|Municipality of Leamington|
Lake Erie and Seacliff Park
The Sun Parlour of Canada, The Tomato Capital of Canada.
Live | Work | Play
|• Mayor||Hilda Macdonald|
|• MP||Dave Epp (CPC)|
|• MPP||Rick Nicholls (PC)|
|• Land||262.01 km2 (101.16 sq mi)|
|• Urban||31.70 km2 (12.24 sq mi)|
|• Metro||508.84 km2 (196.46 sq mi)|
|• Municipality (lower-tier)||27,595|
|• Density||105.3/km2 (273/sq mi)|
|• Urban density||1,040.7/km2 (2,695/sq mi)|
|• Metro density||96.6/km2 (250/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|Forward sortation area|
|Area code(s)||519, 226, 548|
Leamington is a municipality in Essex County, Ontario, Canada. With a population of 27,595 in the Canada 2016 Census, it is the second-largest municipality in the Windsor-Essex County area (after the separated municipality of Windsor, Ontario). It includes Point Pelee National Park, the southernmost point of mainland Canada.
Known since the 20th century as the "Tomato Capital of Canada", it is the location of a tomato processing factory owned by Highbury-Canco; founded in 1908, the plant was owned until 2014 by the H. J. Heinz Company. Due to its location in the southernmost part of Canada, Leamington uses the motto "Sun Parlour of Canada".
Besides the town of Leamington itself, the municipality of Leamington comprises a number of villages and hamlets, including Albuna, Blytheswood, Cherry Lane Estates, Elmdale, Goldsmith, Marentette Beach, Mount Carmel, Oakland, Seacliffe, Wigle, Windfall, Chalmers, Erie Curve, Hillman, Point Pelee and Sturgeon Woods.
Leamington was incorporated as a village in 1876, but by 1869, the European-Canadian settlement already had a population of 350. The community was named after Royal Leamington Spa in England, after having originally been called "Gainesville" or "Gainesborough" for local mill owner William Gaines, and before that, Wilkinson Corners. It has had a post office since June 1854.
It was a crossroads hamlet with about 300 residents and was first known for its lumber products rather than tomatoes. There was extensive lumbering in western Ontario, as across the river in Michigan and also upper Michigan. 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 was one of the few Canadian municipalities that functioned as a "sundown town," a place where people of colour would face violence or harassment if they were in public after dark. In 1930, a group of black parishioners on a visit to Seacliff Park were ordered to leave Leamington by several town administrators. David Suzuki attests that he was told, upon arrival in Leamington in 1946, that “no colored person has ever stayed here beyond sunset.”
In the early hours of June 6, 2010, an F1 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 or any direct injuries.
Leamington lies on the 42nd Parallel, the same latitude as Chicago, Boston, the northern border of California, Rome, and Zaragoza. It is located on the north shore of Lake Erie, which acts to moderate its climate.
|Canada 2006 Census||Population||% of Total Population|
|Visible minority group
|Other visible minority||80||0.3%|
|Mixed visible minority||25||0.1%|
|Total visible minority population||2,915||10.3%|
|Total Aboriginal population||305||1.1%|
According to the Canada 2016 Census there were 27,595 people living in Leamington. The Leamington Census agglomeration (metro area) includes Kingsville. Leamington is the most populous urban centre on the Canadian side of Lake Erie, with a slightly larger population than both Fort Erie and Port Colborne.
The majority of people from Leamington speak English. According to the 2006 census, 16,915 speak English only, 8460 male and 8460 female. Around 600 people speak French due to the French school; 10,840 speak other languages, such as German, Spanish and Arabic; and 45 speak English and French.
Residents of Leamington include a population of Lebanese, Portuguese and Italian. Mennonite settlers, whose ancestors immigrated from Russia, have also added to the population.
According to the 2011 census, the median age of people living in Leamington is 39.2 years - for men the age was 37.7 and for women the age was 40.9 years of age.
According to a 2006 survey, 7,485 are immigrants or migrants, and 19,365 people are natives of Canada. The majority of migrants come from Mexico and Jamaica, and are employed as seasonal farm workers through the Temporary foreign worker program in Canada. According to the census, Leamington had the highest percentage of Latin Americans in Canada, with 4.9%.
Tourism contributes significantly to the economy, and the city has many attractions. Its attractions include cycle paths along the lake and the nearby Point Pelee National Park. It is a major site for migrating birds, especially in the autumn. As such, it plays host to many birdwatchers from Canada, the United States, and 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.
Leamington has a large marina, as many people engage in sailing and other water sports. The Marina also features a promenade that extends from the Marina to the Historical Leamington Dock, a port for ferry services to Pelee Island using the MV Pelee Islander & MV Pelee Islander II.
Annual Events and Festivals
Festival of Birds - Every year over 40,000 visitors head to Point Pelee National Park for the Festival of Birds at the beginning of May. Over 300 species of birds migrate through the park every year, providing close up views of birds not seen anywhere else in the country.
Leamington Fair - For over 170 years, the Leamington District Agricultural Society holds the Fair, typically during the 3rd week in June. The Fair features a Midway full of rides and games, a Demolition Derby, and a variety of contests for arts, crafts, livestock, and food in a classic County Fair. 
Music Onthe42 Summer Concert Series - The Music Onthe42 Summer Concert Series that runs from late June to the end of August at the Seacliff Park Amphitheatre. 7 Free Concerts feature National and Local bands of all Genres performing Saturday evenings. 
Arts @ The Marina - The South Essex Arts Association/Leamington Arts Centre presents an Annual Outdoor Arts and Crafts Show towards the end of June at the Leamington Municipal Marina.
Hogs For Hospice is an annual motorcycle rally usually held the beginning of August. This is centered around Seacliff Park and includes concerts featuring big name acts, and a weekend long craft and vendor show. Proceeds from the weekend are donated to the Leamington Hospice.
On June 6, 2010, a tornado passed through Leamington, damaging various important landmarks and facilities in town, including the marina.
The town's water tower, visible for kilometres in the flat southern Ontario landscape, is in the shape and colour of a giant tomato. The former tourist information booth in the centre of town is shaped like a large fiberglass tomato.
Leamington has several parks including Seacliff Park, the Marina Park, Mersea Park and Garrison Gardens, Henry Park, and Chestnut Park.
As noted, Point Pelee National Park contains the southernmost point on mainland Canada and draws thousands of visitors annually. It is on a flyway of migrating birds and one of the largest annual migrations of monarch butterflies.
Leamington has a variety of transportation. Transportation around the city is offered by the Leamington Transit bus system. The city has a small private airport located 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) 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).
A rail line that Heinz built from its plant to the harbour has been converted to a bicycle path going from the middle of town to the Marina. Two ferries, (MV Pelee Islander and MV Pelee Islander II) owned by the Owen Sound Transportation Company, run on a regularly scheduled seasonal basis from Leamington to Pelee Island with continuing service on to Sandusky, Ohio.
The H. J. Heinz company established a factory in 1908 in Leamington. The Heinz products are shipped from the city with both English and French labels, mostly to the United States. Ketchup and baby food are the main products. In November 2013 Heinz announced that it would close the Leamington plant in 2014, meaning job losses for 740 employees at the plant and hundreds more support workers.
Regional and local businessmen worked to save the plant. A campaign was conducted on Facebook to raise support and funds. As a 54-year-old law in Canada bans the use of tomato paste in tomato juice, thus requiring fresh tomatoes, they arranged a deal whereby Highbury Canco took over the plant in 2014. It produces tomato juice and other products for Heinz. Around 250 workers still process canned products at the over 100-year-old factory.
Leamington has also been known for its greenhouses. It now has the largest concentration of commercial greenhouses in all of North America, with 1,969 acres (797 ha) of greenhouse vegetable production in the general area. Major products of the greenhouse industry, in addition to tomatoes, are peppers, cannabis, 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. Tobacco production declined in the 1960s and today is virtually nonexistent.
Migrant workers, mostly Mexican and Caribbean seasonal labourers, annually arrive in the region to work in Leamington's greenhouses and farms. Several Mexican and Jamaican shops and a Mexican consulate have opened to serve the migrants.
With the legalization of recreational cannabis coming into effect on October 17, 2018, Leamington has become a hotspot for North America's cannabis production. Aphria, the largest marijuana greenhouse operation in Canada, is traded on the TSX and NYSE and is becoming one of the largest employers in the Municipality.
Erie Shores Healthcare serves the city of Leamington, as well as Essex and Chatham Kent. Opened in 1950, Leamington District Memorial Hospital succeeded two smaller healthcare facilities: Hopewell Hospital (c. 1933) and Cottage Hospital (c. 1920). In mid-December 2016, the hospital formally submitted notice to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, its wishes to change its name to Erie Shores Healthcare and subsequently has been approved. Other major healthcare needs can be undertaken in nearby Windsor, Ontario.
- Leamington Flyers play in the Western Division of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League at Highbury Canco Arena
- Wheatley Sharks play in the Great Lakes Junior C Hockey League
- Southpoint Capitals play in the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA)
- Leamington Barons Baseball
- Leamington District Minor Baseball Association - t-ball / baseball / softball for over 500 kids
- Leamington Minor Soccer Association has over 800 players every year
- Leamington S.C. United Soccer Club, formed in Dec. 2008, has become a major sports club with 10 competitive travelling teams from under-11 to Senior Men's
- Sun County Crows play in the Zone 7 of the Ontario Lacrosse Association at Highbury Canco Arena
- Velocity Volleyball
Leamington's weekly newspaper is the Southpoint Sun-Journal. The weekly newspaper that was Leamington Post ceased operations in 2012 after 138 years in publication.
Leamington is home to two regional commercial radio stations.
|FM 91.9||CBEW-FM-1||CBC Radio One||Talk radio, public radio||Canadian Broadcasting Corporation||Rebroadcaster of CBEW-FM (Windsor)|
|FM 92.7||CJSP-FM||Country 95.9 & 92-7||Country music||Blackburn Radio||Simulcasts CJWF-FM (Windsor)|
|FM 96.7||CHYR-FM||Mix 96.7||Hot adult contemporary||Blackburn Radio|
|FM 103.1||CBEF-1-FM||Ici Radio-Canada Première||Talk radio, public radio||Canadian Broadcasting Corporation||Rebroadcaster of CBEF (Windsor)|
|OTA virtual channel (PSIP)||OTA channel||Cogeco||Call Sign||Network||Notes|
|22.1||22 (UHF)||3, 706||CIII-DT-22||Global||Rebroadcaster of CIII-DT-41 (Toronto)|
|34.2||–||French- and Spanish- language community television|
|34.3||–||First Nations community television and special needs/described video programming|
|34.4||–||Leamington and Essex County council meetings|
In popular culture
- 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"
English-language public education for kindergarten through secondary school grades in Essex County is administered by the Greater Essex County District School Board, along with the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board which oversees English-language Catholic education.
French-language public and Catholic education are overseen by the Conseil scolaire Viamonde and the Conseil scolaire de district des écoles catholiques du Sud-Ouest, respectively. The scope of all of these organizations includes both the County and the City of Windsor.
Prior to 1998, the Essex County Board of Education operated Anglophone secular public schools.
Leamington has five public elementary schools, Margaret D. Bennie, Queen Elizabeth, Gore Hill, Mount Carmel - Blytheswood Public School and East Mersea. Leamington has two Catholic elementary schools: Cardinal Carter Middle School 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.
Queen of Peace Catholic Elementary School faced closure in February 2016, but was since converted to Cardinal Carter Catholic Middle School.
Mill Street Public School was permanently closed at the conclusion of the 2016-2017 school year.
Notable people from Leamington
- Major league pitcher Bob Hooper and infielder Danny Klassen.
- NHL players Brad Selwood, Pat Ribble, Randy Manery, Darren McCarty, Kirk Bowman
- Professional soccer player Stephen Eustáquio
- Authors Bill Sherk, Nino Ricci, Jean Brown, Lynsay Sands, Vesna Bailey
- Wally Tatomir the equipment manager for the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL
- CBC Radio 3 personality Lana Gay
- Former music director of AM Top 40 radio station CKLW "The Big 8" Rosalie Trombley
- Margaret Birch was the first female cabinet minister in the Government of Ontario
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- "Leamington (Population Centre) census profile". 2016 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
- "Leamington (Census agglomeration) census profile". 2016 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
- "Leamington, Ontario Area Code". areacodehelp.com. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
- The Province of Ontario Gazetteer and Directory. Toronto: Robertson & Cook. 1869. p. 261.
ontario gazetteer leamington.
- Bradt, Earline Hines (April 22, 2009). "COG Local History - "The Tomato Capital of Canada", Leamington, Ontario". Ancestral Notes. Archived from the original on 2013-06-07. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
- "Leamington". Ontario Rural Routes. Rural Routes Ontario. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
- Hamilton, William (1978). The Macmillan Book of Canadian Place Names. Toronto: Macmillan. pp. 155. ISBN 0-7715-9754-1.
- "Mayor of Leamington, Ontario, says sexual harassment from migrant workers a 'cancer' on the town". National Post. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
- "The story of Ontario's last segregated Black school". TVO.org. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
- "Racial Segregation of Black People in Canada | The Canadian Encyclopedia". www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
- Suzuki, David (2006). David Suzuki: The autobiography. Vancouver, BC: Greystone Books. p. 23. ISBN 1553652819.
- Perry, Joseph Adam (2015). Bunkhouse Drama: An Examination of Control and Agency among Migrant Farm Workers in Ontario, Canada (Thesis).
- "Negro Travelers' Green Book: 1959 - NYPL Digital Collections". digitalcollections.nypl.org. 1959. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
- "Leamington tornado damage in the millions". CBC News. June 7, 2010. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
- "Community Profiles from the 2006 Census". Statistics Canada.
- "Aboriginal Peoples - Data table". Statistics Canada.
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- "Leamington (Municipality) community profile". 2011 Census data. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
- "Festival of Birds". Point Pelee National Park. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- "Fair Information". The Leamington District Agricultural Society. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- "Calendar of Events". Municipality of Leamington. Retrieved July 10, 2019. (Section: Music Onthe42 Summer Concert Series)
- "arts @ the marina". Leamington Arts Centre. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- "Leamington tornado damage in the millions". CBC. 6 June 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
- "Heinz to close Leamington, Ont. plant; hundreds of jobs lost". CTV News. November 14, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
- Austen, Ian. "How Leamington, Ont. — where the tomato is king — rallied to save its Heinz plant". Financialpost.com. National Post. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
- Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers 2013 Fact Sheet[dead link]
- "LHIN approves Leamington Hospital name change". CBC News Windsor. February 28, 2017. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
- "Erie Shores Healthcare". Erie Shores Healthcare. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
- "Leamington Flyers". Greater Ontario Hockey League. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- "Wheatley Sharks". Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- Veneza, Ricardo (February 9, 2016). "Queen Of Peace Now Facing Closure". Blackburn News. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
- "Mill Street Public School will close despite emotional pleas from students". CBC News Windsor. June 9, 2017. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
- "Former Portugal midfielder Stephen Eustaquio commits to play for Canada". Sportsnet. Retrieved 22 February 2019.