the tip of the bay, so large commercial vessels are generally not seen in the portion of Picton Bay near the town. However, east of town, on the northern shore of the bay, is the ESSROC cement plant which has industrial docking facilities.


In the past, electrical services had been managed by the local utilities commission. In recent years, this was eliminated and electrical power is now managed by the central Hydro One, a former Government of Ontario Crown corporation.


Regent Theatre, 224 Picton Main Street, Picton, ON K0K 2T0

Other industry[edit]

Just northeast of Picton is a cement plant owned by HeidelbergCement and operated by Lehigh Cement Company, which is the only heavy industry in the immediate area.[6]

Health Care[edit]

Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital provides emergency services and has 18 beds for inpatient care. It also offers radiology, physiotherapy, and limited surgical services (endoscopy only at present), and houses a pharmacy.[7]


The public school system is served by the Hastings & Prince Edward District School Board. The separate school system is served by the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board.

  • Elementary schools: St. Gregory Catholic School[8]
  • Secondary school: Prince Edward Collegiate Institute[9]
  • Private school: Sonrise Christian Academy[10]

The Pinecrest Memorial Elementary School closed in 2017[11] and the Queen Elizabeth Public School in 2018.[12]




  • FM 99.3-CJPE ("County FM")

See also List of radio stations in Ontario.


Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Census Profile, 2016 Census - Picton (Ontario)". Statistics Canada. 8 February 2017. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Picton". HISTORICA CANADA. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Maps & Directions".
  4. ^ "CFB Picton Ghost Town". www.ghosttownpix.com.
  5. ^ "Glenora Ferry".
  6. ^ "Lehigh Hanson Canada". heidelbergcement.com. HeidelbergCement AG. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  7. ^ "Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital | Quinte Health Care".
  8. ^ "St. Gregory Catholic School - St. Gregory Catholic School". www.alcdsb.on.ca.
  9. ^ "Prince Edward Collegiate Institute - Home". peci.hpedsb.on.ca.
  10. ^ "Sonrise Christian Academy". sonrisechristianacademy.com.
  11. ^ "EVENT: Closing ceremony for Pinecrest Memorial Elementary School – Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB)".
  12. ^ "Picton, Ont. school up for bid". Global News.
  13. ^ The Picton Gazette
  14. ^ "Home - Regent Theatre". www.theregenttheatre.org.

External links[edit]