Police village

A police village was a form of municipal government used in the province of Ontario, Canada, beginning in the early 19th century. It was used in cases where the finances or population of the area did not permit the creation of a village.


In the first part of the 19th Century, the Parliament of Upper Canada established "boards of police" in municipalities that were not large enough in size to justify the creation of a municipal council.[1]

The creation of "police villages" was authorized in 1850, upon the passage of the Baldwin Act by the Parliament of the Province of Canada,[2] and was continued by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in 1873.[3] The law relating to them remained essentially unchanged until 1965, when the ability to create new police villages was abolished.[4]

The rules governing the formation of police villages were as follows:[5]

  1. A county council, upon the petition of a sufficient number of property owners and tenants, could erect a locality into a police village, so long as it had a population of not less than 150, and an area of not more than 500 acres (200 ha).
  2. Where the locality straddled two or more counties, the council of the county that had the largest portion of the locality was the one that could establish the police village.
  3. If the area was less than 500 acres (200 ha), the council could later increase the size up to that limit.
  4. If the population later exceeded 500, upon the petition of two-thirds of the owners and tenants, the area could be increased beyond that limit at the rate of 20 acres (8.1 ha) per 100 in population.
  5. If an expansion of a police village involved an extension into another county, it could not occur without the consent of the other county council.
  6. After the Ontario Municipal Board was established, such erections and expansions could not occur without its approval, and it also had direct power to erect and expand police villages where a county council failed to act on a petition, as well as where the locality was within one of the provisional judicial districts.

Almost all of the communities which once held that status have since been erected into villages, towns or cities, or have been amalgamated into other municipalities. Russell still exists as such a body.[6]

Police villages were dissolved with provincial acts creating new municipalities. In 1971, the creation of York Region resulted in the dissolution of Holland Landing, King City, Maple, Mount Albert, Nobleton, Queensville, Schomberg, Sharon, Thornhill, and Unionville as police villages.[7] The responsibilities of the police village boards were shifted to other boards or the municipality to which the police village was amalgamated. For example, the trustees of the police village of King City were deemed a commission for the King City Hydro-Electric System, which became a local board of the township of King with full transfer of all rights and obligations.[8]

Police villages

Former police villages by historical county in Ontario
Historical County Police village (with date of creation)
Brant County
Carleton County[12]
Elgin County
Essex County[14]
Haldimand County[15]
Halton County
Hastings County
Huron County
Kent County
Lambton County
United Counties of Leeds & Grenville
Lincoln County[23]
Middlesex County
Norfolk County[15]
United Counties of Northumberland and Durham[24]
Ontario County[24]
Oxford County[25]
Peel County[26]
United Counties of Prescott and Russell
Renfrew County
Simcoe County[27]
Victoria County
Waterloo County[30]
Welland County[23]
Wellington County
Wentworth County[32]
York County[7]
  1. ^ Since amalgamated with Brantford
  2. ^ Shared with Middlesex County until 1949
  3. ^ Shared with Wellington County until 1974
  4. ^ Dissolved in 1968, on the erection of the Town of Mississauga
  5. ^ established as a village in January 1911; erected into a town in May 1917 (An Act to incorporate the Town of Mimico, S.O. 1917, c. 77 ); amalgamated into the Borough of Etobicoke in January 1967 (The Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Amendment Act, 1966, S.O. 1966, c. 96, s. 14 )


  1. ^ as in the case of Brockville: An Act to establish a Police in the Town of Brockville, in the District of Johnstown, S.U.C. 1832, c. 17
  2. ^ An Act to provide, by one general law, for the erection of Municipal Corporations, and the establishment of Regulations of Police, in and for the several Counties, Cities, Towns, Townships and Villages in Upper-Canada, S.Prov.C. 1849, c. 81, s. 42
  3. ^ An Act respecting Municipal Institutions in the Province of Ontario, S.O. 1873, c. 48, s. 477
  4. ^ The Municipal Amendment Act, 1965, S.O. 1965, c. 77, s. 34
  5. ^ The Municipal Act, R.S.O. 1960, c. 249, s. 487-490
  6. ^ "2014 Municipal Elections - Official Results" (PDF). Township of Russell.
  7. ^ a b The Regional Municipality of York Act, 1970, S.O. 1970, c. 50, s. 2(2)
  8. ^ The Regional Municipality of York Act, 1970, S.O. 1970, c. 50, s. 178(3)
  9. ^ Marton, Michael-Allan (April 13, 2010). "Burford businessman worked to improve community". Brantford Expositor.
  10. ^ The Police Village of St. George Act, 1980, S.O. 1980, c. 45
  11. ^ Ibbotson, Heather (October 4, 2014). "Flashback Oct. 4". Brantford Expositor.
  12. ^ The Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Amendment Act, 1973 (No. 2), S.O. 1973, c. 138, s. 3
  13. ^ An Act respecting the Township of South Dorchester, S.O. 1948, c. 125
  14. ^ "Summary of the Municipal History of the County of Essex (1792 - 1923)". countyofessex.on.ca. County of Essex. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  15. ^ a b The Regional Municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk Act, 1973, S.O. 1973, c. 96, s. 2(2)
  16. ^ as acknowledged in An Act respecting the United Fuel Investments, Limited, the Town of Oakville, the Townships of Trafalgar and Nelson, Burlington Beach Commission and the Police Village of Bronte, S.O. 1929, c. 135
  17. ^ The Regional Municipality of Halton Act, 1973, S.O. 1973, c. 70, s. 2(2)
  18. ^ withdrawn from Halton under The Regional Municipality of Halton Amendment Act, 1973, S.O. 1973, c. 162, s. 1
  19. ^ "Order of the Commission made under the Municipal Act: Town of Clinton, Township of Goderich, Township of Hullett" (PDF). Ontario Gazette. 133 (9): 332–335. February 26, 2000. ISSN 0030-2937., at s. 9
  20. ^ a b c "Order of the Commission made under the Municipal Act: Township of Stephen, Town of Exeter, Township of Usborne, County of Huron" (PDF). Ontario Gazette. 133 (9): 336–342. February 26, 2000. ISSN 0030-2937., at s. 7
  21. ^ "Order of the Commission made under the Municipal Act: United Counties of Leeds and Grenville" (PDF). Ontario Gazette. 133 (29): 1328–1329. July 15, 2000. ISSN 0030-2937., at s. 8
  22. ^ "Order of the Commission made under the Municipal Act: Village of Cardinal, Township of Edwardsburgh" (PDF). Ontario Gazette. 133 (9): 325–327. February 26, 2000. ISSN 0030-2937., at s. 7
  23. ^ a b The Regional Municipality of Niagara Act, 1968-69, S.O. 1968-69, c. 106, s. 2(2)
  24. ^ a b The Regional Municipality of Durham Act, 1973, S.O. 1973, c. 78, s. 2(2)
  25. ^ The County of Oxford Act, 1974, S.O. 1974, c. 57, s. 2(2)
  26. ^ The Regional Municipality of Peel Act, 1973, S.O. 1973, c. 60, s. 2(2)
  27. ^ County of Simcoe Act, 1993, S.O. 1993, c. 33, s. 53(1)
  28. ^ "Order of the Commission made under the Municipal Act: County of Victoria" (PDF). Ontario Gazette. 133 (19): 892–898. May 6, 2000. ISSN 0030-2937., at s. 10
  29. ^ "Order of the Commission made under the Municipal Act: County of Victoria" (PDF). Ontario Gazette. 133 (27): 1227–1229. July 1, 2000. ISSN 0030-2937.
  30. ^ The Regional Municipality of Waterloo Act, 1972, S.O. 1972, c. 105, s. 2(2)
  31. ^ as acknowledged in An Act to detach Certain Lands from the Police Village of Crystal Beach, S.O. 1918, c. 57
  32. ^ The Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth Act, 1973, S.O. 1973, c. 74, s. 2(2)
  33. ^ Canadian Engineer. 63. Monetary Times Print Company. 1932. p. 42.
  34. ^ Love, Jean Catharine; Sawdon, Herbert H. (1928). "Schomberg and its school (S.S. No. 14, King)". Ryerson Press. Retrieved 10 September 2017.

Further reading

  • Rayburn, Alan (1997). Place names of Ontario. ISBN 0-8020-7207-0.

External links

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