Welcome to the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville and thank you for visiting our profile page. Scroll down for translations in 17 additional languages.
Leeds Grenville, with a population of 99,306 (2011 Census), is considered a natural wonderland and vacation paradise because of its prime location overlooking the St. Lawrence River and the 1000 Islands. Leeds Grenville is located in eastern Ontario and is nestled between Kingston and Ottawa.
Over and above its ideal location, Leeds Grenville is a great place to do business. We are home to many international, national, regional and local businesses and industries which offer their employees a great quality of life with few, if any, commuting issues.
Leeds Grenville has experienced many changes over the past few decades, not unlike the rest of the province. Many of the heavy industries have given way to lighter businesses but Leeds Grenville continues to be a top-notch location for large-scale business operations. Few places in Ontario can claim to be located between two international bridges to the United States while also resting parallel to Highway 401 and the major link to Ottawa, Highway 416. Within our borders is the Port of Johnstown, a deep water port.
Tourism is another prominent sector given the St. Lawrence River and the 1000 Islands region, the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve, top-notch cottage country and the historic Rideau Canal Heritage Route all being located here.
Here in the Counties, residents have embraced their heritage. There is a unique blend of old and new. Visitors are invited to explore the area's many attractions, recreational activities and one-of-a-kind stores. Whether you enjoy boating, fishing, touring historic buildings and museums, antiquing, diving to discover famous shipwrecks or taking in one of many artisan studio tours, Leeds Grenville has something for everyone.
Leeds Grenville has a rich history dating back over 200 years. The region was founded largely by United Empire Loyalists, individuals who were still loyal to the Crown after the American Revolution. Many found their former homes inhospitable and wanted to begin new lives across the border. Land grants from the British government made the transition easier. Several of the communities established by the Loyalists are still flourishing today and have grown into major city centres.
Agriculture was the stable industry and is still the backbone of many communities. However, it was not long before other local industries began to emerge. Mills were usually the first to appear. Communities sprung up around them, growing in size and number, and encouraged other industries in the area. The Spencerville Mill and the Old Stone Mill in Delta are two of the oldest grist mills still standing in Leeds Grenville. The Delta Mill is one of the oldest stone mills in Ontario and has been designated as a National Historic Site (N.H.S). Both mills have been restored and are open to the public. The Old Stone Mill celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2010.
Other prominent industries in Leeds Grenville during its early development were cheese factories, blacksmith shops, tanneries, saw mills and furniture factories. Although many of these smaller industries have disappeared, a few, such as the Forfar Cheese Factory, still exist and are thriving today.
Leeds Grenville has been shaped and defined by the bodies of water located within its borders. The 1000 Islands, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the many lakes and rivers have influenced this region from the time of its earlier inhabitants to today's residents. These waterways and their surroundings have become international playgrounds offering excellent outdoor recreation opportunities, festivals, shopping and much more. The visually stunning 1000 Islands boast numerous mansions that can be viewed from the water. The St. Lawrence River is a boater's paradise in addition to being a major inland route for large ocean-going vessels. There are also two International Bridge border crossings at Johnstown and Ivy Lea that connect Canada and the United States. The Port of Johnstown, owned and operated as a division of the Township of Edwardsburgh-Cardinal, is a major resource for continued growth.
The Rideau Canal is considered to be an 'engineering masterpiece' since its completion more than 180 years ago The canal opened in 1832 and connects communities over its 202 kilometres and through a series of 24 lock stations. The Rideau Canal is both a National Historic Site and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is North America's oldest continually operating canal. It was originally constructed as an alternative shipping route to the St. Lawrence River and became an important commerce route. The communities that sprung up along side the canal once depended on the water for commerce. Over the years, however, the shores along the canal have become home to many marinas and harbours and a favoured area for recreational activity.
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