“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Ontario Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database


on November 28, 2022

Ontario Coat of Arms, via Wikipedia Commons

 Ontario ranks 36th among provinces and states with markers in this database. Ontario is a province in Canada located in Central Canada. Ontario is some 669 thousand square kilometers in size with a population of around 13.5 million people. The province is divided into 203 counties and municipalities and 48 of them have entries in this database. In Ontario we have discovered historical markers in 212 cities and towns lying in 573 postal delivery areas.

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There are at least 1,243 historical markers in Ontario, by our count. We have cataloged 1,237 historical markers and 83 war memorials—each individually presented on 1,294 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another six historical markers in Ontario that we don’t yet have, and instead show on our Want List. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

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The first Ontario marker in the database, The British Garrison in London, was added May 13, 2009. It was photographed in London in Middlesex County. The last one added was submitted on November 25, 2022, and titled Ben Dunkelman. It is in Toronto and had been erected in 2017. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in Ontario was erected in 1837. It was this one: Pro Patria 1812-1814, and one of our correspondents found it in Kingston in Frontenac County on May 23, 2015.

Ontario Historical Topics
230 • Settlements and Settlers
227 • War of 1812
195 • Industry and Commerce
186 • Waterways and Vessels
144 • Notable Buildings
104 • Colonial Era
102 • Architecture
95 • Churches and Religion
92 • Man-Made Features
75 • Native Americans
    ... and others ...

Ontarians don’t want to forget their Settlements and Settlers history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from Ontario about Settlements and Settlers—230 of them—than about any other historical topic. A close second is War of 1812 with 227 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Settlements and Settlers topic was Middlesex Court House, added May 14, 2009. It had been erected in 1957 in London in Middlesex County. The last one submitted was submitted on October 27, 2022, and titled John Galt's Town Plan. It had been erected in Guelph in Wellington County. The earliest marker erected with the Settlements and Settlers topic that we have listed was erected in 1922. It is 1748, found in Windsor in Essex County on November 3, 2010.

What is the most interesting historical marker in Ontario? What we know is that Little Norway is the most viewed entry in the database from Ontario since it was added in 2009. It is located in Bathurst Quay in Toronto. This year so far, the most viewed Ontarian entry is located near Dresden in Chatham-Kent. It is The Dawn Settlement / La Colonie de Dawn.

Counties, municipalities, Cities and Towns

The Ontario county or municipality with the most historical markers listed in this database is Niagara Region, with 247 of them. It is followed by Leeds and Grenville United Counties with 140 markers. The Niagara Falls area of Niagara Region has the highest number of markers within its limits, 74. In Leeds and Grenville United Counties the area with the most markers, 38, is Gananoque.

Historical Markers in These
Ontario Counties and municipalities
247 • Niagara Region
140 • Leeds and Grenville United Counties
129 • Ottawa
125 • Brockville
73 • Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry United Counties
66 • Lanark County
58 • Toronto
46 • Essex County
42 • Frontenac County
41 • Chatham-Kent
    ... and others ...

Checking the database for the city or town in Ontario with the most markers we find the independent city of Brockville at the top of the list with 126 markers in or near it. And Niagara Falls shows up again in next place, with 74 markers. For the postal code with the most markers it’s L0S 1J0 at the top of the list with 73 markers in its delivery area. It is followed by postal code L0S 1L0 with 22 markers.

Historical Markers Near These
Ontario Cities and Towns
126 • Brockville
74 • Niagara Falls
64 • Niagara-on-the-Lake
42 • Kingston
38 • Gananoque
38 • St. Catharines
30 • Downtown Ottawa
29 • Perth
27 • Queenston
27 • Smiths Falls
    ... and others ...

Getting back to Niagara Region, the first marker added to the database from there, Niagara on the Lake Historical District, was added November 15, 2009. in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The last one submitted was uploaded on May 31, 2022, and is titled William Lundy Homestead, in Niagara Falls. The earliest marker erected in Niagara Region that we have listed was erected in 1856. It was Brock's Monument, found in Queenston on November 28, 2011.

Latest entry from Ontario. Click to go there
By Dan Fisher, November 25, 2022
Latest Entry from Ontario
“Ben Dunkelman”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Brockville. The first: Ogle Robert Gowan, 1803-1876, was added May 20, 2015. The last: George Steacy House added on March 19, 2022. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1921: Brockville Recorder, added on March 21, 2020.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

Ontario Heritage Trust is currently in charge of the familiar blue and gold official historical markers found all over the province. You will also find official markers erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board, a predecessor. We have 301 of their markers in the database.

In addition, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada has also erected numerous historical markers in Ontario, and we have 451 of their Ontario markers in the database. Also, a number of counties and municipalities have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.

Latest entry from Ontario. Click to go there
By Kevin Craft, May 19, 2017
A Ontario Heritage Trust Historical Marker

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Off the Beaten Path

You’ll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of Ontario have been marked with history. Check out Haldimand County, Dufferin County and . We've only found one historical marker in each. Visiting one or more of these parts of Ontario might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe you’ll discover more historical markers while you’re there. If you do, perhaps you’ll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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Nov. 28, 2022