Strathroy-Caradoc,_Ontario

Strathroy-Caradoc, Ontario

Strathroy-Caradoc is a municipality located just west of London, Ontario, Canada. It was created through the merger of the former township of Caradoc and the town of Strathroy in the late 1990s. Its two largest settlements are Strathroy and Mount Brydges.

Strathroy-Caradoc is a primarily rural municipality. Industries include turkey and chicken hatching and processing, corn and tobacco. Some industrial products are manufactured in Strathroy, the township's largest locality and its commercial, cultural and industrial centre.

Settlements within Strathroy-Caradoc largely grew up around the Sydenham River and the southwestern Ontario railways. Three major railway lines pass through the municipality: the CN (Canadian National Railway) Chatham Subdivision (connecting Windsor and London, Ontario), the CP (Canadian Pacific Railway) Windsor Subdivision (also connecting Windsor and London), and the CN Strathroy Subdivision (connecting London and Sarnia, Ontario).

Municipally, Strathroy-Caradoc is situated within Middlesex County. At the federal and provincial levels of government it is represented by the riding of Middlesex—Kent—Lambton.

The current mayor of Strathroy-Caradoc is Mel Veale.

Communities

Strathroy is located 40 kilometres west of the City of London, Ontario, and is the largest community in Middlesex County outside of London. The community is situated next to Highway 402 between London and the border to Port Huron, Michigan, USA at Sarnia, Ontario. Strathroy's economy is diverse, and major industries include automotive manufacturing, agriculture and food processing.

Mount Brydges has a small commercial "downtown" featuring mostly local businesses and shops. The only educational institution in the village is Caradoc Central Public Elementary School. Local agriculture includes maize, tobacco and wheat. The soil composition of the region is largely sandy (a phenomenon referred to locally as the "Caradoc Sand Plains") as a result of deposits created on the bottom of the glacial Lake Whittlesey which covered the area approximately 13,000 years ago.

The name of the village is often incorrectly abbreviated as "Mt. Brydges", based on the assumption that "Mount" signifies "Mountain". In fact, the name of the village was derived from the names of two local individuals, a surveyor and a railway worker, with the last names "Mount" and "Brydges". Notably as well, a topographical survey of the area shows that the village is not located on a point of increased elevation, as might earn it the title "Mt.".

Mount Brydges is home to the Mount Brydges Bulldogs, a junior hockey team that plays in the Southern Ontario Junior Hockey League.

The township also contains the smaller communities of Cairngorm, Campbellvale, Caradoc, Christina, Falconbridge, Glen Oak, Longwood, Melbourne and Muncey.

History

Strathroy was first settled in 1832 by John Stewart Buchanan at a location on the Sydenham River with flow and fall sufficient enough to power a Gristmill. A general store opened in the settlement in 1840. Strathroy was incorporated as a village in 1860 and became a town in 1872 under the motto "We Advance". Buchanan named the settlement after his hometown of Strathroy in Ireland, now a suburb of Omagh in Tyrone County, Northern Ireland. The name of current restaurant Johnny Buck's in Strathroy pays tribute to the town's founder.

In 1866, The Age newspaper was established to compete with the already-established Western Dispatch newspaper. The Western Dispatch was purchased by The Age in 1923, which later became The Strathroy Age-Dispatch. The newspaper is still published weekly.

Arthur Currie, who would later become the commander of Canadian forces in Europe during World War I, was born here on December 5, 1875.

In the fall of 1876, Bixel Brewery opened in Strathroy, producing lager beer for a century before its closing. Other breweries in the town have included the "Western Steam Brewery", "Strathroy Brewing and Malting" and "West End Brewery".

In 1896, the Strathroy Furniture Company opened its doors, and was henceforth renowned for nearly a century for making residential furniture. On July 15, 1992, the company declared bankruptcy and a liquidation sale was held in October 1992.

On February 14, 1914 the first patients were admitted to what would eventually become Stathroy Middlesex General Hospital. At the time, the hospital was municipally-owned. The current building opened on June 23, 1962 as a two-story structure with 82 beds. The hospital was the location at which Native Canadian "Dudley" George succumbed to the gunshot wound he suffered at the Ipperwash Standoff at nearby Ipperwash Provincial Park on September 7, 1995.

In 1950, Mac Cuddy purchased a farm near Strathroy with a purported bankroll of $3,000. This farm would eventually turn into the largest producer of fertile turkey eggs and day old turkey poults in the world.

On January 13, 1954, West Middlesex Memorial Arena opened in Strathroy. To commemorate the occasion, the NHL's Montreal Canadiens played an exhibition game at the arena, defeating the local Junior 'B' team the Strathroy Rockets 14-3 in front of 3100 spectators.

On March 22, 2004, the town's 117-year-old train station was destroyed by a fire that took more than 35 firefighters to get under control. Adolescent boys were charged with starting the fire .

In 2005, Strathroy was connected to the Lake Huron Water Pipeline. This ended the town's existing reliance on groundwater and wells.

Education and Culture

Strathroy has two secondary schools that share basic facilities, Strathroy District Collegiate Institute and Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School. Each serves the town and its outlying area.

Cuddy Farms, the world's top turkey hatching company, has its Canadian headquarters in Strathroy. The town is known locally as the turkey egg capital of the world (perhaps incorrectly), and its largest yearly event is the Strathroy Turkey Festival run by the Strathroy Lions Club.

The populace is largely Caucasian and Anglo-Canadian, however, large minorities of Portuguese (predominantly Azorean) and Dutch settlers immigrated after World War II.

Media

Strathroy has a weekly newspaper, the Strathroy Age-Dispatch, and a local radio station, CJMI-FM. The region is otherwise served by media from London.

Notable people

References

External links

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