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Town of Bancroft
—  Town  —
Iron foot-bridge over the York river, connecting to Millenium Park, Bancroft.
Motto: A four seasons playground.
Bancroft, Ontario is located in Ontario
Bancroft's location in relation to Ontario.
Coordinates: 45°03′N 77°51′W / 45.05°N 77.85°W / 45.05; -77.85
Country Canada
Province Ontario
County Hastings
Settled 1853
Renamed October 15, 1879
 - Mayor Lloyd Churchill
 - Council Bancroft Town Council
Bancroft Ward
Dungannon Ward
 - Land 227.84 km2 (88 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 - Total 3,838
 - Density 16.8/km2 (43.5/sq mi)
The population decreased 6.1% from 2001 to 2006.
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Area code(s) 613 (332 & 334 exchanges)
Bancroft was originally named York Mills.

Coordinates: 45°03′N 77°51′W / 45.05°N 77.85°W / 45.05; -77.85

Bancroft (2006 Population 3,838) is a town located on the York River in Hastings County in the Canadian province of Ontario.



In 1853 the first pioneer family settled in the area, and over the next 15 years the settlement grew quickly, as another 88 families followed. Originally called York Mills, it was later renamed Bancroft by Senator Billa Flint, after the maiden name of his wife, on 15 October 1879.[2]

The town was once a centre for uranium mining, and the closing of the Madawaska mine caused some economic hardship.


Station Street, Bancroft

Located in Central Ontario, part of the Canadian Shield, Bancroft is well known in Canada as an excellent location for rockhounding. Bancroft styles itself as the "mineral capital of Canada" and holds an annual event in August called the Rockhound Gemboree.

There is also a Mineral Museum in Bancroft dedicated to the area's storied mining history. There is little active mining going on today.

A popular location is a craggy lookout called Eagle's Nest, a short distance north of the town. This scenic cliff, with a height of over 60 m (200 ft), overlooks the York River valley, the town of Bancroft, and other densely forest-covered ridges that surround it. It was the location of one of Ontario's first ever heavy steel fire towers in the 1930s built by the former Dept. of Lands and Forests. 12 m (40 ft) icicles dangle from its largest and most massive cliff in the winter and conceals parts of it entirely. It is a popular spot for mountain climbers to practice ice climbing in the winter. However, the road to the top is steep and generally impassable in the winter. Another popular location is a series of abandoned Mineral caves/mines at Egan's Chute on Highway 28 north-east of Bancroft.

Egan's Chute lies east of the town on Highway 28. The chute is a small gorge which the York River churns through, creating white water falls.

The local post office on Station St. services locals with lock boxes and five rural routes.

The lakes surrounding Bancroft are dotted with cottages, mostly seasonally occupied. One of the largest and most beautiful in the area, with a very fine public beach, is Paudash Lake, about 15 minutes south down Hy. 28.

Bancroft lies in a region criss-crossed with snowmobile trails, making it a hub for snowmobilers in the winter months. In the summer these trails are used by hikers and ATV enthusiasts.

The local curling club has existed for 50 years (est. 1957), and has hosted increasingly notable bonspiels - including a recent (winter 2005) Ontario Regional Men's Championship and (March 2008) Tim Hortons Colts Provincial Championship. The town now sports one 9 hole golf course, and one 18 hole golf course.

Bancroft is now the proud owner of a state of the art skate park (est. 2008). Located on the Hastings Heritage Trail. The skate park was designed by Spectrum Skate Park Creations and was fund raised for by the North Hastings Freedom Skate Park Committee. Through the many oppositions that the committee had, they succeeded. The Skate parks grand opening was on May 30 2009.


In 2004, Bancroft won TVOntario's "Most Talented Town in Ontario" contest. A large number of artists and artisans live in the surrounding area, and when exhibiting together in events like the "Fall Studio Tour" the local talent is quite remarkable.

The town has the Bancroft Village Playhouse, a theatre which has been hosting sold out plays and musicals since the early 1990s.

Notable people


The old train station in Bancroft served as the Chamber of Commerce and Mineral Museum, until it was condemned in 2008. The Chamber, Mineral Museum, and Art Gallery have since relocated to other sites in the town.

Bancroft lies at the intersection of two provincial highways, Highway 28 and Highway 62.

Bancroft is served by a small airport, Bancroft Airport, with a 2,200 foot (670 meter) crushed gravel runway, located immediately adjoining the town. The airport is operated by the Bancroft Flying Club and is freely available to the general public. Due to high terrain near both ends of the runway, pilots typically use a non-standard circuit, following the York River valley through the town for departing from runway 12 or landing on runway 30.

The railroad used to go through the town. The first train from the Central Ontario Railway arrived in November 1900. The railway went through the Musclow-Greenview road and extended behind Birds Creek through a back trail (which is now used for cyclists and fourwheeling) and continued through the town eventually going further away from the town at the 'Y' road division. The line was closed in 1975 and subsequently removed. [2]


Nearby Silent Lake Provincial Park provides local camping opportunities. American sportsmen fished and hunted on this private lake for 40 years before it became a park. Silent Lake has a rocky and undeveloped shoreline, a mixed forest and marshes full of birds and wildlife best seen by canoe. A rugged trail circles the lake, and sections of groomed ski trails have been graded for mountain biking.




  • Bancroft Times
  • Bancroft This Week
  • North Hastings Advertiser



See also


  1. ^ "Stats Canada - Bancroft, Ontario". 2001 Community Profile. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2006-07-12.  
  2. ^ a b Bancroft & District Chamber of Commerce, Bancroft District 2006 Destination Guide

External links


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