Our First Settlers – Part One

Burlington Gazette – History by Helen Langford

Our First Settlers – Part One
Tues., October 18, 1977

Every year, as fall arrives and the school term begins, nostalgia overcomes many of us. Nostalgia for the once familiar smells of Burlington. The lovely spicy tomato aroma covering the whole of the town – even blocking out the usual odours from Niagara Brand Spray Co. and the occasional manure pile.

Canadian Canners and Tip Top Canners were two local industries developed in response to the abundant supply of orchard and market garden products in this fertile area. Over the hundred years from our first settlers to 1910-20, the scene had changed from lumber to mixed farming to fruit and vegetables. The industries in Burlington varied to meet the changing needs. For example: there was a sawmill about 1820 on the creek beside the Provincial Court on Elgin Street. Much later came the canning factories with their mouth watering ‘pollution’ but also with their problems. Traffic problems were common to both but the Canadian Canners location on Lakeshore Rd. (Water St.) at the foot of Brant Street caused many a headache! The trucks had to line up on the eastbound lane of the two lane road. There was very little shoulder due to buildings built fairly close to the road. Many residents must have found it difficult to get to Virtue Motors who had buildings on both sides of the Lakeshore Rd. just west of Brant St. If we remember this traffic as bad, just imagine what it might be like if and when Anchorage is functioning!

However difficult the waiting in line the farmers and an occasional local resident used this time to socialize or run into the Royal Bank. Who knows, maybe Ed Parsons sold a car or two out of Virtue’s lot!

Although nostalgia seems to be very fashionable among the young adults at present, this column will endeavour to bring some of Burlington’s history to you so that you may appreciate your present home more. Memories are wonderful but are sometimes. distorted through the passing years. Many interesting facets of Wellington Square and Nelson Township have and are still being discovered in our ongoing research. Often documentation is difficult but to the best of our ability this column will try to give you the latest and best in local story. If you have any help, either from your memory or in documentation, please write it down and mail it to the Gazette.

Source: Langford, Helen. Burlington Gazette [Ontario], 18 Oct. 1977. Microfilm. Burlington Public Library – Central Branch. Reel 50.

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