Smithville, Ontario

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Smithville Ontario
Unincorporated community
The Hub of the Niagara Peninsula, The Chicken Capital of Canada
Coordinates: 43°5′50″N 79°32′47″W / 43.09722°N 79.54639°W / 43.09722; -79.54639Coordinates: 43°5′50″N 79°32′47″W / 43.09722°N 79.54639°W / 43.09722; -79.54639
Regional municipalityNiagara
TownshipWest Lincoln
 • Total4.79 km2 (1.85 sq mi)
200 m (650 ft)
 • Total5,489
 • Density1,146.1/km2 (2,968/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Forward sortation area
Area code(s)905 and 289
NTS Map030M04

Smithville is a community in the township of West Lincoln. The former police village is located on Highway 20 between Hamilton and Niagara Falls in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada. Smithville is the largest population centre and governing centre of the township of West Lincoln.


Smithville was first settled by Richard Griffin and his family, United Empire Loyalists who came from Nine Partners, New York in 1787. The names of his sons were Abraham, Edward, Nathaniel, Isaiah, Smith, Jonathan, and Richard Jr. They settled on Lots 8, 9, 10, Concession IX, on the Twenty Mile Creek in Grimsby (later South Grimsby) Township. Solomon Hill, who married Bethia, daughter of Richard Griffin, settled on Lot 6, Charles Meridith on Lot 7; Thomas Harris on Lot 11, and Thomas North on Lot 12. These lots, all in the 9th Concession became the settlement first known as Griffintown, but later renamed after Mrs. Griffin, whose maiden name was Mary Smith.[1]

Edward "Ned" Griffin is sometimes claimed to be the real founder of the village. He was the one who felled the first tree, chose the village site, cleared the first acre of land, built the first house, and lived his entire life in the village. Another son, Smith Griffin, is credited with building a treadwheel in 1810. Settlers who wanted their grain ground were required to provide their own motive power by putting their oxen on the tread. Later, Smith Griffin built a dam and mill on the Twenty Mile Creek, making the treadmill obsolete. Smith also started an ashery, while his brother Edward opened a general store.[2]

By 1849, Smithville had reached a population of about 150, and had been granted a post office with twice-weekly delivery. The settlement had a grist mill, a saw mill, a carding machine and cloth factory, four stores, one machine shop, one tannery, two blacksmiths, two tailors and two shoemakers.[3]

Smithville first became a police village in 1887, however the arrangement was unsatisfactory and the village again became part of South Grimsby Township in 1889. It was not until 1914 that Smithville was reorganized into a police village on a more permanent basis. By the 1950s, the population had grown to approximately 1000 souls[4]

Smithville, along with the remainder of South Grimsby Township was amalgamated into the newly formed Township of West Lincoln on January 1, 1970.

Annual events[edit]

Smithville was known for an annual festival called PoultryFest . The festival was held annually on the third Saturday in June, and residents from various areas of the region visiex to see the town's display of agricultural pride.

PoultryFest ended in 2017.

The West Niagara Agricultural Society holds an agricultural fair before Labour Day every year at the West Niagara Fairgrounds at the corner of Grimsby Road and Mud Street, approximately five kilometres from town. The Smithville Fair was formerly held at the West Lincoln Mixed Use Recreation Site, formerly the Smithville Fairgrounds. The merger of Smithville Agricultural Society and with the Lincoln Agricultural Society in 2012 prompted the move to the new, larger grounds in 2015. There are lots of agricultural competitions, demolition derbies and entertainment for all ages.


Retail establishments in Smithville are congregated amongst two major nodes: the downtown core, and the Village Square Mall. Some of these businesses include: Tim Hortons, A&W Restaurants, Gino's Pizza, Dollarama, and Giant Tiger.

Smithville got its first and only tattoo establishment called Hellbender Ink Vintage Tattoo. It opened in 2013, and is a well respected business known for its various charity endeavours and community support.


Smithville has five schools, including four elementary and one secondary.

Smithville Public School, on Colver Street, opened in 2018 in the former South Lincoln High School. Coincidentally, the now disused College Street Public School had been the location of Smithville High School until 1948.

St. Martin's, on West Street (Highway 20) is a elementary school in the Catholic (separate) board. John Calvin (Station Street) and Covenant Christian (Townline Road) are private Christian schools, associated with the Canadian Reformed Church and the Christian Reformed Church in North America, respectively.

Smithville Christian High School, formerly Smithville District Christian High School, is a Christian secondary school and the only remaining secondary school in town, after the closure of South Lincoln High School for the 2017-2018 school year, which ended over 150 years of public secondary education in the community.


In some ways Smithville acts as the "administrative centre" of the Township of West Lincoln. The council chambers and the largest branch of the municipal library are located in town, as well as the major fire station. The public works yard is also centralized in a Smithville location.

From 1970 to 2018, Smithville fell just north of the boundary of two municipal wards. The area north of Townline Road, the bulk of the community, was part of Ward 3, the former Township of South Grimsby. New development south of Townline, mainly the Alma Acres, fell into Ward 2, the former Township of Gainsborough. In 2018, a revision of ward boundaries placed Smithville and its environs into a new, smaller Ward 3.

West Lincoln elects one regional councilor, in addition to the Mayor who also serves as the local regional council.

Federally and provincially, Smithville is located in the riding of Niagara West.


Canada census – Smithville, Ontario community profile
2016 2011
Population: 5489 (+13.4% from 2011) 4391 (+9% from 2006)
Land area: 4.79 km2 (1.85 sq mi) 4.75 km2 (1.83 sq mi)
Population density: 1,146.1/km2 (2,968/sq mi) 944.6/km2 (2,447/sq mi)
Median age: 39.6 (M: 38.6, F: 40.6) 35.5 (M: 34.7, F: 36.1)
Total private dwellings: 1995 1612
Median household income:
References: 2016[5] 2011[6] earlier[7]


  • Population in 2016: 5489
  • Population in 2011: 4391
  • Population in 2006: 4122
  • Population in 2001: 3317

Mother tongue:

  • English as first language: 92.2%
  • French as first language: 0.6%
  • English and French as first language: >0.1%
  • Other as first language: 7.2%


  • His Excellency, Lord S. Grey


Parks in Smithville include the Smithville Conservation Area, and the Mixed Use Recreational Site (MURS).

The "Murgatroyd Parkette" is at the corner of Griffin and St. Catharines Street. It has trees and benches, and features the town clock (from the original post offices) mounted on a pedestal.

The Smithville Branch of the West Lincoln Public Library is located on Canborough St. and open six days a week.

The Kiwanis of West Lincoln was chartered in May 2018 and currently meets at the Smithville legion every Tuesday at 7 pm


Two Regional Roads run through Smithville. Regional Road 20, formerly King's Highway 20, goes primarily east-west, along St. Catharines Street, Griffin Street North and West Street. Highway 20 continues to be the major artery in Smithville, and West Lincoln as a whole, connecting Smithville to Hamilton and Niagara Falls.

Regional Road 14 enters Smithville from the west along Townline Road. The designation continues north along Canborough Street and Griffin Street South. 14 and 20 form a brief concurrency along Griffin Street North. 14 continues along Station Street and continues north of town as Thirty Road. To the south, Regional Road 14, continuing as Haldimand County Road 14, connects Smithville to Highway 3 at Canborough. To the north, the 14 designation ends at Mud Street north of town.

Major roads in town include:

Canborough Street Griffin Street St. Catharines Street South Grimsby Road 7 Station Street Townline Road West Street

Smithville is located he Canadian Pacific's Hamilton Subdivision, the mainline of the former-Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo Railway. Smithville had a passenger station until 1981, when all such service along the line was discontinued. The former station (built 1903) is a local landmark, and serves as the headquarters of the West Lincoln Historical Society.

Smithville was also the junction with the railroad's Dunnville spur. Passenger service along the Dunnville line was suspended in 1933. Freight service lasted until 2003, when the line was abandoned. The tracks were subsequently lifted and the bridges over the Twenty Mile Creek and Highway 20 demolished.


  1. ^ Coffman Barbara and Janet Powell (eds). Lincoln County, 1856-1956. Saint Catharines, Lincoln County Council. 1956.
  2. ^ Coffman Barbara and Janet Powell (eds). Lincoln County, 1856-1956. Saint Catharines, Lincoln County Council. 1956.
  3. ^ <'s_Canadian_gazetteer
  4. ^ Coffman Barbara and Janet Powell (eds). Lincoln County, 1856-1956. Saint Catharines, Lincoln County Council. 1956.
  5. ^ "2016 Community Profiles". 2016 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 21, 2017. Retrieved 2018-01-08.
  6. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". 2011 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-15.
  7. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012.
  8. ^ Statistics Canada: , 2001, 2006 census

External links[edit]