Flamborough, Ontario


Flamborough, Ontario

Flamborough (sometimes both officially and informally spelled Flamboro) is a former town near and current community in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

For most of its existence before amalgamation with Hamilton in 2001, Flamborough was in fact a trio of sparsely settled townships. The largest suburban community is the former Town of Waterdown containing perhaps one third of its thirty thousand or so inhabitants. Other Flamborough communities, in approximate order of population, include: Greensville, Carlisle, Freelton, Rockton, Lynden, Clappison's Corners, Millgrove, Christie's Corners, Sheffield, Copetown, Kirkwall, Valens, Mountsberg and Westover.

History

Neutral and Six Nations Indians were the first inhabitants of the area. A First Nations gravesite is found on the border of the former Beverly and West Flamborough Townships. On September 24, 1669, French explorers La Salle and Joliet met near Tinawatawa, now Westover. When New France was conquered by the British in 1763, the territory became part of the British Empire.

After the American Revolution in 1783 and the creation of Upper Canada, land at the western end of Lake Ontario was surveyed and organized into townships, which included East Flamborough, West Flamborough and Beverly. Governor's Road (also known as Queen's Highway 99 and later Regional Roads 399 and 299) was built on the border with neighbouring Ancaster Township in 1794-95, linking York (later Toronto) and London.

The three townships were founding constituents of Wentworth County in 1816. The Village of Waterdown was created from that part of East Flamborough above the Niagara Escarpment and within approximately a kilometre of King's Highway No. 5 (Dundas Street). The Town of Dundas was created from parts of West Flamborough and Ancaster Townships.

Lionel Beaumaurice "Leo" Clarke was born near Waterdown in 1892, and his family left for Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1903. During the First World War, he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force and fought in France. On September 9, 1916, during the Battle of Somme, Corporal L.B. Clarke single handedly repulse a German attack. Unfortunately, he was killed in combat on October 19, 1916 before he could receive his Victoria Cross.

Government

In 1974, the Hamilton-Wentworth Region was created with six constituent municipalities. Flamborough Township was created as one of these by amalgamating East Flamborough, West Flamborough, Beverly and Waterdown. At the same time, a small portion of Beverly Township near the community of Clyde was ceded to North Dumfries Township in Waterloo Region and a more populous but smaller portion of East Flamborough near the community of Aldershot was ceded to Burlington in Halton Region.

Although the existence of the Hamilton-Wentworth regional government was supposed to preserve the rural and semi-urban character of Flamborough from encroachment by its larger urban neighbour, the reprieve did not last long as several country libraries were forced to close. In 2001, the provincial government disbanded Hamilton-Wentworth and its constituent municipalities and replaced them with a new single tier municipality called the City of Hamilton after its largest member.

The amalgamation was bitterly and unsuccessfully protested by some Flamborough residents and those of adjacent communities, particularly since the incumbent Progressive Conservative MPP, Toni Skarica's government had promised in the previous election that the amalgamation would not occur. Skarica resigned in protest, but the amalgamation was not rescinded. Hamilton continues to decline the rights of the smaller townships by reducing the number of libraries, that strengthen a community, in the outlying areas as well as increasing taxes by more than double that of the main city in 2008. Flamborough is now the highest taxed township in Canada.Fact|date=April 2008

The population of Flamborough at the 2001 census was 37,796. By the 2006 census, its population had increased to 39,220.

Geography and natural attractions

Much of Flamborough is located on top of the Niagara Escarpment; thus the Bruce Trail passes through the area. Although relatively flat in the south, a slow but steady incline is observable until reaching the Wellington County line which is the approximate height of land dividing two watersheds. The Beverly Swamp, located in the western part of the former Beverly Township, is another important physiographic area.

Notable natural attractions operated by the [http://www.hamrca.on.ca Hamilton Region Conservation Authority] include:
* [http://www.westfieldheritage.ca/ Westfield Heritage Centre] , a living history museum containing pioneer era buildings moved from other locations in Wentworth County
* [http://www.conservationhamilton.ca/parks/visit/valens.asp Valens Conservation Area] , offering camping and boating at its reservoir
* [http://www.conservationhamilton.ca/parks/visit/christie.asp Christie Lake] , swimming and stocked fishing at its reservoir
* [http://www.conservationhamilton.ca/parks/visit/spencer.asp Spencer Gorge and Webster's Falls Conservation Area] , spectacular view of the falls and city below while hiking on the Bruce Trail.

Economy and commercial attractions

After early European settlers had cleared the land of pine and oak forests, they began subsistence and then export farming. Disregarding the swamp and the excessively rocky areas of the Mountsberg area, the land is devoted chiefly to agriculture. Much of the arable land is devoted to raising corn, strawberries and cash crops.

In recent decades, Flamborough has become home to commuters and hobby farmers in the Golden Horseshoe. It has easy access to secondary highways, but the community has resisted the creation of a full interchange on the Queen Elizabeth Way to Waterdown Road.

Notable attractions operated as commercial enterprises include:
* [http://www.flamborodowns.com/ Flamboro Downs] , featuring harness racing, and slot machines
* [http://www.flamborospeedway.itgo.com/ Flamboro Speedway] , featuring car racing
* [http://www.lionsafari.com/ African Lion Safari] , with land mammals and birds of prey in an open air zoo
* [http://www.rocktonworldsfair.com/ Rockton World's Fair] , an agricultural exhibition held every Thanksgiving Weekend (Canadian)

References

External links

* [http://www.rocktonworldsfair.com/ Rockton World's Fair]
* [http://www.infoflam.on.ca Flamborough Information and Community Services]
* [http://1stcarlisle.burlingtonscouts.org Scouts Canada - 1st Carlisle Group]
* [http://www.3rdwaterdownscouting.org 3rd Waterdown Scouting]


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