|Municipality of Meaford|
"Set your sights on Meaford"
|Amalgamated||January 1, 2001|
|• Mayor||Ross Kentner|
|• Federal riding||Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound|
|• Prov. riding||Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound|
|• Land||588.57 km2 (227.25 sq mi)|
|• Density||18.7/km2 (48/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|Forward sortation area|
|Area code(s)||519 and 226|
Meaford is a municipality in Grey County, Ontario, Canada located on Nottawasaga Bay, a sub-basin of Georgian Bay and Owen Sound Bay, in the traditional territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation in southern Ontario. The municipality's seal and motto reflect its heritage as a place of apple orchards, but in the 21st century the area has partly switched to weekend homes, seasonal homes, and lakeside tourism.
In 1837, when this area was part of the St. Vincent Township, locals asked the government for a piece of land at the mouth of the Bighead River. The first settler was from Ireland, before the townsite was laid out by Charles Rankin in 1845 and called Meaford. By then, a sawmill and gristmill were already operating nearby; the post office there was called St. Vincent. Meaford saw little growth until 1850 but then began booming; it had a library by 1856.
Meaford had previously been named Peggy's Landing and Stephenson's Landing.
The post office was renamed Meaford in 1865, after the birthplace of John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent, for whom the township of St. Vincent is named; by then, the community was booming and had connection by steamship and roads with the railway at Collingwood. The community became a town in 1874.
The Northern Railway of Canada's North Grey Railway arrived in Meaford on December 31, 1872 in its westward push from Collingwood via Thornbury. It was originally planned to extend further west to Owen Sound, but this ambition was never realized due to a number of factors, including rough terrain, financial limitations, and competition from the Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway, which reached Owen Sound in 1873. The railway was later part of the Grand Trunk Railway and Canadian National Railways (CNR) systems. Thereafter, it became known as the CN Meaford Subdivision. Regular passenger service ended in 1960 and the line was abandoned in 1985.
In 1872, there were six churches. By the early 1880s, Meaford boasted three planing mills, three carriage factories, two tanneries, a sawmill, a shingle mill, a woollen mill, two foundries, two flour mills, a dozen general stores, and a wide range of other stores and tradesmen. The community also had ten hotels. A public school was added in 1868 with 152 students within a year. A high school was opened in 1890.
In 2001, with the amalgamation of various municipalities in Southern Ontario, St. Vincent Township, Sydenham Township and the Town of Meaford, were amalgamated to form one municipality entity. Sydenham Township named in part for Lord Sydenham, governor of Canada from 1839 to 1841. St. Vincent Township was named after the Earl of St. Vincent and Meaford was named after his stately house. A township is an area of land (about 15 miles by 12 miles) that is divided into 100 acre farms (usually). For more than one hundred years the townships of Ontario were municipal entities with an elected council and a reeve. Sometimes a small area of a township was separated and incorporated as a town. The town was then a separate and distinct municipality. This was the case with Meaford in 1874 when it was separated from St. Vincent township. However it ceased to be a town at the time of amalgamation.
A transition team preparing for the new municipality voted in September 2000 to name it Georgian Highlands, with the name Meaford ranking second. Highland Hills, Georgian Shores, Bayview, Trillium, Big Head Valley, Georgian View, Cape Rich, Bay Shore Highlands, Georgian Bay Highlands, North Grey and Queen's Bush were other names considered.
But the council of the new Georgian Highlands municipality voted 4-3 on 5 February 2001 voted to name the amalgamated area Meaford, citing confusion with nearby municipalities such as Georgian Bluffs and Grey Highlands. A by-law to formalize the name change to Meaford for the amalgamated area was subsequently passed on 5 March 2001, also by a 4-3 vote.
Since that time confusion has continued in the use of the name "Meaford". At present the name "Meaford" is commonly used in reference to the urban area formerly known as the Town of Meaford, while the name "Municipality of Meaford" is commonly used in reference to the merged region resulting from amalgamation in 2001.
In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Meaford had a population of 11,485 living in 5,035 of its 5,828 total private dwellings, a change of 4.5% from its 2016 population of 10,991. With a land area of 587.57 km2 (226.86 sq mi), it had a population density of 19.5/km2 (50.6/sq mi) in 2021.
|Population||11,485 (+4.5% from 2016)||10,991 (-1.0% from 2011)||11,100 (+1.4% from 2006)|
|Land area||587.57 km2 (226.86 sq mi)||588.57 km2 (227.25 sq mi)||588.61 km2 (227.26 sq mi)|
|Population density||19.5/km2 (51/sq mi)||18.7/km2 (48/sq mi)||18.9/km2 (49/sq mi)|
|Median age||54.4 (M: 52.8, F: 55.6)||53.0 (M: 52.1, F: 53.9)|
|Private dwellings||5,035 (total)||5,590 (total)||5,327 (total)|
|Median household income||$65,792|
The former mayors of Meaford were:
- 1998–2000: Doug Grant
- 2001–2003: Gerald Shortt (first Mayor since 2001 amalgamation)
- 2003–2008: Wally Reif
- 2008–2014: Francis Richardson
- 2014–2022: Barb Clumpus
Meaford is on the eastern edge of the Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound federal and provincial electoral district.
A local public transit service makes stops within urban Meaford but not in Sydenham or St Vincent. Local taxis service the area around the town of Meaford.
Billy Bishop Regional Airport is located in the municipality on Highway 26 between the Town of Meaford and Owen Sound.
Meaford has one public school with the Bluewater District School Board:
- Georgian Bay Community School (Grades JK - 12)
- Several scenes from the Disney movie One Magic Christmas were filmed in Meaford.
The town is served by two community newspapers, the Meaford Express and the Meaford Independent, the latter originally an online only publication, however as of May 31, 2013 and the former being sold and eventually ceasing publication, is available both online and in print. CKNX-FM, originating from Wingham, Ontario to the south, has a low-power retransmitter on 104.9 FM to serve the municipality. Meaford is otherwise served principally by media from nearby Owen Sound. Rogers cable is available in the Town of Meaford while residents in the former St. Vincent and Sydenham have access only to Satellite TV.
Coat of arms
Per fess Argent and Azure an escutcheon of the Arms.
An apple Gules charged with a schooner Argent.
- Lyman Duff, 8th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
- Beautiful Joe, a dog immortalized by the 1894 book of the same name
- Claude Bissell, author and educator
- Keith Bissell: composer, conductor, and music educator (1912–1992).
- James Conmee, former Member of Provincial Parliament
- Fred S. Haines (1879–1960) artist
- Tom Harpur, Author and religious columnist
- Don Knight, former Member of Provincial Parliament
- Brent Laing, curler
- Ron Lipsett, former Member of Provincial Parliament
- Marshall B. Lloyd, inventor of Lloyd Loom, Pres. Lloyd Mfg., Menominee, MI
- Herb Mitchell, former forward for the Boston Bruins
- John Muir, naturalist, author, "Father of the (U.S.) National Parks", left the US to avoid conscription during the Civil War and lived in a cabin near William Trout's mill, where he was working, in the Bighead Valley near Meaford during 1864-1866.
- Bill Murdoch, Member of Provincial Parliament
- Darren Pang, former goaltender for the Chicago Blackhawks and current NHL analyst
- Glenn Smith, former defenseman for the Toronto St. Patricks
- Tom Thomson, influential Canadian artist of the early 20th century
- Melville "Sparky" Vail, former defenseman for the New York Rangers
- Terry Wong, Canadian astronaut
- "Census Profile 2016; Meaford (Municipality)". Census 2016. Statistics Canada. Retrieved November 22, 2017.[permanent dead link]
- "Our History". Meaford.ca. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
- Hamilton, William (1978). The Macmillan Book of Canadian Place Names. Toronto: Macmillan. p. 158. ISBN 0-7715-9754-1.
- "Historical Plaques of Grey County". Waynecook.com. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
- Smith, Jeffrey P. (June 20, 2016). "C.N.Rys. Meaford Subdivision". CNR-in-Ontario.com. Retrieved December 19, 2021.
- Cooper, Charles. "The North Grey Railway" (PDF).
- "Mary Williams Trout: Diaries of a Small Town Lady | Grey Roots". greyroots.com. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
- Woodhouse, Scott (September 13, 2000). "Georgian Highlands selected as new name". The Meaford Express. Archived from the original on October 9, 2007.
- "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, census divisions and census subdivisions (municipalities), Ontario". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
- "2021 Community Profiles". 2021 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 4, 2022. Retrieved April 27, 2022.
- "2016 Community Profiles". 2016 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. August 12, 2021. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
- "2011 Community Profiles". 2011 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. March 21, 2019. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
- "2006 Community Profiles". 2006 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. August 20, 2019.
- "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. July 18, 2021.
- Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006 census
- Fell, Chris (November 15, 2000). "Gerald Shortt elected first Mayor of Georgian Highlands". The Meaford Express. Archived from the original on October 9, 2007. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
- Wally Reif resigns, effective now, Owen Sound Sun Times
- Evans, Pete (November 27, 2017). "Postmedia and Torstar swap dozens of small newspapers, most to be shut down". CBC News Business. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
- General, Office of the Secretary to the Governor. "The Corporation of the Municipality of Meaford". The Governor General of Canada. Retrieved July 28, 2022.
- "Conmee Family Photo Gallery". December 19, 2007. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
- "Biographies: Lloyd, Marshall Burns". mlloyd.org, sourced from Who's Who in America, 1926-27. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
- "John Muir's Wild Years - Mountain Life". Mountain Life. July 21, 2015. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
- Mather, Dave. "John Muir in Canada". www.meaford.com. Retrieved October 19, 2017.