The County of Victoria, or Victoria County, was a county in the Canadian province of Ontario. It was formed in 1854 as The United Counties of Peterborough and Victoria, and separated from Peterborough in 1863. In 2001, the county was dissolved and reformed as the City of Kawartha Lakes. Though first opened to settlement in 1821, the area that was encompassed by Victoria County has a history of Indian occupation, first by the Hurons.
The text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia.
The history of Victoria County began with the passing of The Constitutional Act in 1791, dividing Canada into two provinces: Upper Canada (present day Ontario) and Lower Canada (present day Québec); and appointing a governor for each. The first governor of Upper Canada was Colonel John Graves Simcoe, who arranged for the province to be surveyed and set out in tracts of land to immigrants with genuine interests of settlement. Before the land that became Victoria County could be surveyed, however, speculators had Simcoe removed from office in 1796, and the land was not open to settlement for over 20 years.
Following the War of 1812, a large wave of immigration prompted the province to purchase more land from local Indian tribes. On November 5, 1818, six Mississauga chiefs met with government officials in Port Hope. There they surrendered the rights to over four thousand square kilometres of land, known as the Mississauga Tract. In exchange, the Indians (numbering about 400) were to receive $750 per year in goods. However, the government later changed this to $10 per year for each living person born before the deal was signed.
The Mississauga Tract included all of Victoria and Peterborough counties, as well as parts of 28 adjacent townships. Following the purchase, the land became the Newcastle District. It was separated from the counties along Lake Ontario and renamed the Colbourne District in 1841. Following the abolition of the district administration in 1850 it became Peterborough County. In 1854, Peterborough County was again reorganized as The United Counties of Peterborough and Victoria, the first time "Victoria County" was named as such. Over the next decade, Victoria County gradually separated from Peterborough County, gaining a provisional government in 1861, and finally complete separation in 1863.
For the following 110 years there was no change in the structure of Victoria County. In 1973, Manvers Township was transferred from Durham County to Victoria County as a result of the restructuring of several county governments.
On January 1, 2001, Victoria County was dissolved, and its townships and incorporated communities were amalgamated into a single-tier municipality named City of Kawartha Lakes, a name chosen because of the prominence of the lakes in the geography of the region.
The text in this section is a shortened version of a portion of an article in Wikipedia.
Victoria County consisted of 13 separate townships and 6 incorporated villages with their own local governments. Population centres of the townships are listed in parenthesis.
The township of Laxton, Digby and Longford is an amalgamation of the once individual townships of Digby and Laxton, and half of the original Longford Township. The separate township of Longford is uninhabited, though dotted with abandoned logging towns.
The best and perhaps only source specific to Victoria County is a book by Watson Kirkconnell. The book may be read on the internet or downloaded for searching and reading on ones own computer.
A new and growing source for Victoria County residents is the vitacollection ,especially for individuals involved in WWII.