Babbling over rocks and
pebbles through the grass-grown and wooded hills of a Halton County
ravine, a little stream is Sixteen Mile Creek, the early settlers named
it. It wends its way toward the western end of Lake Ontario. Here and
there it gladdens the heart of rustic youth with "swimming holes." while
all along its winding way loyal followers of Izaak Walton find finny
response to baited hook and line. As it reaches nearer the lake its
sylvan banks grow farther apart, the water deepens and the little stream
becomes a river, which evenly glides along its tortuous course until it
quietly empties into the great waters of Lake Ontario on their way to
the St. Lawrence Gulf. At the point where lake and river meet is
situated the Town of Oakville.
Looking across the lake northeast from this point on a clear day the
City of Toronto is visible in striking outline, the Canadian Pacific
Railway building and the tower of the City Hall breaking softly into the
sky-line. To the southeast may be seen the mountain hill of the Niagara
Peninsula, and in front, as an ocean, the blue waters of Lake Ontario
stretch out in seemingly unlimited expanse.
High banks, here sloping gently to a wide and sandy beach, there
dropping cliff-like to the water's edge, give picturesque effect, while
the quiescent music of incessant wash of waves against the shore lends
indescribable charm to the all-enchanting scene.
Along the lakeshore on both sides of the river and extending inward some
two miles, the residences of the town nestle in avenues of beautiful
shade trees of near a century's growth. Villa alter villa lies midst
maple, oak and elm which generations of growth in the native rich and
loamy soil have made superbly grand, while along the waterfront and in
the park and outskirts majestic pines sough sweetly with the lakeside
breeze. It is a place for homes.
The Mississauga Indian, who under Chief Brant played so important a role
in the war of 1812, once occupied the land where Oakville now stands.
When the Government surveyed this section >f country. 960 acres were
here set apart as Indian Reserve. Afterward the Reserve was ceded to the
Crown. Under Government instruction and by public advertisement, dated
the 10th of July, 1827, Thomas Ridout, then Surveyor-General, announced
that the property would be sold by public auction at Crooks Mills,
Nelson, on the fifth of August of that year. The sale took place
accordingly, the land being purchased by Colonel William Chisholm. He
obtained charter from the Government of Upper Canada and immediately
commenced the construction of Oakville Harbour, which was completed so
as to admit vessels in the year 1830. Colonel Chisholm became the
pioneer of the white oak-stave trade, the oak staves being manufactured
in Trafalgar and near-by townships and floated down the Sixteen for
shipment to Quebec.
The oak-stave trade became the origin of the towns name. Colonel
Chisholm laid out the town-site, and the name of Oakville was given by
the Hon. Robert Baldwin Sullivan, then Commissioner of Crown Lands.
Colonel Chisholm represented the County of Halton in Parliament for
By Act of Parliament Oakville was created a town in July, 1857. Colonel
George King Chisholm, a son of Colonel W illiam Chisholm, was
unanimously elected first Mayor, which position he held for six
consecutive years, namely until the close of the year 1863, when he
refused re-nomination. Since then the municipal chair has been filled as
follows:- 1863-65: H. F. Romain; 1866: Col. C. K. Chisholm; 1867-70:
John Barclay; 1871-72: W. McCraney; 1873-74: Col. C. K. Chisholm;
1875-83: P. A. McDouglad; 1884-87: George Andrew; 1889-91: John
Urquhart, M.D.; 1892: Geo. Andrew; 1893: Thomas Patterson; 1894: W. H.
Young; 1895: C. C. Marlatt; lsaac. H: W. H. Young; 1898-99: John
Crouhart; M.D.; 1900: Hedley Shaw; 1901-03: John Kelley; 1904-05: W. H.
Robinson; 1906-07: John Kelley; 1908-09: W. S. Davis; 1910-12: George
TOWN COUNCIL AND OFFICIALS
The 1912 Council i-
thus composed: Mayor, George Hillmer; Beeve, A. S. Forster; Councillors:
Walter Whitaker, W. II. Carson, Chas. H. Cross, VV. D. Gregory, J. T.
Ma. 1. leu and W. E. Featherstone.
Water and Light Commissioners: C. C. Marlatt, Chairman; Mayor George
Hillmer and P. A. Bath; Mrs. M. C. Irvine, Secretary-Treasurer.
Assessmen Commission: Oakville was one of the first towns in Canada to
adopt the idea ol an assessment commission. L. D. Snyder. Commissioner;
W. S. Savage, Assessor; Robert Marsh and James Hunter, valuators.
MUNICIPAL OWNERSHIP and IMPROVEMENTS, ETC.
The Electric Light and
Waterworks are under municipal control, being managed by three
commissioners. The mayor is always one of the commissioners. The other
two commissioners hold office for two years, one retiring each year, his
successor being elected by popular vote at the annual municipal
elections. A retiring commissioner is eligible for re-election, Mr. C. <i.
Marlatt, for instance, having been a first appointee and successively
For lighting purposes electricity is secured from the Dominion Power
Company at a very low cost and is supplied the residents at moderate
rates, and yet sufficiently in advance of cost to net the town a good
The waterworks system is exceptionally good. The water is secured from
Lake Ontario, some half-a-mile out, passes through a filtration basin,
pumped into a standpipe and from there distributed to all parts of the
town. Official analysis shows the water as of the besl in the Province.
It is supplied the residents at low cost, but the commissioners have so
managed that a substantial revenue is secured the town from this source.
Sewage, granolithic walks and other local improvements are paid for by a
frontage tax extending over a number of years.
For the computing of taxes Oakville property is given low valuation,
notwithstanding which the assessment reaches over a million and a half
of dollars, and the revenue from taxes, electric light and power,
waterworks and other sources reaches considerably over $20,000 a year.
At the present time the town is installing a thorough and most modernly
constructed sewage system, on which some hundred thousand dollars is
being spent this year. This is of necessity disarranging the streets for
traffic to a certain extent, but as soon as work on the sewers is
completed the streets are to be paved and otherwise improved at large
outlay until they will vie with those of any town in Canada.
Granolithic sidewalks, of which there are already some twenty-five
miles, prevail throughout the town and new streets are being constantly
laid with it.
The Oakville Fire Brigade is a volunteer organization whose efficiency
has been well demonstrated on more than one occasion, notwithstanding
that the town has been remarkably free from fires. There are forty-four
members with Mr. Alfred Hillmer as their Chief. Fire drills take place
regularly once a week. The equipment includes hook-and-Iadder wagon,
hose-reels and all the most modern appliances for fighting fire. The
water supply is unlimited. It is pumped from Lake Ontario to a large
standpipe and carried from there throughout the town. The electric
pumping station for filling the standpipe is equipped with the most
modern appliance. Hydrants are placed at all needful points of the town.
The maximum hydrant pressure registers 120 pounds and the minimum 70
pounds, the Fire Hall is substantially constructed of brick. It is
centrally and well located. As a result of the efficiency of the Fire
Department the insurance rate set by the fire underwriters is low.
The Public Library and Reading Room would do credit to a much larger
town. There are some five thousand volumes in the library, and the
reading room is supplied with the best magazines and periodicals of the
day. The Reading Room is open to the public from 10:00 a.m. until 9:30
p.m. and the Circulating Library from 1:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. Mrs. M.
C. Irvine is the efficient and courteous librarian; Mr. H. L. Read is
The educational interests of Oakville (1912) are under the direction of
the following Board: Wm. Busby, Chairman; Rev. I. K. Munro, Dr. C. B.
Dorland, D. C. Morgan, H. W. Page, H. W. Litchfield, Alfred Hillmer. H.
D, McDermott, T. W. Slean, Thos. Marker. D. LeBarre, Alex. MacDonald, W.
O.Joyce; W. E. M. Crawley, Secretary.
The Public School which is situated on the east hank of the river close
to the main street, occupies the same ground that it has for
generations. Its interior has recently been remodeled and it is now
modernly equipped throughout. Between two and three acres of land
reaching to the water's edge make ideal playground. There is an average
attendance of some three hundred pupils and the school shows a high
standard amongst the public schools of the Province. Mr. W. F. Sanderson
is principal and is ably assisted by the following teachers: Miss V.
Sherman, Miss C. K. Pollock, Miss U. Wolfe. Miss H. K. Browne, Miss V.
K. Hunter and Miss K. C. Gilbert.
The Oakville High School is one of the best in the Province, not only as
respects the building itself with its four acres of well-planned
grounds, but also in the matter of teaching and teaching facilities.
present building was completed and opened in the spring of 1910. It is a
large and handsome brick edifice with every convenience that science has
brought to the art of modern school building. The class-rooms arc
spacious, the ceilings high, the corridors wide the ventilation fair
changing by automatic device every twenty minutes is perfect. The
laboratory is admirably equipped and throughout everything requisite for
the conduct of a high-grade institution of learning is provided. An
ideal lecture-room gives scope for debates, literan entertainments and
public meetings, while two side rooms, one for each sex, give
opportunity for preparation of participants. The staff is as follows: L.
J. Williams, B. A. (Queens), principal, Mathematics and Science; Miss
Winifred Oven. B. A. (Western University), Latin. French and German;
Miss Winifred Dengate, H. A. (MacMaster), English, History, Art and
On the lakeshore just west of the town is situated the well-known
Appleby School for Boys, planned after the great preparatory schools of
England. The buildings are new. large and especially constructed to meet
all the requirements of a high-class residential school. In addition to
usual studies, special attention is given to scientific physical
training, boating, riding, etc. The 1ocation on the lake is particularly
good. There are some thirty-three acres of beautifully-wooded land, well
adapted and well laid out For the purposes of the school. The following
is the staff: Headmaster: J. S. H. Guest, M.A. Corpus Christi College,
Cambridge), late of Upper Canada College; House Master: V. H. de B.
Powell. B.A. (Keble College, Oxford); The Rev. W. S. Blyth, M.A. Toronto
University); E. Whittington, B.Sc (London University); Lady
Superintendent: Miss Edith Grindley; Assistant Superintendent: Miss
Olive Sheringham; Secretary: Mr K. C. Leslie; Physician: V. A. Page,
M.D.. (Edinburgh): Physical Training Instructor; Sergt.-Major Joseph
Young date of Royal Marines.
POST OFFICE AND CUSTOMS HOUSE
The Post Office and Customs House Building is a substantial brick
structure on the main street. Mr. L V Cote is Postmaster. Captain
Maurice Felan is Collector of Customs. Mr. Wyatt S. Wood, Inspector, and
Mr. H Eyre Coote Holmes, Assistant Inspector of Customs, are stationed
Lakeside Park comprises some three acres of exceptional beauty
stretching along the lakefront close to the Harbour. The banks are high,
the beach wide, the outlook over lake superb. Band concerts here on
moonlit summer evenings are without compare.
George's Square. This resting-place lies midway between the lake and the
Grand Trunk Railway station. It is a delightful grove of mainly pines.
The property was presented to the town for park purposes by the late
Colonel George King Chisholm.
A new park of some four acres has recently been secured to the town by
the acquisition of the old Horticultural and Agricultural Exhibition
Grounds. It is proposed to make this an ideal Recreation Park, with
proper provision for cricket, lacrosse, baseball, running track, bowling
green, tennis courts, etc., and for winter use a large outside skating
rink. It is further planned to remodel the building now on the ground
and make it suitable for indoor athletics of all kinds, including
gymnasium, skating rink with heated dressing rooms for both sexes, and
arrangements for entertainments of various kinds, such as celurcs. stage
performance, dancing, etc. The whole proposition is unique in Canadian
municipal undertakings. According to the plan now in progress of being
carried oul the Council is expected to vote a considerable sum towards
the necessary outlay and upkeep and the balance requisite is to be
secured by subscription. In order that arrangements and regulations may
not be subject to the whims of changing municipal councils it is
intended that the management shall be placed in the hand of a permanent
Board, on which the Council will, of course be represented. A number of
prominent residents have already subscribed a substantial amount and a
general subscription has been opened.
Those who have heard the Oakville Band resume give praise. Those who
have yet to hear it have a musical treat in store. Mr. W. H. Tuck is
Bandmaster, and has with him some thirty members, each of whom is a
musician trained to his own instrument. In summer evenings concerts are
given at Lakeside Park, where lake and music make combined attraction.
Pleasing architecture is a feature of Oakville's churches. There are
five. Methodist Rev. H. Dunlop; Anglican, Rev. H. F. D. Woodcock;
Presbyterian, Rev. H. K. Munro; Roman Catholic, Rev. Father Savage;
American Methodist Episcopal, Rev. Joshua Wickard Edgehill.
The Oakville Club is a
select organization that is a credit to and a pride of Oakville
citizens. It is open to both sexes. Membership is by ballot. Expenses
are paid by membership lees and dues. The Club House, which presents a
pleasing exterior of shingle-finish, is situated on the river's cistern
hank near to the Harbour. Without, there is a boathouse members, bowling
green and tennis courts; within there are rooms for social gatherings,
card rooms, dancing room, bowling alley, billiard tables, reading room,
and all the perquisites of a well-furnished club. Mr. F. A. Prime is
President, Mr. W. S. Davis. Vice-President and Mr. H. I. Read,
Besides the Oakville Club the town has its full quota of athletic clubs,
covering every variety of sport.
RAILWAYS AND TRAMWAYS
The main line of the Grand Trunk Railway between Toronto and Hamilton
passes through Oakville, making connection at these points for all parts
of the country.
Fourteen passenger trains stop at the Oakville station daily, giving
opportunity to reach the near-by cities at almost any hour of the day or
The Canadian Pacific Railway has running rights over the Grand Trunk
System on this division, and while its passenger trains do not stop here
its freight trains do, making it a competing point with the Grand Trunk.
The Canadian Northern Railway is about to construct a line from Toronto
to Hamilton, which it is understood will pass through Oakville and thus
further increase the town's rail facilities.
The Hamilton Radial Railway has an hourly service between Oakville and
Hamilton A radial line from Toronto now reaches Lome Park, but nine
miles from Oakville, and it is promised that this will he completed to
Oakville at all early date.
No town in Canada is so uniquely and so advantageously situated as a
place of residence as is Oakville. Lying midway between Toronto and
Hamilton less than twenty miles from either city it becomes In days of
rapid transit but a suburb of the two greatest cities in the Province of
Ontario. Little over half an hour takes one by railway or Tram to these
cities and this time will be appreciably lessened as facilities
increase. While an hour's easy run by auto takes one to either place.
lt will not be many years until Toronto's population reaches the million
mark, while Hamilton's growth as a manufacturing city is fast making it
one of the great industrial centres of the world. As these cities grow
and become congested the demand for suburban homes will constantly
increase and more and more will come the desire to live away from the
hustle, hustle, heat and dust of the turmoiling city to be able to reach
the city daily for business hours and when the day's work is done to
practically step into a complete change of atmosphere where clear air
and happy surroundings will offset the strenuous work of the business
day. This cannot he found in the city itself; miles away, and yet it
must he somewhere that affords all of the many modern city conveniences.
Oakville not only completely fills all these requirements but it is so
close to the near-by cities that advantage may be taken of theatres,
concerts and all the many evening enjoyments of a great city and the
return home made by the after-theatre trains, while students at the
University, Conservatory of Music and like institutions may daily attend
and yet be home at night.
In summer and winter alike Oakville is ideal. In summer time the
Oakville Beach makes one of the most delightful bathing resorts both
lake and river are alluring to lovers of the rod an excellent boathouse
affords canoes, rowboats and sailboats lor those who do not possess
their own, while the bowling green, tennis courts and near-by golf-links
offer their special attractions. In winter time skating, curling and all
the bracing, health-giving sports of Canadian winter life are to he had.
At home in Oakville one seems as if a thousand miles from stifling city
life and yet in actuality is but a step away.
As is natural with the wonderful strides being made by Toronto and
Hamilton, Oakville's population (now about 120,000) is rapidly
increasing and property values are steadily going upward, and as the
residential property in the almost adjoining cities soars in price,
there will be a corresponding upward tendency in Oakville real estate.
But always, no matter how the near-by cities grow or how congested they
become, Oakville from its very position will remain truly suburban, and
there will be opportunities for the securing of real villa homes homes
that in so-called suburban city lots would run into prohibitive prices
Not even the wonderful Niagara Peninsula nor the famous Annapolis Valley
can excel the Oakville District in the raising of fruit. Apple, plum,
pear and cherry orchards for miles around not only make a veritable
forest of trees, but they produce fruit of the highest grade to be found
anywhere in Canada. Vineyards abound, yielding grapes of all varieties.
In all directions may be found acres upon acres of highly cultivated
bushes bearing blackberries raspberries, black and red currants and
gooseberries, while more strawberries are grown in this section than in
any other part of the Dominion. Each year the area under yield is
growing rapidly and the cultivation becoming scientifically better. In
no part of Canada is there such opportunity afforded for investment in
fruit lands as in this district, not only because the location and soil
are peculiarly adapted to the growth of fruit, but because the great
cities of Toronto and Hamilton give immediate markets for everything
produced. The completion of the permanent paved roadway between Toronto
and Hamilton will still further augment the great advantages of this
district to fruit-growers, fanners and market-gardeners by enabling them
to utilize motor-trucks to the fullest extent in the transportation of
their produce to market.
MARKET GARDENING, FLOWERS
Owing tn the proximity of Toronto and Hamilton, the vicinity of Oakville
enjoys, the most advantageous position in Canada as a place for market
gardening and the cultivation of flowers for sale in the two great
cities, where the demand is greater than the supply and the prices
Mr. John Cavers, the well-known horticulturist, has his famous Douglas
Gardens at Oakville, and already there are others here who find paying
business in flower culture, while vegetable-raising is combined with
fruit-growing with highly-profitable results.
SMALL FARMS, CHICKEN RAISING, SQUAB INDUSTRY
Like the Niagara Peninsula the Oakville District is rapidly becoming a
centre for small farms, which, through high cultivation and scientific
utilization, are proving far more profitable than the old-fashioned
hundred-acre farm where unscientific methods were employed.
Not only are these farms devoted to fruit and vegetable growing, but
also to the raising of chickens, which, with eggs at present prices and
the high market value of poultry, proves a very paying enterprise.
With the marvellous growth of Canadian cities then has come a strong
demand for squab. Very few in Canada have entered this business, but now
at Oakville Mr. P. A. Bath has established a pigeon farm and is breeding
thousands of Ciarneaux pigeons, a Belgian bird of large size, the young
of which are reputed to be the finest known squab. Large buildings have
been constructed for the pigeons, the most approved nest arrangements
have been adopted and modern contrivances of all kinds utilized. It
indicates but another development of the small farm for which no
district in Canada is so advantageously situated as Oakville.
OAKVILLE LAND INVESTMENTS
Land has been the safest form of investment since the world began. That
it will so continue is certain. Canada to-day is offering the greatest
opportunities fur land investment of any country in the world. Nowhere
in Canada is investmenl in land more certain to prove profitable than
midway between the rapidly growing cities of Toronto and Hamilton.
This is the Oakville District. A perusal of this booklet proves Oakville
to be one of the beauty spots of Canada and pre-eminently suited for the
building of country homes. Good mails and better transportation
facilities are being advocated for this District by those in high
authority. This indicates advance in land values and means that the
present is good time to buy.
We have a copy of a
book about Oakville which the above was taken from. It is a poor quality
scan but none the less can be read so if you'd like to learn more about
Oakville in the olden days you can download this book here in pdf
I also spent some days
in Oakville and took some pictures which you can view
Some links for
The Town of Oakville