|Municipality of Meaford|
"Set your sights on Meaford"
|Formed||January 1, 2001|
|o Mayor||Barb Clumpus|
|o Federal riding||Bruce--Grey--Owen Sound|
|o Prov. riding||Bruce--Grey--Owen Sound|
|o Land||588.57 km2 (227.25 sq mi)|
|o Density||18.7/km2 (48/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|Forward sortation area|
|Area code(s)||519 and 226|
Meaford is a municipality in Grey County, Ontario, Canada. Meaford is located on Nottawasaga Bay, a sub-basin of Georgian Bay and Owen Sound Bay, in southern Ontario. The municipality's seal and motto reflect its heritage as a place of apple orchards, but in the 21st century the area has partly switched to weekend homes, seasonal homes, and lakeside tourism.
In 1837, when this area was part of the St. Vincent Township, locals asked the government for a piece of land at the mouth of the Bighead River. The first settler was from Ireland, before the townsite was laid out by Charles Rankin in 1845 and called Meaford. By then, a sawmill and gristmill were already operating nearby; the post office there was called St. Vincent. Meaford saw little growth until 1850 but then began booming; it had a library by 1856.
The post office was renamed Meaford in 1865, after the birthplace of John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent, for whom the township of St. Vincent is named; by then, the community was booming and had connection by steamship and roads with the railway at Collingwood. The community became a town in 1874.
In 1872, there were six churches; the railway arrived at Meaford, serving its population of 1700. By the early 1880s, Meaford boasted three planing mills, three carriage factories, two tanneries, a sawmill, a shingle mill, a woollen mill, two foundries, two flour mills, a dozen general stores, and a wide range of other stores and tradesmen. The community also had ten hotels. A public school was added in 1868 with 152 students within a year. A high school was opened in 1890.
In 2001, with the amalgamation of various municipalities in Southern Ontario, St. Vincent Township, Sydenham Township and the Town of Meaford, were amalgamated to form one municipality entity. Sydenham Township named in part for Lord Sydenham, governor of Canada from 1839 to 1841. St. Vincent Township was named after the Earl of St. Vincent and Meaford was named after his stately house. A township is an area of land (about 15 miles by 12 miles)that is divided into 100 acre farms (usually). For more than one hundred years the townships of Ontario were municipal entities with an elected council and a reeve. Sometimes a small area of a township was separated and incorporated as a town. The town was then a separate and distinct municipality. This was the case with Meaford in 1874 when it was separated from St. Vincent township. However it ceased to be a town at the time of amalgamation.
A transition team preparing for the new municipality voted in September 2000 to name it Georgian Highlands, with the name Meaford ranking second. Highland Hills, Georgian Shores, Bayview, Trillium, Big Head Valley, Georgian View, Cape Rich, Bay Shore Highlands, Georgian Bay Highlands, North Grey and Queen's Bush were other names considered.
But the council of the new Georgian Highlands municipality voted 4-3 on 5 February 2001 voted to name the amalgamated area Meaford, citing confusion with nearby municipalities such as Georgian Bluffs and Grey Highlands. A by-law to formalize the name change to Meaford for the amalgamated area was subsequently passed on 5 March 2001, also by a 4-3 vote.
Since that time confusion has continued in the use of the name "Meaford". At present the name "Meaford" is commonly used in reference to the urban area formerly known as the Town of Meaford, while the name "Municipality of Meaford" is commonly used in reference to the merged region resulting from amalgamation in 2001.
Populations prior to amalgamation (2001):
The former mayors of Meaford were:
Meaford is on the eastern edge of the Bruce--Grey--Owen Sound federal and provincial electoral district.
A local public transit service makes stops within urban Meaford but not in Sydenham or St Vincent. Greyhound Canada stops daily at the town of Meaford on the route from Toronto to Owen Sound. Local taxis service the area around the town of Meaford.
Billy Bishop Regional Airport is located in the municipality on Highway 26 between the Town of Meaford and Owen Sound.
Meaford has two public schools with the Bluewater District School Board;
The town is served by two community newspapers, the Meaford Express and the Meaford Independent, the latter originally an online only publication, however as of May 31, 2013 and the former being sold and eventually ceasing publication, is available both online and in print. CKNX-FM, originating from Wingham, Ontario to the south, has a low-power retransmitter on 104.9 FM to serve the municipality. Meaford is otherwise served principally by media from nearby Owen Sound. Rogers cable is available in the Town of Meaford while residents in the former St. Vincent and Sydenham have access only to Satellite TV.