Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Mitchell, Ontario

Mitchell, OntarioMitchell, Ontario was incorporated as a village in 1857 and in 1874 with a population of some 2000 it became a town. On January 1, 1998, the town amalgamated into the new Municipality of West Perth (2006 pop. 8,839).

In 1836 the Canada Company sold town plots. Within a year John Hicks, one of the earliest settlers, had erected a frame building for a hotel. Although settlement proceeded slowly at first, a sawmill was in operation by 1842. Following the opening of the Mitchell-Blanshard Road in 1845 stores and other mills were built and in 1851 the population had reached 150. The arrival of the Buffalo and Lake Huron Railroad in 1857 greatly stimulated the development of Mitchell.

Location of Mitchell, OntarioHall of Fame hockey player, Howard William Morenz (1902-1937) was born here. He died from complications of a multiple fracture broken leg suffered in game against the Chicago Blackhawks. In 1950 Morenz was voted the outstanding hockey player of the half-century by Canadian Press.

Today, the town's major employers include Parmalat Canada, makers of dairy products, and Cooper Standard Automotive, the Canadian centre for the company's automotive parts research and development program.