Exploring Great Destinations in the Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada
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Niagara Towns and Cities

The Regional Municipality of Niagara, or the Niagara Region comprises an area that contains twelve municipalities. Within each of these municipalities there are several large cities and many smaller towns and communities.

The Niagara Region is unique in it's geography, and so too, are the communities. Many of the larger cities such as Thorold, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines contain many of the manufacturing centres that the golden horseshoe is known for.

The area around the Lake Ontario shore is prime agricultural land and here you will find a high density of farming, primarily viticulture, or the growing of grapes for wine. Travel up the escarpment and now the towns become smaller and the communities more rural.

Naming Niagara

In September 1792 Governor Simcoe called a meeting of the first legislature at Niagara. Prior to this he had declared a proclamation announcing the formation of a new province and fixing boundaries for the electoral districts.

Early Niagara Townships

Upon his arrival at Niagara (Newark) he issued another proclamation dividing Upper Canada into nineteen counties to be represented by sixteen members. Governor Simcoe's method of naming conventions was simple.

All the counties would be named after a county in England or Scotland and then the townships would be named after various towns and villages within the original township in England or Scotland.

The first district to be named was Niagara. Originally Simcoe had renamed the town Newark and for many years it would be known as Newark but the name never stuck and people continued to refer to Newark as Niagara.

Later the additional "on-the-Lake" title would be given to distinguish it from its southern neighbour, Niagara Falls. Niagara district became the County of Lincoln, and each township within would be given the name of a township within Lincoln County, England.

Hence the township names Newark (Niagara-on-the-Lake), Grantham, Clinton, Louth, Grimsby, Caistor, Stanford, Gainsborough, Willoughby, Thorold, Crowland and Bertie.