The history of Burlington is rich and exciting. Dive into Burlington’s history and the settlers that came here more than 300 years ago to learn about this community’s roots.
The many natural advantages of this area attracted Indigenous people long before the arrival of the first white settlers along the lakefront in the late 1700s. In 1784, the British granted a large land tract to Captain Joseph Brant in recognition of fighting on the side of the British in the American War of Independence. The sale by Brant of lots in his block marked the beginning of the area that evolved into what we know today as Burlington.
The wave of Loyalist settlers into this area as a result of the American Revolutionary War was followed by immigration from the British Isles and Europe. By 1900, Burlington had evolved into a prosperous farming community with mixed farms and cash crops of fruit and vegetables.
The agrarian period of Burlington’s history was marked by activities that have disappeared. Commercial canneries, ice harvesting and basket factories have been replaced by modern companies and high-tech industries that have brought an influx of residents.
From the first settlers to this area over 200 years ago, Burlington has grown into a highly successful urban area with an appealing quality of life. It boasts natural settings with 581 hectares (1,436 acres) of parkland and some of the best hiking in the world – as it is home to sections of the Bruce Trail and the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO-designated World Biosphere Reserve. The Waterfront Trail – part of the Niagara-on-the-Lake to Québec border trail – along with Spencer Smith Park gives you a front-row seat to panoramic views of Lake Ontario. The cream-coloured sandy beaches and tepid waters at Beachway Park are a hot ticket item all summer long. Burlington excels in public art, culture, and active living.
There’s lots to see and do in Burlington. Come and enjoy! For more information, visit Tourism Burlington.