Ontario's Counties


Norfolk County (1792+)

Located in South-Western Ontario, Norfolk County is one of the original nineteen counties established in 1792. It was named for Norfolk, England. 1792-1798 it was part of Western District, 1798-1837 part of London District, and 1837-1849 part of Talbot District.

In 1974 the county was dissolved and along with Haldimand County became the regional municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk. In 2001 the municipality was dissolved and the former counties re-instated as separate municipalites of Haldimand County and Norfolk County.

The first settlers were United Empire Loyalists who arrived in 1789.

Norfolk County


Northumberland County (1792+)

Located in Southern Ontario, Northumberland County was established in 1792, one of the original nineteen counties. It was named for Northumberland, England.

From 1792-1802 Northumberland County was part of Home District, 1802-1849 it was part of Newcastle District. In 1850 Durham County and Northumberland Counties were united for municipal purposes and remained that way until 1974.

Northumberland County


Ontario County (1849-1974)

Located in South-Western Ontario, Ontario County was established in 1849 from York County but was not separate from York until 1853.

The county was dissolved 1 Jan 1974 and became part of the Regional Municipality of Durham, Metropolitan Toronto, and Simcoe County.

Ontario County


Ontario County (1792-1800)

Located in the St Lawrence River, Ontario County was the seventh county created in 1792. It was comprised of Amherst Island (formerly Isle Tonti), Gage Island (formerly Isle au Fòret), Howe Island (formerly Isle Cauchois), as well as all the islands between the mouth of the Ganonoque River and Marysburg Township.

Amherst Island had been part of a land grant made by France's King Louis XIV to explorer Sieur de La Salle in 1675. The explorer named it Isle de Tonti after his lieutenant.

In 1800 Ontario County was abolished and the islands were added to Frontenac County and Addington County.

Ontario County


Oxford County (1798+)

Located in South-Western Ontario, Oxford County was established in 1798 and named for Oxford, England. From 1798-1800 Oxford County was part of Western District, 1800-1839 part of London District, 1839-1849 part of Brock District.

The first settlers arrived in 1793, with Ingersoll being an early settlement for United Empire Loyalists. Scottish Highlanders settled in Zorra and Nissouri Townships, while Dutch and German emigrants settled in Blandford and East Zorra. Some of the first settlers in Norwich were Quakers.

Oxford County


Parry Sound District (1869+)

Parry Sound District was established in 1869 from unorganized territory. The town of Parry Sound was established prior to the district, in the 1850's.

Both the district and the town were named for Arctic Explorer Sir Edward Parry.

Settlement started along the road from Huntsville to Nipissing, and expanded along the railways as they were completed.

Parry Sound District


Peel County (1852-1974) / Peel Region (1974+)

Located in South-Western Ontario, Peel County was established in 1852 from York County but it wasn't official until 1866. It was named for Britian's Prime Minister, Robert Peel.

Settlement in the area had started as early as 1807. In 1819 a large number of Irish settlers arrived, they had planned to settled in the United States but instead chose this area of Canada. Most of the early settlers were Irish, Scotch or descendants of United Empire Loyalists.

In 1974 Peel County was dissolved and the Regional Municipality of Peel was established.

Peel County


Perth County (1850+)

Located in South-Western Ontario, Perth County was established in 1850. The county was named for Perthshire, Scotland where the first settlers of North & South Easthope townships had emigrated from. Most of the other early settlers were German, followed closely by British emigrants.

Originally the area was part of the Huron Tract, which was owned by the Canada Company. The company sold land to settlers (as opposed to the government who gave free grants) with preference to professionals, tradesmen or those who would make good farmers.

Perth County


Peterborough County (1838+)

Located in South-Eastern Ontario, Peterborough County was established 1838 from Durham County and Northumberland County. It was named after the town of Peterborough located within the county.

From 1838-1841 Peterborough County was part of Newcastle District, 1841-1849 part of Colborne District.

The first settlers arrived in 1818 from England. Settlement though was slow until Peter Robinson's emigration scheme brought an influx of Irish & British settlers to the area starting in 1825. They settled mostly in the southern townships. It wasn't until the 1850's that settlement extended to the northern townships.

Peterborough County