Discover Morrisburg, Ontario: A Rich History and Vibrant Community
Morrisburg, Ontario is a charming unincorporated community nestled in the Municipality of South Dundas in Eastern Ontario, Canada. As of the 2021 census, this quaint community is home to 2,398 residents.
The Historical Roots of Morrisburg, Ontario
The history of Morrisburg, Ontario dates back to November 11, 1813, when a small British force successfully repelled an invading American army at the Battle of Crysler's Farm. This significant event took place near what would later be known as Morrisburg.
United Empire Loyalist settlers established their roots in Dundas County, creating West Williamsburg, which was part of the ambitious Williamsburg Canal project. Between 1843 and 1856, canals were constructed on the north side of the St. Lawrence River. In 1851, West Williamsburg was renamed Morrisburg in honour of James Morris, a politician from Brockville, Ontario, who was appointed the first Postmaster General of the United Province of Canada.
The Evolution of Morrisburg, Ontario
Morrisburg was incorporated as a village in 1860 and began to develop a burgeoning manufacturing base, which included a gristmill, a carding mill, and a fanning mill. The Grand Trunk Railway reached Morrisburg in 1855, further boosting the village's growth. Eventually, a power station was constructed on the St. Lawrence River.
The 1950s brought significant changes to Morrisburg due to the anticipated flooding caused by the St. Lawrence Seaway project. Over 80 homes were relocated, and the entire downtown business district was demolished and moved to a shopping plaza. The Canadian National Railway line was also relocated 1.1 kilometers north of its original location. Much of the former railbed was repurposed for the reconstruction of Ontario Highway 2.
Morrisburg, Ontario: A Tribute to Pioneers
In the wake of the changes brought by the St. Lawrence Seaway project, buildings and other artifacts were moved and assembled to create Upper Canada Village. This living museum serves as a tribute to the area's pioneers and is a significant tourist attraction in Morrisburg, Ontario.
A notable incident in the history of high-speed rail in Canada occurred near Morrisburg in 1979. A UAC TurboTrain operated by Via Rail caught fire after developing an oil leak during its westbound service from Montréal to Toronto. The train was quickly evacuated, and a third of it was destroyed in the fire. The Turbo Trains were retired a few years later, in 1982.
In 1997, Morrisburg was amalgamated with the Village of Iroquois, along with Matilda and Williamsburg Townships, into the Township of South Dundas. Today, Morrisburg, Ontario continues to thrive as a vibrant community with a rich history.