Leamington, Ontario

Leamington, Ontario
—  Town  —

Coat of arms
Nickname(s): The Sun Parlour of Canada, The Tomato Capital of Canada.
Motto: Southern Latitude... Friendly Attitude
Coordinates: 42°04′N 82°35′W / 42.067°N 82.583°W / 42.067; -82.583Coordinates: 42°04′N 82°35′W / 42.067°N 82.583°W / 42.067; -82.583
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
County Essex
 - Mayor John Paterson
 - MP Dave Van Kesteren (CONS)
 - MPP Pat Hoy (LIB)
 - Land 261.92 km2 (101.1 sq mi)
 - Metro 508.76 km2 (196.4 sq mi)
Population (2006)[1][2]
 - Town 28,833
 - Density 110.1/km2 (285.2/sq mi)
 Metro 49,741
 - Metro density 97.8/km2 (253.3/sq mi)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 519 and 226
Website www.leamington.ca

Leamington is a municipality in Essex County, southern Ontario, Canada, and has a population of 31,113. It includes Point Pelee, the southernmost point of mainland Canada. It has a large H. J. Heinz Company factory and is known as the "Tomato Capital of Canada", with 4 km² of this crop in the vicinity. It also lays claim to being the "Sun Parlour" of Canada due to its southern location.



Leamington was incorporated as a village in 1876. It was a crossroads hamlet with about 300 residents and was known for its lumber products rather than its tomatoes. There were several docks, and fish were plentiful in Lake Erie, so much so that sturgeon could be speared from the shore and fish was the cheapest food available. Leamington once had many tobacco farms but now they are virtually nonexistent. In 1908 the H. J. Heinz company came to Leamington, bringing many jobs to the area and contributing to Leamington's growth.

In the early hours of Sunday, June 6, 2010, an F2 tornado ripped through portions of southern Essex County, stretching from Harrow, through Kingsville, to southern Leamington before dissipating near Point Pelee National Park, creating considerable damage, but no loss of life.


Leamington enjoys the second warmest climate in Canada, after the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.[citation needed] Leamington lies on the 42nd Parallel, the same latitude as Chicago, Rome, the northern border of California, and Zaragoza. Leamington is situated on the north shore of Lake Erie and is home to Point Pelee National Park, a major site for migrating birds especially in the autumn. As such, it plays host to many birdwatchers from Canada, the United States and from all around the world. The region is also known for the migration of Monarch butterflies, which congregate in the fall at Point Pelee before making their way across Lake Erie on their route to winter quarters in central Mexico.

Another important natural area near Leamington is the wetland at Hillman Marsh, located six kilometres east of the town.


Census Population
1871 200
1881 1,411
1891 1,910
1901 2,451
1911 2,652
1921 3,675
1931 4,902
1941 5,799
1951 6,950
1961 9,030
1971 10,435
1981 12,528
1991 14,182
2001 27,138
2006 31,113

According to the Canada 2006 Census there were 31,113 people living in Leamington, Leamington was also rated the 80th largest urban area in Canada by population, according to the census.


The majority of people from Leamington speak English. According to the census, 16,915 speak English only, 8460 male and 8460 female. 470 people speak French, 10,840 speak other languages such as German, Spanish and Arabic, and 45 speak English and French.[3] Residents of Leamington include a population of Lebanese, Portuguese and Italian. Mennonite settlers have also increased the size of the population.


According to the census, the median age of people living in Leamington is 37.1 years - for men the age was 36 and for women the age was 38.4 years of age.


According to a 2006 survey 19,365 people are not immigrants while 7,485 are immigrants. The majority of immigrants come from Mexico and Jamaica and are seasonal laborers. According to the census, Leamington had the highest percentage of Latin Americans in Canada, with 4.9%.


Leamington's Marina

Leamington has been known for its tourism and attractions and is known as the tomato capital of Canada. Leamington's attractions include bicycle paths and nearby Point Pelee National Park. Leamington also has a large and modern marina. The town's water tower, visible for miles in the flat southern Ontario landscape, is also in the shape and colour of a giant tomato. Celebrating its position as an agricultural powerhouse and its heritage as the H. J. Heinz Company's center for processing "red goods," the city hosts a "Tomato Festival" each August, as a kickoff of the tomato-harvesting season. Car shows, beauty pageants, parades, and a fair are featured at the festival.

Leamington's position on the north shore of Lake Erie makes it an important recreational centre.[citation needed] The tourist information booth in the centre of town is a large fiberglass tomato.


Seacliff Park

Leamington has several parks including Seacliff Park, The Marina Park, Mersea Park and Garrison Gardens.


Leamington has a variety of transportation. It has a bicycle path going from the middle of town to the Marina, previously the rail line for Heinz. Leamington has two ferrys, the (M/V Jiimaan and M/V Pelee Islander) owned by the Owen Sound Transportation Company run on a regularly scheduled seasonal basis from Leamington to Pelee Island. Transportation around Leamington is offered by the Leamington Transit bus system. Leamington has a small private airport located four kilometres to the east of town. The town is also connected to the provincial highway network by Highway 3 (to Windsor), and Highway 77 (to Highway 401).


Known as the tomato capital of Canada, Leamington became the home of the H. J. Heinz factory in 1908. The Heinz products are shipped from Leamington, with English and French labels, mostly to the United States. Ketchup and baby food are the main products.

Along with the H. J. Heinz Company factory, Leamington has also been known for its greenhouses, and now has the largest number of commercial greenhouses in all of North America. Major products of the greenhouse industry, in addition to tomatoes, are peppers, cucumbers, roses, and other flowers. Hydroponic farming has been very successfully adopted by many greenhouse operators in Leamington. Historically, tobacco was an important crop in the area, but tobacco production declined in the 1960s and today is virtually nonexistent. Leamington's agribusiness success comes from a fortuitous combination of excellent soil, knowledgeable and energetic owners, and a favorable climate.

Migrant workers, mostly Mexican and Caribbean seasonal labourers, annually arrive in the region to work in Leamington's greenhouses and farms. Because of the influx of legal seasonal workers, Leamington has opened up several Mexican and Jamaican shops, and even has a Mexican Consulate.

Leamington is home to a small community hospital, Leamington District Memorial Hospital (LDMH), at 194 Talbot Road West.




Leamington's weekly newspaper is the Leamington Post (formerly called the Post and News). Leamington is home to two regional commercial radio stations. Mix 96.7FM was originally known as CJSP and was on 710 on the AM dial, having signed on the air on February 17, 1955. In 2008, a second radio station with the call-sign of CJSP signed on at 92.7 FM as a country music station. A community television station, CFTV channel 34, launched in 2006. CFTV-TV is on channel 100 on Cogeco digital cable (having been moved from channel 79 to 100).

Leamington In media

  • Aspects of the fictional town of Port Ticonderoga in The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (including street names, demographics and a store name) appear to have been derived from Leamington. Atwood is a part-time resident of Pelee Island, which is accessed by ferry from Leamington.
  • The fictional town of the Sun Parlour in the book Lives of the Saints by Nino Ricci is based on Leamington.
  • The book Splat! By Eric Walters takes place in Leamington at the tomato festival.
  • Stompin' Tom Connors mentions Leamington in his tune The Ketchup Song
  • David Letterman referred to Leamington as the tomato capital of Canada in a monologue in July 2009.



Leamington has six public elementary schools, Margaret D. Bennie, Mill Street, Queen Elizabeth, Gore Hill, Mount Carmel - Blytheswood Public School and East Mersea. Leamington has two Catholic elementary schools: Queen of Peace and Saint Louis. Leamington also has one french speaking Catholic School, St. Michel. South Shore Christian School is a private elementary school located in Leamington. Leamington has two main school boards the Greater Essex County District School Board and the Windsor-Essex Catholic School Board.


Leamington has three secondary schools: Leamington District Secondary School (LDSS); Cardinal Carter Catholic High School (Leamington), and U.M.E.I (United Mennonite Education Institute).

Notable people from Leamington


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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