Canadian Genealogy |Ontario Genealogy | Victoria County | Town of Lindsay

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Sewage System, Victoria County, Ontario Canada

Proper sewage arrangements for the town were slow in establishment.
In 1873, a stone drain, costing $5600, was built from the river south up Lindsay Street to Kent Street and thence west along Kent to about the present Post Office. This provided drainage for the swampy cellars of part of the business section. No further sewerage was attempted for another quarter of a century.

Shortly after the installment of the waterworks in 1892, the popular demand for sewage accommodation became vocal, and Willis Chipman, C.E., of Toronto, was engaged by the town to make a sewage survey. His report, rendered in September 1893, divided the town into six drainage areas:

(1) a small northwest area;
(2) a 1200-acre Brewery Creek area, separated from
(1) by a line from the highest point of land on the western boundary to the point where the Scugog crosses the northern boundary and from
(2) by a line from the corner of Kent and William streets to the corner of Durham and Cambridge streets, and thence south to the southern boundary;
(3) a 200-acre Lindsay Street Creek area;
(4) a strip, varying in width from 700 feet to 1500 feet, along the west bank of the river from Huron Street to the southern boundary;
(5) that part of the East Ward west of a line drawn north northeast from the south end of St. Patrick Street;
(6) that part of the East Ward to the east of the same line. To serve areas and the principal portion of the town, he proposed building two trunk sewers, one from Sussex Street along Kent, Cambridge, Wellington, and William streets, and emptying into the river at the foot of Francis Street, and the other north down Lindsay Street. All drains were to empty below the locks, where a minimum current of 10 feet per minute and an average discharge of 23,000 cubic feet per minute were considered sufficient for sewage disposal until the population exceeded 13,000. The sewers, too, were for sewage only. Storm water was to be left to the Wellington Street drain and the Kent Street storm sewer.

The cost of the Chipman system was estimated at $56,000, and, as the town was suffering from the effects of execrable management in earlier years, the council did not dare to undertake a work of such magnitude. Indeed, it was not until 1898 that any sewerage construction was begun at all, and the first vote then was only $1500. Cautious but steady development has been going on ever since.

Summary of Public Utilities

Today, there are some 1713 private dwelling houses in Lindsay. Figures secured from public utility officials show that 1191 (or nearly 70%) have sewerage and waterworks connection, and that 1391 (or over 80 %) are lighted by electricity.

The Streets of Lindsay

The streets of the town were long notorious as sloughs of despond. The townsite consisted, for the most part, of cedar swamp and the roads seemed mere stretches of bottomless bog. The late Charles Britton, who came to Lindsay in 1837, often claimed to have run a pole twenty feet straight down in the center of Kent Street without striking solid ground; and even the present generation can remember wagons being engulfed axle deep in the slab mud of the road.

From 1890 to 1910, many unsatisfactory experiments were made with macadam, which persisted in sinking quietly to unknown depths. Five blocks of asphalt pavement were laid down on William Street North in 1910 and gave immediate satisfaction. From 1916 to 1918, during the mayoralty of Richard Kylie and chiefly because of his persistent advocacy, all the main arteries of traffic were paved with asphalt or concrete. Thanks largely to Mr. Kylie, Lindsay has now over twelve miles of permanent roadway, and has passed at one stride from the worst to the best. It is probable that no town of its size in Canada has now such superlatively good thoroughfares.

Prior to 1883, the town was bare of shade trees. In April of that year, an Act introduced by the Hon. S. C. Wood, provincial member for South Victoria, authorized a government bonus of twenty-five cents for each tree planted. The town council supplemented this with a subsidy of fifty cents for each tree, and tree planting became the order of the day.

No thought was given to parks until May 1901, when the Board of Trade undertook the development of the south half of the Kent-Sussex-Peel-Victoria block. This "Victoria Park" was now leveled and seeded for the first time. In 1907, Richard Sylvester sold the town, for park purposes only, the major portion of the north half of the same block, asking for it only $300, the price he had paid for it twenty-five years before.

During the mayoralty of Mr. Kylie, a "Memorial Park" was acquired in Ops township on the banks of the Scugog, and time and care will doubtless transform it into a beautiful picnic resort.

Town of Lindsay

Victoria County

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