Discover Greater Napanee, Ontario: A Blend of History and Modernity
Greater Napanee, Ontario, is a charming town nestled in southeastern Canada. It's approximately 45 kilometres west of Kingston and serves as the county seat of Lennox and Addington County. The town is situated on the eastern end of the Bay of Quinte and was formed in 1999 by amalgamating the old Town of Napanee with the townships of Adolphustown, North and South Fredericksburg, and Richmond.
A Glimpse into the History of Greater Napanee, Ontario
The first recorded settlement in the area of Greater Napanee was Ganneious, an Iroquois village inhabited by the Oneida from approximately 1660 to 1690. The village was located on or near the Hay Bay area, one of seven Iroquois villages settled on the northern shores of Lake Ontario in the 17th century.
The area was later settled by Loyalists in 1784, and Napanee was first incorporated in 1854. The town developed at the site of a waterfall on the Napanee River, where early industry could utilize the power potential of the river. The river transported logs from the interior north of the town, leading to the establishment of sawmilling, gristmilling, and other farm service industries.
Interestingly, Canada's first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, practised law in Napanee.
Historical Sites in Greater Napanee, Ontario
Greater Napanee is home to several historical sites, including the Allan Macpherson House, a historic 1826 property that now operates as a museum. Other notable sites include the Old Hay Bay Church, the County of Lennox & Addington Museum and Archives, the UEL Heritage Park Centre and Park, and the Loyalist Memorial Church.
The town's downtown core along Dundas Street is lined with historical buildings dating back to the 1800s. The Town of Greater Napanee's Self-Guided Historic Walking Tour provides locations and information on these sites and other historical locations nearby.
Annual Events in Greater Napanee, Ontario
Greater Napanee hosts several annual events, including the Napanee Riverfront Festival, the Multicultural Festival, Music By The River, the Scarecrow Festival, the Downtown Shopping Party, and the Big Bright Light Show. The town also hosts a bi-weekly Hometown Market in the summer months and the Napanee Country Jamboree and the Voodoo Rockfest in September.
Demographics of Greater Napanee, Ontario
According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Greater Napanee had a population of 16,879 living in 6,868 of its 7,461 total private dwellings. This was a change of 6.2% from its 2016 population of 15,892. With a land area of 462.3 km2, it had a population density of 36.5/km2 in 2021.
Shopping and Downtown Life in Greater Napanee, Ontario
The downtown area of Napanee has experienced a recent revival, with historical buildings taking on a new life. Downtown Napanee is home to a number of boutiques and has seen multiple revitalization projects, including The Waterfront River Pub and Terrace, a complete reworking of an abandoned limestone brewery right on the Napanee river.
Live Theatre in Greater Napanee, Ontario
Greater Napanee is home to the Lennox Community Theatre, which operates from The Village Theatre in the village of Selby. The theatre seats 80 and mounts five productions annually from September through June. A historical collection of programs stored at the theatre shows that Avril Lavigne performed on stage there as a child in productions of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, and Godspell.