Discovering Forest, Ontario: A Blend of History and Modernity
Forest, Ontario, a charming community nestled in Lambton Shores, Canada, is a hidden gem near Sarnia and Lake Huron in Lambton County. With a population of 2,876 (as per the 2011 Census) and a land area of 5.26 square kilometres (2.03 sq mi), Forest, Ontario, offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modern amenities.
Community Life in Forest, Ontario
Forest, Ontario, is home to North Lambton Secondary School, a comprehensive educational facility boasting a large gymnasium, cafeteria, and meal preparation facilities. The community also supports elementary schools in both the public (Kinnwood Central Public School) and catholic (St. John Fisher) school systems.
Recreational facilities in Forest, Ontario, are abundant. The community features an enclosed arena for hockey or ringette, a community centre for town dances, baseball and soccer fields, a lawn bowling club, public tennis courts, and a splash pad. The town's agricultural society hosts a fall fair and occasional campsites on its grounds. Golf enthusiasts will find a dozen golf courses within a 20-mile drive.
Cultural Highlights of Forest, Ontario
The Forest Amphitheatre, a natural amphitheatre located at the Esli Dodge Conservation Area in the southern part of the town, is a popular cultural hub. The stage, situated on a small island, hosts outdoor performances each summer, attracting hundreds of spectators who enjoy the shows from the surrounding hillsides.
The Forest Museum, housed in the old Forest Home Bakery building at 8 King St. N, offers a glimpse into the town's history. Established in 1963, the museum showcases permanent displays of First Nations artifacts, military memorabilia, local businesses, schools, and churches, among others.
Film lovers can enjoy a movie at the Kineto Theatre, one of the world's oldest movie theatres in operation since 1917. Owned and operated by the Kiwanis Club of Forest, the theatre can seat up to 225 people and is open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday.
The Historical Roots of Forest, Ontario
Forest, Ontario, owes its name to the dense forest that once covered the area. When the Grand Trunk Railway was built through the town, the station was aptly named 'Forest'. Hickory Creek, which meanders through the town, provided water for the station in the days of steam locomotives.
The first post office, established in 1859, was also named Forest. The town grew around the junction of three township boundaries, with parts of Warwick, Plympton, and Bosanquet townships all annexed into the town. Today, none of these townships remain as political units due to amalgamation, with Bosanquet joining Forest in forming Lambton Shores.
Forest, Ontario, initially thrived on fruit growing operations, with a canning factory and a basket factory once operating in the town. In recent years, the town has become a dormitory community for the city of Sarnia and, to a lesser extent, London, Ontario. The extensive tourism area along the shores of nearby Lake Huron also supports several businesses, and several small factories supporting the auto industry have opened in recent years.