Niagara District was established in 1800 from the Home District. Only eight years after its formation, the Home District administration found itself with a much larger territory and population than it could cope with. The original Niagara District covered the present the present County of Lincoln, most of the present County of Haldimand, and eight townships then attached to the north of Haldimand which later formed Wentworth County. The original Haldimand County also included the County of Welland which was not made a separate county until 1845 (see below). Newark, which had previously been the Home District’s administrative centre, became the administrative centre for Niagara Region. Newark was renamed Niagara and would later become Niagara-on-the-Lake.
In 1816, parts of the Niagara District and parts of the Home District were separated to form the Gore District. This was when the townships in the northern part of Haldimand were cut away to form part of Wentworth.
In 1845 Welland County was separated from Haldimand County but continued to be under the administration of Niagara District until the Districts were abolished in 1849. Immediately after the districts were abolished the area was named the United Counties of Lincoln, Welland and Haldimand. The three counties each formed individual administrations within the next few years.
The Archives of Ontario has produced a series of maps illustrating the growth of the District system across the province. Each map ought to be expanded to its maximum size in order to benefit from the information it contains. Return to the collection using the "back" button on your browser.
Ontario Districts: an Explanation
When Upper Canada was formed in 1788 it was immediately divided into four districts: Hesse, Nassau, Mecklenburg and Lunenburg. In 1792 these names were changed to Western, Home, Midland and Eastern respectively. The expansion in population of the province, and in the area settled, obliged the number of Districts to increase. By 1849 there were twenty individual districts, each with a number of counties under its jurisdiction.