Belleville is a city located at the mouth of the Moira River on the Bay of Quinte in South Central Ontario, along the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor.
Originally the site of an Anishinaabe (Mississaugas) village in the 18th century known as Asukhknosk, the future location of the city was settled by United Empire Loyalists. It was first called Singleton’s Creek after an early settler, George Singleton, and then as Meyer’s Creek after prominent settler and industrialist John Walden Meyers, one of the founders of Belleville who built a sawmill and grist mill. It was renamed Belleville in honour of Lady Arabella Gore in 1816, after a visit to the settlement by Sir Francis Gore and his wife.
In 1836 Belleville became an incorporated village. By 1846, it had a population of 2040. There were several stone buildings, including a jail and court house as well as some of the seven churches. Transportation to other communities was by stagecoach and, in summer, by a steamboat. Two weekly newspapers were being published. The post office received mail daily. Several court and government offices were located here. In addition to tradesmen, there was some small industry, three cloth factories, a paper mill, two grist mills, three tanneries and two breweries. Seventeen taverns were in operation.
Belleville became an important railway junction with the completion of the Grand Trunk Railway in 1856; this plus a booming trade in lumber and successful farming in the area helped increase the commercial and industrial growth. Belleville was incorporated as a town in 1850.
Good to know about Belleville:
- The Dixie Lee Fried Chicken chain (1964) and the Journey’s End Corporation economy limited service hotel chain (1978) were both founded in the city
- Belleville has a population of 50,716
- Home to the Belleville Senators, AHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators
- Belleville is served by the Public School Boards, The Catholic School Board, Provincial Schools and Private Schools
- Belleville is the largest urban Centre in the Quinte Region