St. Thomas, Ontario: Wikis

  
  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

City of St. Thomas
Circus mural with Jumbo on the northwest corner of the Manitoba St. and Talbot St. intersection.
Motto: Strength through progress
Coordinates: 42°46′45.34″N 81°11′0.11″W / 42.7792611°N 81.1833639°W / 42.7792611; -81.1833639
Country Canada Flag of Canada.svg
Province Ontario Flag of Ontario.svg
County Elgin County
Urban area
Settled 1810
Incorporated 1852 (Village)
  1861 (town)
1881 (city)
Government
 - Mayor Cliff Barwick
 - Governing Body St. Thomas City Council
 - MPs Joe Preston (CPC)
 - MPPs Stephen J. Peters (OLP)
Area
 - City 35.48 km2 (15.1 sq mi)
Elevation 230 m (755 ft)
Population (2006)[1]
 - City 36,110 (ranked 115th)
 Density 1,017.7/km2 (2,669.8/sq mi)
 Metro 457,720
  Census division population: 81,553
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal code span N5P, N5R
Website City of St. Thomas

St. Thomas is a city in Southern (Southwestern), Ontario, Canada. It is the seat for Elgin County and gained its city charter on March 4, 1881.

Contents

History

The city, located at the intersection of two historical roads, was first settled in 1810. It was named the seat of the new Elgin County in 1844 and was incorporated as a village in 1852, as a town in 1861. In 1871, St. Thomas and the nearby village of Millersburg (a village east of the town) amalgamated[2]. In 1881 St. Thomas finally grew to become a city.

Life-sized Jumbo statue

.

Ten years after the incorporation as a town, the developing village of Millersburg, which included these lands east of the London and Port Stanley Railway, amalgamated with St. Thomas.

In the late 19th century and early 20th century several railways were constructed through the city, and St. Thomas became an important railway junction. A total of 26 railways have passed through the city since the first railway was completed in 1856. It has earned the title of the "Railway Capital of Canada." In the 1950s and 1960s, with the decline of the railway as a mode of transportation, other industry began to locate in the city, principally primary and secondary automotive manufacturing.

Jumbo (the elephant) died here on September 15, 1885, when a locomotive crashed into him. There is a life-sized commemorative statue that was erected in 1985, on the centennial of Jumbo's demise.

The city was named after Thomas Talbot[3] who helped promote the development of this region during the early 19th century . The founder of the settlement that became St. Thomas was Capt. Daniel Rapelje, descendant of a Walloon family settled in New Amsterdam, now New York City, at its inception in the seventeenth century.[4] In 1820, Rapelje, the town's first settler, divided his land into town lots suitable for a village. Owner of the New England Mill, Rapelje subsequently donated two acres of land for the building of Old St. Thomas Church.[5]

In 1824, Charles Duncombe and John Rolph established the first medical school in Upper Canada, in St. Thomas, under the patronage of Colonel Thomas Talbot [6].

Between 1881 and 1988 the city had a private woman's school operating called Alma College (St. Thomas) which unfortunately was destroyed by fire in 2008.

St. Thomas has a rich history of late 19th- early 20th centurary architecture. Notably these include the Elgin County Court House, Wellington Street public school, and its City hall, all designated heritage properties and all designed by former resident Neil R. Darrach.

St. Thomas railway station, built between 1871 and 1873. Currently it is under restoration.

Government

Cliff Barwick is the current mayor of St. Thomas. The City Council consists of the mayor and seven Aldermen, all elected at large.

St. Thomas Transit, which includes both conventional bus service and paratransit, is owned by the city and staffed and operated by Aboutown Transportation.

Demographics

St. Thomas had a population of 36,110 people in 2006, which was an increase of 8.4% from the 2001 census count. The median household income in 2005 for St. Thomas was $54,876, which is below the Ontario provincial average of $60,455.[7]

According to the 2006 census, 95.5% of the population is Caucasian, 1.2% Aboriginal, and 3.3% Visible minorities.

Religious affiliation is 52.1% Protestant, 21% Catholic, 22.1% No affiliation, and 4.8% Other.

Education

Fanshawe College has a campus in St. Thomas. Catholic schools are controlled by the London District Catholic School Board and public schools are controlled by the Thames Valley District School Board. There are two independent Christian schools, St. Thomas Community Christian School and Faith Christian Academy.

Economy

The local economy has been dominated by automotive manufacturing, with two plants operated by Magna, the Ford St. Thomas Assembly in nearby Talbotville, and the Sterling Trucks plant. However, the recent global recession that impacted the auto sector ultimately trickled down to the city; the Sterling plant closed in March 2009, and the Ford plant is set to close in 2011. This has a domino effect on the other part manufacturers in town, such as Lear Seating.

Media

St. Thomas has several media outlets based in the city. The St. Thomas Times-Journal is the city's newspaper, owned by Bowes Publishers. Rogers Cable operates a local community channel comprising mostly of local and dedicated volunteers.

A low-power FM radio station — VF8016, 90.1 MHz — broadcasts religious activities from Faith Baptist Church of St. Thomas. CFHK-FM, branded as 103.1 Fresh FM, is also licensed to St. Thomas, although its programming largely targets the larger London market.

Sports

There is a dragway called St. Thomas Dragway located a reasonable distance away from the town and minutes east of the historical community of Sparta. The dragway was established in 1962 to better accommodate the local drag racing community.

Climate

Climate data for St. Thomas, Ontario
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) -1
(30)
-1
(30)
3
(37)
12
(54)
19
(66)
25
(77)
27
(81)
26
(79)
22
(72)
14
(57)
6
(43)
0
(32)
12
(54)
Average low °C (°F) -9
(16)
-11
(12)
-5
(23)
0
(32)
6
(43)
11
(52)
14
(57)
12
(54)
10
(50)
3
(37)
-1
(30)
-6
(21)
2
(36)
Precipitation cm (inches) 10
(3.9)
8
(3.1)
7
(2.8)
7
(2.8)
7
(2.8)
7
(2.8)
8
(3.1)
7
(2.8)
7
(2.8)
7
(2.8)
9
(3.5)
8
(3.1)
97
(38.2)
Source: Weatherbase [8] March 2009

Parks

Satellite image of St. Thomas

There are two major parks in the city: Pinafore Park in the south, beside Pinafore Pond; and Waterworks Park in the north, which is straddled by Kettle Creek and the Waterworks Reservoir nearby.

The Trans Canada Trail goes through St. Thomas, with a pavilion located in Jonas Street Park.

The Elgin Military Museum is located in the west end of St. Thomas.

Notable residents

References

External links








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message