History and Heritage

From the early Neutral First People settlement to the arrival of the Loyalist settlers at the Forty Mile Creek in the 1780s, Grimsby residents have embodied a spirit of community and collective strength that is still evident today. By following the Heritage Highway route, one can explore Grimsby's roots and learn about the wonderful place we have in Canadian history.

Grimsby was the site of the first municipal meeting in Upper Canada on April 5, 1790 and the location of the Engagement at the Forty in 1813 – the pivotal naval battle and turning point in the War of 1812.

Village of Grimsby

The Village of Grimsby was incorporated in 1876 and became a town in 1922. Throughout the town are historic reminders of our rich heritage and early ancestors. The findings of the Neutral First People settlement are on display in Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum. Our own Grimsby Museum is home to many artifacts and historic documents, such as the original Town Bell, purchased in 1883 and restored in 1966, which rings in each New Year for town residents. A tourist destination since the 1850s, Grimsby Beach was the site of the Ontario Methodist Camp Meeting Ground. Centered around a unique temple, the camp provided families across the region with opportunities for fellowship and religious growth. During this period, Grimsby was considered the Chautauqua of the North, an adult education movement that emphasized sharing arts, culture, and literature to enhance and educate communities. In the 1910s, the area was transformed into an amusement park, which attracted visitors from all over North America. Each August, people would gather to celebrate the abolition of slavery at the Emancipation Day Picnic.

Grimsby Beach

Today, visitors come to Grimsby Beach to enjoy the Gingerbread houses that are affectionately painted by owners in bright colours.

Photo Gallery: Grimsby Beach will appear here on the public site.

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