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Georgetown is a community in the town of Halton Hills, Ontario, Canada and is part of the Regional Municipality of Halton. It is situated on the Credit River, located approximately 60 km west of Toronto, making it part of the Greater Toronto Area. Georgetown takes its name from George Kennedy, who settled in the area in 1821.
By 1650, the once plentiful Hurons had been wiped out by French missionaries, European diseases, and the Iroquois. The region was now open to the Algonquian Ojibwa (also known as Mississauga), who moved in. By 1850 the remaining Mississauga natives were removed to the Six Nations reserve, where the New Credit Reserve was established.
Commencing in 1781, the British government purchased blocks of land from the Mississauga Nation. In 1818, they purchased land that later became the townships of Esquesing and Nassagaweya. The task of laying out the townships fell to Timothy Street and Abraham Nelles. Charles Kennedy was hired by Nelles to survey the northern part of the townships, and Charles Kennedy received a significant parcel of land as payment for his work.
The brothers of Charles Kennedy, (John, Morris, Samuel and George) all acquired land close to each another in the Silver Creek Valley. A sawmill was built by Charles Kennedy where today Main Street meets Wildwood Road. George Kennedy also built a sawmill which became the centre of a small settlement, which was located near 10th line.
Esquesing Village (Stewarttown) was the capital of the township. In addition, it was on the main north-south route to the steamships at Oakville. The Stewart Brothers had a prosperous mill in Esquesing Village, and James McNab had a prosperous mill in Norval.
In 1828, John Galt opened the road which connected the settlement around George Kennedy's Mill with the other two settlements in the area. As Kennedy's Mill prospered, he built a grist mill, foundry and a woolen mill. Unfortunately, business was poor, which led to the nickname 'Hungry Hollow'. Around 1834 the Barber brothers arrived and within three years had purchased the mills from Kennedy.
Around 1837, the area adopted the name Georgetown. It was also the year that two of the Barber Brothers (William and James) purchased the mill and land from George Kennedy.
On May 13, 1895, brothers Sam & John McGibbon leased, in partnership, Thomas Clark's Hotel for $600/year. "The Hotel McGibbon" was originally built by Robert Jones and was sold to Clark in about 1867. A double veranda graced the Main & Mill Street side of the building until the hotel was ravaged by fire in the 1880s. After the fire, a third floor was added to part of the building.
The McGibbon family lived at the hotel and took great pride in the business they had established. Sam's wife, Ann, kept white linen in the dining room, and in its earliest years had been a popular place for wedding receptions and banquets.
When Sam McGibbon died August 20, 1940 (only a few months after Ann's death), a daughter, Gladys, and a son, Jack, took over the business until 1962. The McGibbon Hotel was sold to Isaac Sitzer Investments and in 1967 to Gladbar Hotels Ltd. George and Nick Markou purchased the hotel in 1978 and have run business to the present day under the McGibbon name, returning its connection to the downtown Georgetown business community since 1895.
Guelph Radial Line
The Toronto Suburban Railway Company ran the Toronto-Guelph Electric Suburban Railway line through Georgetown for 14 years from the time it was opened in 1917 until it was closed in 1931.
The area had no early history of a concentration of French-Canadians, but that changed after World War II. One boy who went to fight in World War II was George Stanley Latimer. He died on December 20, 1944. First, in 1947, a boys' orphan farm relocated from St. Catharines, Ontario, to Georgetown. This orphanage was operated by Father Clovis Beauregard and his niece, Therese St Jean. The Acadian boys from the orphanage decided to remain here in adulthood. The boys had learned apple farming and other Acadian families moved here to assist them with their apple business. Second, in 1957 a French-Canadian Association was formed. By 1966, about 150 French-speaking Catholic families created their own parish when the old Holy Cross Church was rededicated as L'Eglise Sacre Coeur.
On January 1, 1974, Georgetown became part of the Town of Halton Hills when it amalgamated with the Town of Acton and most of the Township of Esquesing. Together with the Town of Milton, the Town of Oakville and the City of Burlington, the Regional Municipality of Halton was formed, replacing Halton County.
Georgetown grew as new neighbourhoods were added. The oldest section is around Main Street and Church Street. The arrival of the railway produced a new section — around King Street and Queen Street. The Delrex subdivision was the third part of the town that was added. Shortly after Delrex, Moore Park was developed. In 1989, the Georgetown South development began and the town has grown considerably since that point.
Delrex: In the 1950s, Rex Heslop, the builder of Rexdale in Toronto, built the Delrex subdivision. Delrex is a combination of Rex and his wife Delma's names. In the 1950s and 1960s this area was referred to as Georgetown East.
Moore Park: With the growth of Delrex subdivision, a second subdivision called Moore Park appeared in 1962.
Georgetown South: In 1989 the farm land south of Silver Creek became the newest subdivision of Georgetown, Georgetown South. The development was undertaken by primarily Fernbrook Homes (West of Mountainview) and Canada Homes (East of Mountainview). Additional developments include Arbour Glen, Stewart's Mills and the Four Corners. Not to be mistaken as the "Four Corners" of Hornby at Trafalgar Road and Steeles Avenue.
Barber Glen: In 1968 the mayor named this part after Barber Glen.
Census data for Georgetown is not available from Statistics Canada, because it is considered a community within the town of Halton Hills. The town provides the following estimates for Georgetown:
|Private Dwellings||13,805||12,658||not provided||--|
Census data for periods prior to the amalgamation into the present Town are as follows:
Georgetown's Sports teams include :
- CheerForce Jaguars — Competitive cheerleading
* Halton Hills Blue Fins Swimming club with programs for all levels of swimmers, including competitive athletes.
- North Halton Highlanders Rugby Football Club, competes in the Toronto Rugby Union.
- Georgetown Baseball Association, baseball organization for players ages from 5-21.
- Georgetown Raiders Tier II Junior "A" ice hockey team, part of the Ontario Junior Hockey League.
- Halton Hills Bulldogs Junior "B" box lacrosse
- Georgetown Minor Hockey Association — Houseleague and Rep hockey
- Halton Hills Bulldogs — Houseleague and Rep Lacrosse
- Georgetown Impact — Girls Volleyball
- Halton Hills Hoosiers — Basketball
- Georgetown Mustangs — Soccer
- North Halton Twisters - Girls hockey
- Georgetown Soccer Club
- North Halton Crimson Tide Football Club
- Halton Hills Minor Football Association - football club for players 10–18 years old
Defunct sports teams
Georgetown Raiders Sr A competed in the OHA Senior A and Intermediate A ranks in the 1970s and 1980s. They are not connected to another Georgetown Raiders team which is currently a member of the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League.
Georgetown Highland Games The second Saturday in June, Georgetown is host to a variety of Scottish traditional games and celebrations.
Farmers' market A farmers' market operates on Main St. in downtown Georgetown on Saturdays 8:00am – 12:30pm from June through October. The section of Main St. that hosts the market is closed off to vehicles during the event.
Georgetown Fall Fair The Fall Fair was started in 1846. It is held the Friday to Sunday following the Labour Day Weekend. The annual event is held at the Georgetown Fairgrounds and consists mainly of carnival rides and rural contests, such as the tractor pull and demolition derby. The Georgetown Agricultural Society organizes and runs the fair each year.
In 2003, the Fall Fair was the scene of a riot which broke out between local youth (approximately 500) and the Halton Regional Police force. There were several teens arrested and at least another half a dozen shot by rubber bullets during the riot. No major property damage occurred, only a portion of a small white picket fence was damaged. Conflict in the years following the event has so far been avoided.
- Holy Cross (with French Immersion)
- St. Brigid
- St. Francis of Assisi
- St. Catherine of Alexandria
- Halton Hills Christian School (a.k.a. Georgetown District Christian School)
- Gardiner Public School
- Silver Creek Public School
- Pineview Public School
- Park Public School
- Joseph Gibbons Public School
- Georgetown District High School
- Harrison Public School
- George Kennedy Public School (with French Immersion)
- Centennial Public School
- Stewarttown Middle School
- Silver Creek Public School
- Gardiner Public School
Architecture of E. J. Lennox
- Berwick Hall, the home of John R. Barber which is now an apartment building.
- Georgetown High School (1889–1959)
Industry and business
Major industries with head offices and facilities in Georgetown include Mold-Masters Limited, CPI Canada, Eastwood Guitars, and Neilson Dairy. Other major industrial concerns include Cooper Standard, ADM Archer Daniels Midland Cocoa (was Ambrosia Chocolate),Howmet Georgetown Casting, a division of Alcoa Power and Propulsion and Kingsbury Technologies (Canada) Inc. The community also serves as the Canadian headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses. Georgetown has seen an explosion of population growth in the south. This has caused new business to appear including Tim Hortons, Neighbours, Metro, and many others.
The Georgetown Marketplace is Georgetown's Mall. It has roughly 63 stores, including major companies such as WalMart. The mall is home to stores such as: Peoples Jewelers, Coles, Winners & Home Sense, and Ardene.
Recreation and parks
The Bruce Trail goes through Halton Hills, passing north of Georgetown.
The Town is developing a multi-purpose trail system in Hungry Hollow, on old railbeds and various other locations. A citizens group called HHORBA is trying to work with the Town in planning and constructing the trails to be as environmentally friendly, safe for hikers and enjoyable for bicyclists as possible. HHORBA helped construct a one trail and three bridges with members of the Bruce Trail. HHORBA in the past has been a member of the International Mountain Bicycling Association.
Georgetown Skate Park
Located outside of the Mold-Masters SportsPlex at 221 Guelph Street, this facility was made possible by the co-operative efforts of the Halton Hills Community through the Skateboarders, Inline Skaters & BMX Bikers of Halton Hills (S.I.B.A.H.H) Committee and the Recreation and Parks Department. Funding was provided through generous community donations and the Corporation of the Town of Halton Hills. The facility is user supervised and is managed through posted regulations.
The Halton Hills Public Library is a two-branch library system. Both branches reflect the historic character of the community. The Georgetown Branch (9 Church Street) is co-located with the Halton Hills Cultural Centre, anchored by the former Methodist Church (now the Art Gallery) and The John Elliott Theatre. The Acton Branch (17 River Street) was built as the community's centennial project in a park setting, across a foot bridge over a creek.
Library Highlights in 2007 include:
- Town council approved the Georgetown Branch Renovation/Expansion Project in principle.
- Popular material was made more accessible through the "Rapid Reads" collection and the "Hot Off The Press" service.
- A record breaking donation of $79,291 was received from the Georgetown Homecoming Committee for the Georgetown Branch Renovation/Expansion Project.
- Convenience was increased through the installation of wireless Internet access and debit service.
- Business collections were expanded to offer more programming for small business operators.
- General interest programs were reintroduced for adults.
- Profile was raised through media coverage partnerships and greater participation in community events.
Georgetown is covered by local newspapers and television through the following services:
- Georgetown Independent
- The Halton Compass
GO Transit and Via Rail serve Georgetown Station. There is no local bus service, although the Georgetown Halton Hills Activan provides local transportation for individuals with physical disabilities. GO Transit offers both bus and rail services through the Georgetown GO Station. The GO Transit Georgetown rail line runs between Toronto, Georgetown and Guelph. The GO bus connects to many of the nearby communities including Brampton, Toronto, Acton and Guelph.
Georgetown is also linked to the Provincial Highway network by Highway 7, and to Highway 401 by Trafalgar Road (Halton Regional Road 3), Mountainview Road/9th Line (Halton Regional Road 13) and Winston Churchill Boulevard (Halton Regional Road 19)
- Bob Goldham, Five Time Stanley Cup Winner
- Adam Bennett, Former NHL Hockey Player & first round draft pick
- Dan Dunleavy, Rogers Sportsnet sportscaster
- Timothy Eaton, Founder of Eaton's department store
- Mike Harris, Olympic curler
- Brian Hayward, Former NHL Goalie & William M. Jennings Trophy Winner
- Shawn Hill, MLB pitcher in the Florida Marlins organization.
- Mike Holmes, star of the home renovation show Holmes on Homes
- Bryan Lewis, Former NHL Director of Officiating
- John Malinosky, Former CFL Lineman
- John McCauley, Former NHL Director of Officiating
- Wes McCauley, Current NHL Referee 
- Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables, lived in Norval for a large part of her life.
- Ian Troop, CEO of the Toronto Organizing Committee for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games
- Karl Clark (chemist), Member of the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame 
- John Cummins (Canadian politician)
- Cristy Nurse, Olympic Rower
- John McDonald (author)
- Kenneth Walter Davidson, Former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia
- PJ Haarsma, Science Fiction author
- "Halton Hills Population Statistics". Town of Halton Hills. Retrieved July 7, 2011.
- Police, youths clash at fall fair. The Independent and Free Press, Sept 10, 2003.
- Halton Hills Public Library Annual Report 2007
- "Marlins sign Shawn Hill to minor league Contract". NBCSports.com. January 29, 2011.
- "NDHL Officials".
- Georgetown — Reflections of a Small Town, by John Mark Benbow Rowe, 2006, ISBN 0-921901-28-3 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK]
- The Story of Georgetown Ontario, by John Mark Benbow Rowe, 1992. ISBN 0-921901-12-7 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK]
- St. Andrews Church History
- Toronto Sketches 5 : "The Way we Were", Mike Filey
- Halton Sketches Revisited, by John MacDonald, 1996, ISBN 1-896867-00-6 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK]
- Halton County Railway Museum
- Guelph Radial Line
- Statistics Canada 2006 Census Data