Delhi, Ontario

Delhi, Ontario
Unincorporated hamlet in Norfolk County
Delhi, Ontario

Location in southern Ontario

Coordinates: 42°51′9″N 80°29′56″W / 42.85250°N 80.49889°W / 42.85250; -80.49889Coordinates: 42°51′9″N 80°29′56″W / 42.85250°N 80.49889°W / 42.85250; -80.49889
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
Established 1826 as Sovereen's Corners
Incorporated 1893
Amalgamated 2001 (Single-tier municipality)
  Mayor Charlie Luke
  Governing Body The Council of The Corporation of Norfolk County
  MPs Diane Finley (Con)
  MPPs Toby Barrett (PC)
  Land 2.97 km2 (1.15 sq mi)
Elevation 210 m (690 ft)
Population (2011) 4,172
  Density 1,405.4/km2 (3,640/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
  Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal code span N4B
Area code(s) (519)

Delhi (pronounced DEL-high) is a former township (now an unincorporated community) located off of the junction of Ontario Highways 59 and 3. Delhi is known as the "Heart of Tobacco Country."[1] Prior to 1880, this community was known for its lumber industry.[2]

Founded by Frederick Sovereign as Sovereign's Corners around 1826, the community was renamed Fredericksburg and eventually to its present-day name of Delhi.[3] The name is usually attributed locally to a postmaster honouring a major city of the British Empire, Delhi, India.


Delhi Cemetery was first established sometime in the 19th century. While it was originally a cemetery exclusively for residents who were members of the Roman Catholic Church, changes in cemetery policy made it possible to have anyone buried on their property. At least 111 people and families are buried there.[4] The last names of the graves belong to different ethnic groups ranging from Anglo-Saxon, French Canadian, Eastern European, and those of Belgian descent. There are even few Chinese families buried within the cemetery and a large number of tombstones are written in languages other than English.

Back in the 1960s, Delhi had its own police station complete with its own jail.[5] Until the 1970s, most non-essential services and businesses closed earlier on Wednesday afternoons. While this made them economically uncompetitive with other counties, it allowed employees to spend more with their families. Other economic factors, including the abolition of Canada's blue laws in 1985,[6] eventually forced most businesses to operate seven days a week.

Delhi had its own town hall and mayor until the municipal structure of Norfolk County was centralized on January 1, 2000; mayor Roger Vermulen resigned at that point and was replaced by Norfolk County mayor Rita Kalmbach by the end of 2000.

This community reached a state of economic stagnation with the early-2000s decline in the tobacco industry; this problem has also affected the rest of the Ontario tobacco belt including the nearby community of Tillsonburg.[7]

While Quance Dam received an all-time high in water levels during the unusually warm winter of 2009,[8] recent droughts and the erosion of the older portion of the dam is putting the future of this local public works facility into jeopardy. Partly inactive since the 1930s, it was sold to the Quance family in 1987. The newest part of Quance Dam was completed in 1995 once plans to convert it into a hydroelectric plant fell through.[2] More than 1000 fish pass through Quance Dam on an annual basis; a great decrease since 1959 when more than 4000 fish would pass through. The reason for the collapse in fish population was sedimentation, the introduction of stocked fish and human development.

Old Delhi train station

Old Delhi Train Station

The St. Thomas and Eastern Railway started operations in the area on November 9, 1998.[9] It is a shortline railroad that serves places like St. Thomas and Tillsonburg that lack the feasibility for service by a Class I rail carrier like Canadian National or Canadian Pacific. The primary customer for the St. Thomas and Eastern Railway in Delhi is Growmark, Inc. (formerly the Norfolk Co-Op).[10]

A railway station for passengers was located on the corner of William and Main streets (42°50′56″N 80°30′03″W / 42.848825°N 80.500937°W / 42.848825; -80.500937 (Old Delhi Railway Station)) prior to the 1970s. While the railways were originally thought to be the way to ship cargo in and out of Delhi, the faster and cheaper truck convoys eventually won the day, bringing an increase of traffic volumes and smog into the community.[11] Major products like ethanol, rye, agricultural chemicals and fertilizer products are sent back and forth between Delhi and St. Thomas.[10]


While most of Delhi is flat, there are hills on several of the town roads.[12] Modes of transportation that are possible in Delhi include cycling, running, walking and hiking. The streets that are in older neighborhoods tend not to have sidewalks; making urban trail walking a perilous adventure.[12] A bus service makes scheduled trips to the major communities of Simcoe, Delhi, Port Dover, Port Rowan, and Waterford.[13] Service is from Monday to Friday; with no services on Saturdays, Sundays, on major statutory holidays, or after 6:00 P.M.[14]

There is a valley that spans a distance of 5 kilometres or 3.1 miles between Delhi and Lynedoch that contains remnants of Ontario`s original old growth Carolinian forest, adding up to just over one square mile.[15] The major highway route connecting this community to Port Talbot was constructed primarily on an old Native American trail. Delhi remained isolated from the rest of Southwestern Ontario until 1816 when Colonel Thomas Talbot began directing the surveyor to build Highway 3 strictly on higher elevation land. This executive decision in road building is what led to the irregular and winding route to Aylmer that Ontario Highway 3 is today.[16][17] Most of Delhi was basically a dense forest until the first generation European settlers came in to build farms and mills during the 1820s. Swamps can be seen within the lower elevation portions of the region while Big Otter Creek is located within close proximity to the downtown core.


Delhi has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb). Winters are cold with a January average of −7.8 °C (18.0 °F) in January and most days have maximum temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F). Though winters are cold, mild stretches of weather can bring temperatures above 10 °C (50 °F) in January. The average annual snowfall is 133 centimetres (52 in), with maximum accumulations of it occurring in February when the snow depth is 10 centimetres (4 in). Summers are warm and humid with a July high of 27 °C (81 °F) and a July low of 15 °C (59 °F). Temperatures above 30 °C (86 °F) occur 10 days per year. The average annual precipitation is 1,010 millimetres (40 in), which is relatively evenly distributed throughout the year. Delhi averages 2021 hours of bright sunshine per year or 43% of daylight hours, ranging from a low of 21.2% in December to 62.2% in July.[18]

Climate data for Delhi
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 18.3
Average high °C (°F) −2.1
Daily mean °C (°F) −5.7
Average low °C (°F) −9.4
Record low °C (°F) −33.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 70.1
Average rainfall mm (inches) 36.8
Average snowfall cm (inches) 33.3
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 14.4 12.4 12.6 13.0 11.9 10.4 10.5 9.4 11.3 11.6 13.8 14.6 146.0
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 4.6 4.2 8.4 11.9 11.9 10.4 10.5 9.4 11.3 11.6 11.6 7.5 113.2
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 10.5 9.0 5.2 1.4 0.04 0 0 0 0 0.12 2.4 8.3 37.0
Mean monthly sunshine hours 84.0 98.6 132.3 189.3 242.5 272.1 289.1 251.1 179.1 139.2 84.3 59.6 2,021.1
Source: Environment Canada[18]

Education and employment

Delhi District Secondary School

The local high school, Delhi District Secondary School has faced the threat of closure in the past, but the local school board has committed to keeping the school open for the indefinite future.[19] Delhi's high school offers courses in science, physical education, math, French, family studies, English, and co-operative education (for the transition from academic life to employment). The local secular elementary school is Delhi Public School. Saint Frances Cabrini Catholic School is also located in Delhi and is part of the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board's elementary division.

The unemployment rate in Delhi is 7.5% as of 2001.[20] Farming remains the predominant local industry, with tobacco and ginseng being the main cash crops. While Delhi used to be a place where transient adolescent workers could find employment quickly, the local police force started to take a less tolerant stand towards these job seekers in the later years.[5] One of the most recent farm-related businesses is Dennis' Horseradish, a locally-made horseradish produced five minutes south of Delhi on the Jason Ryder farm.[21][22] Local farms rely in part upon Caribbean and Central American workers, who usually arrive around mid-to late April and return to their homelands around early-to-mid November. Recent years have seen migrant workers complaining of unequal treatment and economic hardships in the hands of local farmers.[23] Proper Spanish-language services for these offshore workers are only available in Simcoe; where these businesses tend to prosper during the farming months and be vacant buildings during the winter.

Two manufacturing plants once were located here; Delhi Industries and Delhi Foundry, Delhi Metal Products, . They both closed due to the changing Canadian economy that emphasized more on service jobs than jobs in traditional manufacturing fields. Delhi Industries lasted until the midst of the Canadian economic recession when it closed down on March 2010; terminating 61 Canadian jobs on a permanent basis. They once made fans and blowers for industrial operations in the region.[24] Lake Erie Warehousing is currently located in the former Delhi Industries building; it provides industrial customers in Southern Ontario with vital logistics, trucking and storage services.[25] 2600 people in Norfolk County have officially joined the workforce between June 2012 and June 2013. Local businesses have been slowly expanding again. Innovative ways to operate business ventures have indirectly improved the lives of workers who live in Delhi. The economy of the Greater Toronto Area along with the rest of the world may become further interconnected with the economy of Delhi.[26]

Delhi has the only Your Independent Grocer franchise in Norfolk County. It is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Matt Wilkinson and is located on the Main Street of Delhi leading into the downtown core.[27] The store itself is a basic one-storey building with three rows of parking and eight aisles for shopping. A drug store is located nearby where stamps for the post office box can be purchased in bulk.

As of 2012, there are seven medical doctors who practice conventional medicine within the town of Delhi. All of these doctors have been reviewed by local patients in a positive light.[28] The local health clinic was built in the mid-2000s and continues to expand in order to attract more medical personnel.[29]


Delhi Community Centre

Delhi is home to the Delhi Travellers, a junior hockey team that plays in the Southern Ontario Junior Hockey League. They are also the home of various minor soccer, minor baseball, minor soccer, and minor hockey teams. Minor sports are played by young people between the ages of 3 (for the Initiation age group) and 20 (for the Juvenile age group) in this region. These events are played out either at or near the vicinity of the Delhi Community Arena.[30]

The local high school plays against other high schools in the region in sports like football, basketball, volleyball, soccer (association football), tennis, badminton, cross country, track and field, scholastic wrestling, and swimming. Close rivalries have developed over the years; particularly with Simcoe Composite School, Valley Heights Secondary School and Holy Trinity Catholic High School.

North Creek was once the most important spawning point for the local fish species until it was dammed in 1965.[31] Prior to the 1960s, local residents and avid fishermen alike would often stake out ideal fishing spots near the once-fertile tributaries. North Creek is used today as a means to provide a supplemental water supply to the municipally-owned aquifers.[32] The fishing scene within the actual town limits of Delhi has floundered since 1966; forcing today's fishermen to drive to the hinterlands in order to guarantee a catch. Some fishermen have been known to drive to Port Ryerse and Long Point in the search for their next meal or pleasure fishing expeditions.


Until 2001, Delhi was located within the Township of Delhi, a municipal government within the Regional Municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk. Delhi continues to have several subdivisions located nearby; including Pinegrove, Gilbertville, and Atherton.

The northern end of the Pinegrove subdivision is an elite residential neighborhood with houses averaging around $600,000 while the southern end of the community is a typical working class residential community with houses costing around $200,000.[33] Neil Adcock's development company was responsible for developing the northern end from approximately 2006 to the present day; hydro was fully established sometime in 2012. Atherton is considered to be a farming community while Gilbertville is considered to be a working-class hamlet with some agriculture-related industries nearby.

Prior to the amalgamation of Norfolk County, the population of the former Township of Delhi was 16,365 in the Canada 2001 Census.[20] The majority of the residents at that time were married Anglophones who were born in Canada.[20] Even though Delhi has the most impressive Roman Catholic churches, the majority of residents in Delhi during the early 2000s were Protestant.[20] Community halls exist for those of Belgian,[34] German,[35] Polish and Hungarian background. The population also includes those of Dutch, Portuguese, Greek, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, British along with a background in the First Nations community.

In the 2011 census, only the 4172 people who lived with the proper urban boundaries of Delhi are counted as "Delhi residents" for the purposes of categorizing Canadian residents. Just 665 of these Delhi residents are considered to be of school attending age while young school leavers consist of 505 legal Delhi residents. 17% of Delhi's population has never married; as opposed to 47% of Delhi residents being in a marriage-type relationship and almost 10% of Delhi being either divorced, separated or widowed.[36] The rising cost of wedding reception services and the changing local economy has caused Delhi residents to get married on cruise ships and "destination weddings" for much cheaper than the money it takes to have their reception at either the German Hall, the Belgian Hall or the Hungarian Hall. Delhi's population is expected to grow to approximately 5,215 residents by 2056.

The most common surnames in Delhi are Verhaeghe, Deckers, Masschaele and VandenBussche. All of these last names signify people of Belgian descent. Delhi is considered to be the 119th largest community in Ontario.

Notable persons


  1. "Delhi Harvestfest". Retrieved 2007-04-16.
  2. 1 2 "History of Sovereen-Quance Mill". Retrieved 2012-10-09.
  3. "Delhi, Ontario, Canada". Norfolk Tourism. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  4. "Headstones in Delhi Cemetery (Delhi, Ontario)". Canadian Headstones. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
  5. 1 2 "Picking tobacco in Delhi, Ontario". Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  6. "CanLII - 1985 CanLII 69 (S.C.C.)". Canadian Legal Information Institute ( 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2009-09-24.
  7. Perkel, Colin (2008-08-01). "Ontario tobacco buy-out". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
  8. "High water levels at Quance Dam, Delhi". YouTube. February 13, 2009. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  9. "Significant dates in Canadian railway history". Colin Churcher's Railway Pages. August 16, 2005. Retrieved November 8, 2005.
  10. 1 2 "Principal customers served (St. Thomas and Eastern Railway)". Trillum Railway. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  11. "Delhi's Train Stations". Discover Delhi Ontario. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
  12. 1 2 "Delhi Urban Trails". Ontario Trails. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  13. Monte Sonnenberg (October 2011). "Sharp gets Norfolk shuttle contract". Simcoe Reformer. Retrieved January 2012. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  14. Ride Norfolk Bus Service information at
  15. "Delhi Big Creek Valley". Archived from the original on 2012-11-23. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
  16. Shragge 1984, pp. 27–29.
  17. May, Gary (September 2010). "You'll Love this Lakefront Trail! History, Scenery Abound on Road Col. Thomas Talbot Built". Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  18. 1 2 Environment Canada Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000, accessed 18 March 2012
  19. Hartlen, Vicki (2007-04-04). "Choosing DDSS was right decision, grad says". Delhi News-Record. Bowes Publishers. Retrieved 2007-04-16.
  20. 1 2 3 4 "Community Highlights for Delhi". 2001 Community Profiles. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2007-04-16.
  21. Ryder Farms Inc. information at Wholesome Pickins
  22. Dennis Horseradish Inc at Norfolk Farms
  23. "Mud and Big Skies - My Summer in Delhi, Ontario". Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  24. "Delhi Industries to close doors in March". Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  25. "Lake Erie Warehousing Ontario". Retrieved 2013-03-01.
  26. Daniel Pearce (June 2013). "Optimism being felt in Norfolk". Simcoe Reformer. Retrieved June 2013. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  27. "Your Independent Grocer in Delhi, Ontario, Canada". Retrieved 2012-11-23.
  28. "Doctors in Delhi, Ontario". Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  29. "Delhi Community Health Centre plans expansion". Retrieved 2012-12-05.
  30. "Delhi Rockets hockey team information". Delhi Rockets. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
  31. "Steelheading Lake Erie Lake Erie's North Shore Tributaries" (PDF). The First Cast. March 4, 2011. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  32. "Long Point Region SPA Updated Assessment Report" (PDF). Source Water. February 7, 2012. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  33. Property Details for 34 Lyndhurst Avenue, Pinegrove Ontario at Your Online Agents
  34. "Delhi Belgian Club". Retrieved 2014-04-20.
  35. "The Delhi District German Home". Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  36. "2011 Census profile for Delhi, Ontario". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-26.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 8/11/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.