Norfolk County
—  Single-tier city  —
Lighthouse and docks in Port Rowan.
Motto: History · Heritage · Diversity
Coordinates: 42°51′N 80°16′W / 42.85, -80.267Coordinates: 42°51′N 80°16′W / 42.85, -80.267
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
Established 1792 (County)
Restructured 1974 (Regional Municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk)
Amalgamated 2001 (Single-tier municipality)
 • Mayor Dennis Travale
 • Governing Body The Council of The Corporation of Norfolk County
 • MPs Diane Finley (Con)
 • MPPs Toby Barrett (PC)
 • Land 1,606.91 km2 (620.43 sq mi)
Elevation 200 m (700 ft)
Population (2006)[1]
 • Total 62,563
 • Density 38.9/km2 (101/sq mi)
  Ranked 80th in Canada
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal code span N0A, N0E, N3Y, N4B
Area code(s) 519 and 226

Norfolk County (play /ˈnɔrfk/) is a rural city-status single-tier municipality on the north shore of Lake Erie in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. The county seat and largest community is Simcoe. The population in 2006 was 62,563.


Norfolk's history has been closely associated with that of the neighbouring Haldimand County. Norfolk was first created as a county in 1792. In 1800, Haldimand was formed from a portion of Norfolk. The two counties remained separate until 1974, when they were united as the Regional Municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk.

In 2001, Haldimand and Norfolk were separated again in a round of municipal restructuring based on a report by provincially appointed special advisor Milt Farrow, and their individual municipalities were merged into two single-tier municipalities. The Townships of Delhi and Norfolk, Town of Simcoe, and the western half of the City of Nanticoke were amalgamated to form the "Town of Norfolk." The newly formed municipality's first by-law was to change the name to Norfolk County. Although both Haldimand and Norfolk use the name "county" for historical reasons, each is governed as a single municipality without a county government, thus neither is a true county, and are legally classified as cities.[2]

In January 2005, the county unveiled a new coat of arms which included natural symbols associated with the county: hooded warblers, a tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) and an eastern dogwood flower.

The first mayor of the county, Rita Kalmbach, was succeeded in 2007 by Dennis Travale.


Surrounding its many small communities is some of the most fertile land in Ontario. With a mild climate and lengthy growing season, the region has long been the centre of the Ontario tobacco belt. However, many farmers have begun the process of diversifying their crop selections to include lavender, ginseng, hazelnuts, and wolfberries[3] as tobacco consumption continues to decrease. The area also has an active greenhouse industry. Despite this, farmers have asked governments to reduce the financial losses of moving away from profitable tobacco operations.

In 2004 the documentary film Tobacco's Last Stand was released which highlighted the effect on tobacco production on the region.[4]

A significant natural feature of Norfolk is Long Point, a 40 kilometre (25 mi) spit of land projecting into Lake Erie. It plays an important part in eastern North American bird migration, and was designated a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1986. Long Point Provincial Park is located on the point.


Climate data for Delhi
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 18.3
Average high °C (°F) −2.1
Daily mean °C (°F) −5.7
Average low °C (°F) −9.4
Record low °C (°F) −33.9
Precipitation mm (inches) 70.1
Source: Environment Canada[5]


Port Rowan[]

Port Rowan holds an annual Bayfest every Labour Day; this used to be known as "Tomato Fest" but was renamed a few years ago. Local sports include angling and boating in the Long Point Inner Bay and golfing at Stark's Golf Course at the edge of town. Bird Studies Canada is based at Port Rowan. Port Rowan's future growth is currently at capacity with its water treatment system, which threatens future growth in the town and its burgeoning retirement community. There are wind generators in the Port Rowan area; which stretch out to Clear Creek and the Elgin County line. Located just outside of town off Lakeshore Rd. is the famous Backus Mill, where every year there is a re-enactment of the War of 1812.


Walsh, formerly known as Charlotteville Centre, is a medium-sized hamlet in Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada that is home to a public school and a Roman Catholic elementary school called St. Michael's. Graduating students go primarily to Simcoe Composite School and also Delhi District Secondary School, Valley Heights Secondary School or Holy Trinity Catholic High School. Students also have the choice of Port Dover Composite School for secondary education. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, a wholesaler was once stationed here.

Bill's Corners[]

Bill's Corners is a hamlet in Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada, that is between Green's Corners and Hillcrest. Further to the east is the town of Simcoe, which is the closest town to Bill's Corners. The sole industry in the hamlet is agriculture. The hamlet has a population of less than 200 people. Walsh Public School provides education for grades JK-8, and Simcoe Composite School provides secondary education. One famous previous resident was Dwayne Roloson, who is currently a goalie in the National Hockey League (NHL).


Nixon is a hamlet in Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada that is almost exclusively residential. There is an airfield, some farms, and a single office building that is dedicated to an agriculture-related business in the hamlet where Nixon Public School used to be. Otherwise, the community consists solely of single-family houses ever since Nixon Public School was closed due to the provincial government cutbacks on education. The only industry in the area is agriculture; there isn't any commerce in Nixon. Residents must commute to nearby communities for shopping, errands, and for most employment. Nixon is east of town of Delhi, northwest of town of Simcoe, and northeast of the hamlet of Pine Grove.


Langton is a small town located in Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada.

The town can be accessed by traveling to the intersection just slightly to the west of Courtland and turning south on Ontario provincial Highway 59 if coming from Delhi, south if coming from Tillsonburg or if traveling eastbound on Ontario Provincial Highway 3, and straight ahead if traveling southbound using Ontario provincial Highway 59. Since children of elementary school age who live in Andy's Corners attend Langton Public School, Andy's Corners is considered to be a subdivision of Langton. Langton was home to the Langton Thunderbirds, a junior hockey team that played in the Southern Ontario Junior Hockey League.


Wyecombe is a small hamlet located on the intersection of east quarter line road and regional road 21. Wyecombe is home to quiet subdivision of approximately 25 houses and a local auto repair shop. The nearest elementary school is Langton Public School and the nearest high school is Valley Heights Secondary School.

Clear Creek[]

Clear Creek is a hamlet in southwestern Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada. Although people live there and own real estate, the hamlet is legally described as agriculture land, not residential land in order to reduce property taxes. The nearest high school is Valley Heights Secondary School which is to the northeast.


Normandale is a quaint fishing town in southwestern Norfolk County, Ontario Canada that is famous for its perch and black bass. Commerce is extremely limited and agriculture plays a smaller role than in other parts of Norfolk County.

Port Ryerse[]

Port Ryerse is a fishing hamlet in Norfolk County just slightly southwest of Port Dover where people from Southwestern Ontario rent cottages and fish for pleasure during the summer months (Victoria Day through mid-October). Many of the residents are year-round. Most of the people here drive to Port Dover or Simcoe to purchase groceries and other goods, although there was a historic general store until September 2004, when it burned down. handmade soap and bath shop and folk art shop still exist in the community. Port Ryerse is also the birthplace of John Edward Brownlee, who was the premier of the province of Alberta during the Roaring Twenties and through the early years of the Great Depression.

A public elementary school called Port Ryerse School was located here that was in operation from the 19th century to the 1950s.


Renton is a hamlet in Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada that is between Simcoe and Jarvis in Haldimand County. There was a truckers' diner (which burnt down in the spring of 2010) and there is also a golf course in the vicinity. Agriculture is the main industry and the population has remained stagnant over the past 20 years. One of the dairy barns was considered being used for a William Shakespeare play according to the local newspaper, The Simcoe Reformer. However, the authorities have recently put a halt to the performances until further notice. To the north is the town of Boston. Simcoe lies to the west, Townsend is to the northeast, while Jarvis is to the east.

Pine Grove[]

Pine Grove contains a gas station, a car repair shop, a light-industry manufacturing plant, and various farms. In addition to residential roads, Regional Road 1 (also known as McDowell Road) and Pine Grove Road (formerly known as Delhi Road) are the main automobile routes.

Historic townships[]

Map of Norfolk County from 1877, showing historical townships.

Prior to its amalgamation with Haldimand in 1974, Norfolk consisted of eight townships. Walsingham was originally one township, but had been split into North and South Walsingham in 1881. Although no longer political entities, the historical townships are still used informally and in some government maps as convenient geographical divisions.

Township Township seat
Charlotteville Vittoria
Houghton Fairground
Middleton Delhi
North Walsingham Langton
South Walsingham Port Rowan
Townsend Waterford
Windham Windham Centre
Woodhouse Port Dover

Tourism and attractions[]

Norfolk County's primary tourist attractions are the ports, towns and villages along Lake Erie, which the municipality promotes as "Ontario's South Coast". These towns include Port Dover, Turkey Point and Long Point. Fishing is another key attraction for tourist, as well as birding, hiking, camping and cycling. Main festivals include the Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show (October), Waterford Pumpkin Festival (October), PD13 (the Port Dover motorcycle enthusiasts' event every Friday the 13th) and Simcoe Christmas Panorama (December). Agri-tourism is another expanding attraction for tourists coming to Norfolk County, with a few wineries in development and numerous farmgate retailers, now featured on the Norfolk County agriculture website.


The Norfolk County Public Library has branches in Delhi, Port Dover, Port Rowan, Simcoe and Waterford. The Simcoe branch, an Ontario Historic Site, was created in 1884 on Peel Street after a mechanics' institute was closed and its property donated for the creation of a free public library. The original building was used until 1912, when it was replaced with a new library building constructed as a one of the Carnegie libraries.[6]

Delhi’s Backstage Capitol Theatre, with its superior acoustics and intimate setting, attracts audiences and performers alike from all over North America. Open year round, the theatre not only plays host to live performances and concerts, it is also a sought after venue for private functions with its European courtyard setting. Thousands of people looking for a unique venue have walked through the doors of the Theatre. Re-opened in 2008 the theatre has quickly become one of Norfolk's most popular destinations.

The Lighthouse Festival Theatre Company has produced live theatre at Port Dover's old town hall (under the clock tower) since 1981. The Theatre is open year round and provides a variety of events, including concerts, public meetings, community fund raisers, dance recitals, workshops, band rehearsals and classes. Annually, more than 36000 people now attend events at Lighthouse Theatre. In addition to enriching the cultural fabric of Norfolk and beyond, Lighthouse bolsters the local economy, drawing tourists from out of town who then dine, shop and stay over in the community.

VanGo Adventure Farm is located just south of Waterford. It was featured briefly on the Dragons' Den television show in 2006 when VanGo Adventure Farm owner Mark VanGoethem appeared on the show in a suit made to look like he was riding a giant chicken. The VanGo Adventure Farm was not chosen for investment.


The Port Dover Harbour Museum, housed in an original fisherman's net shanty, commemorates Port Dover's fishing industry. The galleries present exhibits on the days of commercial sail as well as Lake Erie shipwrecks, ship building, Long Point, the War of 1812 and other aspects of lakeside life in this community. The museum is also active in the preservation and presentation of local folklore and living traditions, particularly in the areas of fishing and lakeside history. Since 2002, the museum has been the home to a collection of artifacts from the 1852 wreck of the steamer Atlantic.

The Eva Brook Donly Museum is a Victorian-period historic house museum that has been featuring displays of local history since it first opened in 1946. Located in downtown Simcoe and operated by the Norfolk Historical Society, which formed in 1900, the museum is renowned for its collections of artwork by the late William Edgar Cantelon and Eva Brook Donly. Here, you can see Dr. Troyer's infamous witch trap, Abigail Becker's gold medal presented to her for having rescued stranded sailors in 1854, an original Van Norman stove and much more. The museum also has an extensive archival collection of local genealogical historical material, including photographs, diaries, wills, legal papers, vital statistics, maps and more.

The Teeterville Pioneer Museum is a museum devoted to pioneer life in the 19th century. It includes antique farm equipment as well as home and garden tools.

The Spruce Row Museum is a historical museum that is located in Waterford. It recounts local history and also acts as a land registry. During Pumpkinfest, the museum becomes a haunted house, brought to life by the drama students of Waterford District High School.

The Delhi Tobacco Museum and Heritage Centre displays the agricultural and cultural history of the former township. Despite a province-wide smoking ban, the museum still guarantees its patrons the benefits of viewing the artistry and science of tobacco farming during the Golden Years of growing tobacco. It is located near Quances Dam. There is also a park nearby that is enjoyed by the local residents for picnics, barbecues, and for walking around with. It is closed on Sundays and major holidays.

The Backus Mill Heritage and Conservation Centre, an open air museum featuring a historic grist mill and a nature center, is a National Historic Site.


Port Dover is the location of a biker rally which takes place every Friday the 13th.

Simcoe is well known for annual community events including the Friendship Festival, Simcoe Panorama, and the Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show that is held every October.

Every October, Waterford hosts a Pumpkin Festival close to the end of the month. The Waterford Lions and Lioness clubs have been organizing the event since 2009. Due to low funding, the fireworks are no longer an event at the Waterford Pumpkin Festival. The usual features of the Pumpkin Festival are a pyramid of 1500 pumpkins, decorated buildings, craft shows, an automobile show, a carnival, live entertainment, and the locally famous Pumpkinbowl football game at Waterford District High School.

The Donnybrook Fair in Walsh is an annual two-day event. The fair has been held every year from 1857 until the present, making 2007 the 150th Fair. This mid-September event involves the children of Walsh Public School and St. Michael's School entering projects and many agricultural commodities, grown locally, for prize money and ribbons. More than $1200 was paid to the elementary children in 2006. The fair has grown every year with the help of many volunteers. Fundraising events are held all year to finance the fair. These events include an annual barbecue dance, a Victoria Day brunch, food booths at every "Friday the 13th" event in Port Dover, and numerous raffles. The most popular event at each fair is the demolition derby. These were sponsored for a long time by the Horsepower Unlimited Car Club from Simcoe but are now sponsored by the Vittoria & St. Williams Fire Department Auxiliaries. 2007 was considered to be the 34th consecutive year of the demolition derbies.

Throughout the year, the fairgrounds and the Community Centre Hall are frequently used for weddings, funerals, and buck and doe events. The name "Donnybrook Fair" comes from an early settler of Walsh, who said the fair reminded him of an annual horse fair in Donnybrook, Dublin, Ireland.

Port Rowan hosts an annual Bayfest.


The Norfolk IceCats of the North Eastern Hockey League and the Simcoe Storm of the Niagara & District Junior C Hockey League play at Talbot Gardens in Simcoe.

The Norfolk Harvesters RFC of the Niagara Rugby Union are a competitive rugby football club that operates both a men's and women's senior rugby teams. The Club was established in 2001 and has already won division championships in 2003, 2004, and 2007. The Club's current home is the rugby pitch at Waterford's Hellyer Memorial Park.


Public schools in Norfolk County are administered by the Grand Erie District School Board. The board maintains 16 public elementary schools and five public high schools in Norfolk:

  • Courtland Public School
  • Delhi Public School
  • Doverwood Public School
  • Elgin Avenue Public School
  • Houghton Public School
  • Langton Public School
  • Lynndale Heights Public School
  • Port Rowan Public School
  • Teeterville Public School
  • Walsh Public School
  • Waterford Public School
  • W. F. Hewitt Public School
  • West Lynn Public School
  • Windham Central Public School
  • Simcoe Composite School
  • Delhi District Secondary School
  • Port Dover Composite School
  • Valley Heights Secondary School
  • Waterford District High School

The board also administers Sprucedale Secondary School, a facility for young offenders.

Separate schools[]

Separate schools are administered by the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board, which maintains seven elementary schools and one high school:

  • Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School
  • Our Lady of LaSalette Catholic School
  • Sacred Heart Catholic School
  • St. Cecilia's Catholic School
  • St. Frances Cabrini Catholic School
  • St. Joseph's Catholic School
  • St. Michael's Catholic School
  • Holy Trinity Catholic High School


These eleven elementary schools once taught residents of Norfolk County. Many of these school closed down between the 1950s to the early 2000s as a result of changing municipal and provincial policies towards the funding of education:

  • Doan's Hollow Public School
  • Lynedoch Public School
  • North Public School
  • Nixon Public School
  • Port Dover Public School
  • Port Ryerse School
  • Simcoe Lions School
  • South Public School
  • St. Williams Public School
  • Walsingham Public School
  • Forestville Public School



Simcoe has its own radio station, CHCD-FM, And the area is otherwise served by media in Erie (Pennsylvania), Cleveland (Ohio), Buffalo (New York), and some radio stations from Toronto are also often receivable.


Notable residents[]

Famous people from the Norfolk County area include musician Rick Danko from The Band, hockey players Rick Wamsley, Rob Blake, Jassen Cullimore, Dwayne Roloson, Nelson Emerson, and hall of famer Red Kelly.

Former Minister of Agriculture and Liberal MP Bob Speller lives with his family in the community of Villa Nova, just east of Waterford.


According to Statistics Canada 2006 census:[1]

  • Population: 62,563
  • Area: 1606.91 km².
  • Pop. Density: 38.9 people per km².
  • Growth Rate (2001–2006): 2.8%
  • Total Private Dwellings: 26 527
  • Total private dwellings occupied by usual residents: 24 238

According to Statistics Canada 2001 census:[7]

  • Median income of persons of age 15 or older: Template:$20,429
  • Average earnings of all persons with earnings: Template:$27,805
  • Religion (Religions with less than 1% are not listed here.):
    • Protestant: 55.0%
    • Catholic: 25.3%
    • No religious affiliation: 16.8%
    • Christian (no denomination specified): 2.0%
  • Racial Profile:
    • 96.8% White
    • 1.5% Aboriginal
    • 0.6% Black
    • 0.2% Asian

Population trend:[8]

  • Population in 2006: 62,563
  • Population in 2001: 60,847
  • Population total in 1996: 60,534


  • Lore and Legends of Long Point, Harry B. Barrett, Burns and MacEachearn 1977, ISBN 0-887168-075-5
  • Long Point: Last Port of Call, David Stone, Boston Mills Press, 1988, ISBN 0-919783-39-7
  • Waters of Repose, Dave Stone and David Frew, Erie County Historical Society 1993, ISBN 1-883658-19-5

External links[]

Template:Norfolk County, Ontario

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Norfolk County, Ontario. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.