Lambton Shores

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Lambton Shores
Municipality (lower-tier)
Municipality of Lambton Shores
Grand Bend
Grand Bend
Lambton Shores is located in Southern Ontario
Lambton Shores
Lambton Shores
Coordinates: 43°11′N 81°54′W / 43.183°N 81.900°W / 43.183; -81.900Coordinates: 43°11′N 81°54′W / 43.183°N 81.900°W / 43.183; -81.900
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
County Lambton
Formed 2001
 • Mayor Bill Weber
 • Federal riding Lambton—Kent—Middlesex
 • Prov. riding Lambton—Kent—Middlesex
 • Land 331.08 km2 (127.83 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 10,656
 • Density 32.2/km2 (83/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal Code N0N 1J 0-9/N0M
Area code(s) 519 and 226

Lambton Shores is a municipality with city status in the County of Lambton in Ontario, Canada, that is on the southern shores of Lake Huron. It was formed in 2001 when the Towns of Bosanquet and Forest, and the Villages of Thedford, Arkona, and Grand Bend were amalgamated.


Lambton Shores is one of the more southerly municipalities in Canada, and therefore receives relatively warmer temperatures. It has an average of 26 °C (79 °F) in July and −1 °C (30 °F) in January. As for precipitation, it receives an average of 87 millimetres (3.4 in) of rain in July and an average of 45 centimetres (18 in) of snow in January.

Climate data for Thedford (1981−2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.0
Average high °C (°F) −0.9
Daily mean °C (°F) −4.2
Average low °C (°F) −7.5
Record low °C (°F) −33
Average precipitation mm (inches) 73.8
Average rainfall mm (inches) 29.1
Average snowfall cm (inches) 44.7
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 14.5 10.8 12.8 13.4 12.8 10.9 11.1 10.9 12.4 15.0 15.1 14.5 153.9
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 4.6 3.4 7.3 12.6 12.8 10.9 11.1 10.9 12.4 14.9 12.7 6.8 120.1
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 10.6 8.3 6.3 1.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.38 3.0 9.0 38.8
Source: Environment Canada[2]


The main communities in Lambton Shores are Arkona, Forest, Grand Bend, Port Franks and Thedford. Smaller communities include Cedarview, Glendale Beach, Kettle and Stoney Point, Ipperwash Beach, Lake Valley Grove, Jericho, Jura, Kinnaird, Northville, Ravenswood, Southcott Pines, Springvale, Sunnidale, Walden Place and Walker Woods.


Arkona is a community located in the municipality of Lambton Shores in southwestern Ontario near the LambtonMiddlesex county line, situated beside the Ausable River, on Former Kings Highway 79 (now Lambton County Road 79), Arkona is roughly half-way between Thedford, and Watford.

Arkona, Ontario, Canada

The site of the village is at the base of the Wyoming Moraine which formed along the shores of ancient Lake Arkona during the retreat of the Wisconsin Glacier some 16,000 years ago. Rich deposits of fossils are revealed at nearby Hungry Hollow. Evidence of early human habitation exists at the site of Paleo hunting camps which were found just a kilometer south of Arkona dating back some 11,000 years. Subsequent migrations of Archaic and Woodland peoples moved into the area as the climate and vegetation changed. Evidence of this long-standing habitation is frequently discovered in the fields surrounding the current village.

The first known permanent settler of European background was Asa Townsend and his wife Huldah Barstow who settled on the banks of the Ausable River to the east of present-day Arkona in 1821. Asa Townsend and his son were still in the vicinity as late as 1851. In 1833 the Townsends were joined by Henry Utter (1809–1898), who settled on a farm in the recently surveyed Warwick Township, across the township line from Bosanquet. Utter was subsequently joined by members of the Smith and Eastman families and a settlement gradually grew up that straddled the Warwick-Bosanquet Township line. (Utter married Harriet Smith (1816–1882) who was part of the extended Smith family).[3] The Eastmans and one branch of the Smith family were the ancestors of Alexander Phimister Proctor who was born in the village in 1860.[4]

The village was surveyed in 1851 and known variously as Bosanquet Corners, Eastman Corners and Smithfield. In 1857 it was renamed 'Arkona' after the rugged cape on the Baltic Island of Rügen, a name suggested by resident cabinet maker Ephraim Brower and possibly by the incumbent postmaster Levi Schooley. The village continued to grow and develop so that by the 1870s, with hopes of attracting a railway, the community incorporated in June 1876.[5] While its population surpassed 700, the failure to attract a railway led to a population decline and the loss of its first known newspaper, the East Lambton Advocate, which moved to the nearby railway village of Watford. (Hopes of securing a rail link continued to surface at least as late as 1911, when one resident wrote, "They are talking of a railroad for Arkona [which] they think is sure to come but [we] will see when it gets here.").[6] Even without the railway, however, Arkona remained an important service centre for the surrounding rural farming district and boasted many important industries such as a basket factory, woolen mill, apple evaporator, and a series of mills. Various businesses continued to service the local area including numerous stores and other enterprises.

The advent of the automobile lessened local dependence on the village and its services, and led to gradual yet dramatic changes to Arkona's makeup, especially in the post-World War II era. Its school closed in 1973 and all village students then attended Bosanquet Township Central School. Since the 1880s, the village has maintained a population hovering around 500. Two mainstays have long been Arkona's Baptist Church (begun in 1840) and Arkona United Church, the successor to Arkona's Episcopal and Wesleyan Methodist Churches, both of which began in the 1850s (the Wesleyan Methodist Church building, started in 1862, remained the home of the United Church congregation until its closure in January 2008). Similarly the community is served by the Plymouth Brethren chapel, Elim Hall. Despite the changes and loss of many local enterprises, the community still boasts a dental office, optometrists, a medical clinic, a grocery store, gas station, and several retail outlets. Various fruit orchards continue to attract many to the community for fresh fruit. Rock Glen Falls and Conservation Area, located just north of the village, continues to attract tourists to the area and was the site of the Rock Glen Power Company's generator and dam on the Ausable from 1907 to 1926. It was taken over by Ontario Hydro and the dam was subsequently destroyed.[7] Villagers celebrated the centennial of their community's incorporation in July 1976, with some two thousand people in attendance. A smaller celebration marked the 125 anniversary in 2001, although earlier that year the municipality had been amalgamated with Bosanquet Township (including the communities of Ipperwash and Port Franks, Ontario), the Town of Forest and Villages of Thedford and Grand Bend to form the new entity of Lambton Shores.[8]


Forest, Ontario, Canada

Forest is situated on what was once dense forest. When the Grand Trunk Railway was built through where the town now sits, the station was named for the dense forest. Hickory Creek, which meanders through the town, provided water for the station in those days when wood and water were essential to the operation of steam locomotives.

The first post office, in 1859, was then named Forest. The site was very near the junction of three township boundaries, with parts of Warwick, Plympton and Bosanquet townships all annexed into the town. None of these townships remain as political units due to amalgamation, with Bosanquet joining Forest in forming Lambton Shores (along with the villages of Arkona, Thedford, and Grand Bend).

The industry of the town was initially tied to the abundant fruit growing operation ... there was once a canning factory and a basket factory in Forest. In more recent years the town has become a dormitory community for the city of Sarnia (and to a lesser extent London, Ontario). Support to the extensive tourism area along the shores of nearby Lake Huron also supports several businesses. Several small factories supporting the auto industry have also opened in the past few years.

In 2001, the last year where Forest was a national census unit, the town had a population of 2,857, and the average age was about 42; five years older than the provincial average. The average earnings among Forest's residents was $27,902 (CAD) in the year 2000. In 2006, the local census unit is the town of Lambton Shores, and data for Forest itself is not available.

Forest has a high school, North Lambton Secondary School. This facility includes a large gymnasium, and cafeteria as well as meal preparation facilities. As well as a high school there are elementary schools in the public (Kinnwood Central Public School) and separate (St. John Fisher) school systems.

Recreational facilities include an enclosed arena for hockey or ringette /community center for dances held by the town with baseball and soccer fields, a lawn bowling club, public tennis courts and an agricultural society with grounds used for a fall fair and occasional campsites. There are a dozen golf courses within a 20-mile drive.

Forest Amphitheatre is a natural amphitheatre located at the conservation area (Esli Dodge Conservation Area) in the south part of the town. The stage is situated on a small island, and spectators sit on the surrounding hillsides on lawn chairs or blankets. Hundreds attend outdoor performances there each summer. An annual performance of a religious play (entitled: The Promise), acted in by members of the town, was held annually from 1995 until 2005. In 2006 a play entitled "Their Finest Hour" was performed, and since 2007 country music concerts entitled "Music In the Valley" have been held there.

Forest was the birthplace of:

Grand Bend[edit]

Main Street in Grand Bend

The settlement began in the 1830s when a group of English and Scottish settlers bought lots from the Canada Company, a land development firm. One of the original settlers, Benjamin Brewster gave his name to the village after he and his business partner David Smart secured rights to dam the Ausable River and started a sawmill in 1832. The villagers were mainly the families of the millhands and fisherman. Their homesteads were situated on the south side of the present village.

For twenty years Brewster existed as an isolated lumbering community. Until the opening of the highway to Goderich in 1850, both people and provisions had to travel by water. Once road connections were complete, the village was no longer solely dependent on the forests for its livelihood and opportunities for new businesses emerged.

Typical of many pioneer communities, the village assumed many different names throughout its history—Brewster's Mills, Websterville and Sommerville are all recorded. Early French Canadian settlers in the area referred to the present location of the village as "Aux Croches", 'at the bends'.[12] Grand Bend survived as a name, perhaps because it was the most appropriate—the tight hairpin turn in the original Ausable River where mills were first established.

Improved roads and the arrival of the automobile near the turn of the century had the greatest influence on the growth of Grand Bend. Businesses were established to serve visitors and travelers along the highway and with the beach, "The Bend" became a summer destination. In the 1940s, however, Grand Bend became the centre of a major controversy in the landmark court case of Bernard Wolfe and Annie Maude Noble versus the homeowners of Beach O'Pines. Wolfe, a London, Ontario merchant, faced court-challenges when he purchased property at Beach O'Pines in contravention of a restrictive covenant that prohibited the ownership of lots or cottages by persons of "Jewish, Hebrew, Semitic, Negro or coloured race or blood". The case was finally heard by the Supreme Court of Canada[13] which ruled that any such restrictive covenant was unconstitutional.[14]

Grand Bend is home to a variety of stores and eateries. The main strip is the centre of activity in the town, with shopping during the day and night life venues during the evening drawing crowds. The atmosphere of Grand Bend has given the town a reputation of being Florida north. As well as Main Street, Grand Bend acts as a regional cultural centre, boasting art galleries in the town and the Huron Country Playhouse on the outskirts.

Today, Grand Bend's year-round population of 2,000 people swells to about 50,000 in the summer months on holiday weekends. The demographic population of Grand Bend is quite diverse. Families owning vacation homes in the adjacent communities of Oakwood Park, Southcott Pines and Beach O' Pines, are mainly from Ontario/Michigan, and locations as far as New York, Florida, Texas, and the American west coast. Among these are the Romney family[15]

The Pinery Provincial Park and the Lambton Heritage Museum are located seven kilometres south of Grand Bend.

Grand Bend Motorplex has a dragstrip that hosts an International Hot Rod Association race and the IHRA Canadian Nationals, Canada's longest running and largest drag race.


Thedford, Ontario, Canada

Thedford is a small community in northwestern Lambton County, Ontario Canada, situated 8 km south of Kings Highway 21, along Lambton CR 79 (Former Kings Highway 79). The community began in the 1860s when farmer Nelson Southworth, a native of Vermont, agreed to donate land for the construction of a Grand Trunk Railway station, with the condition that he would be able to name it. Southworth chose the name "Thetford", as a way of honouring Thetford, Vermont, a community in his home state in the United States. A local clerk's poor hand writing was mistaken for the current spelling, which is how it first appeared on official records. The Thedford Raiders Hockey Team once held the World Record for Longest Continuous Hockey Game, which was also a fundraiser for juvenile diabetes. A plaque at the entrance of the town heralds it as the "Onion Capital of Canada".

A designated place within the municipality of Lambton Shores, Thedford had a population of 822 in the Canada 2006 Census.

Thedford telephone numbers start with 519-296.


Population trend:[18]

  • Population in 2006: 11,150
  • Population in 2001: 10,571
  • Population total in 1996: 10,874

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Lambton Shores census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  2. ^ "Thedford, Ontario". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ Stott, Gregory (2011). Arkona: A History of an Ontario Community. Arkona, Ontario: Anokra Press. pp. 9–26. ISBN 978-0-9684071-7-2. 
  4. ^ Wynne Eastman. Genealogical Tracings of the Ancestors, Family and Descendants of Amherst Eastman, Immigrant to Upper Canada in 1785(Waterloo, Ontario: W. Eastman, 1993), 192-193
  5. ^ Stott, Gregory (2011). Arkona: A History of an Ontario Community. Arkona, Ontario: Anokra Press. pp. 71–81. ISBN 978-0-9684071-7-2. 
  6. ^ Stott, Gregory (2011). Arkona: A History of an Ontario Community. Arkona, Ontario: Anokra Press. pp. 36–40, 76, 122, 148–149, 179. ISBN 978-0-9684071-7-2. 
  7. ^ Stott, Gregory (2011). Arkona: A History of an Ontario Community. Arkona, Ontario: Anokra Press. pp. 165–174, 242–243. ISBN 978-0-9684071-7-2. 
  8. ^ Stott, Gregory (2011). Arkona: A History of an Ontario Community. Arkona, Ontario: Anokra Press. pp. 339–344, 352–356. ISBN 978-0-9684071-7-2. 
  9. ^ "From Forest to Dublin via Germany with Roslyn Fuller". Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  10. ^ "Trinity College Dublin". Retrieved 2009-08-16. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Seven Towers Agency - Friends and Colleagues". Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  12. ^ Rayburn, Alan (1997), Place Names of Ontario (University of Toronto Press), Toronto-Buffalo-London, ISBN 0-8020-7207-0), pp.140-141
  13. ^ Noble v. Alley 1950 CANLII 13, [1951] S.C.R. 64, [1951] 1 D.L.R. 321 (20 November 1950), Supreme Court (Canada)
  14. ^ Ian Bushnell. The Captive Court: A Study of the Supreme Court of Canada (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 1992), 302; James W. St. G. Walker"Race," rights and the law in the Supreme Court of Canada (Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1997), 182-245; Globe and Mail 13 June 1949, 5
  15. ^
  16. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  17. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". Canada 2001 Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  18. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006 census

External links[edit]