Sunderland, Ontario

Sunderland is a community located approximately 100 km northeast of Toronto, Ontario in Brock Township, in the Regional Municipality of Durham, Ontario, Canada. This is currently one of the very few populated areas of the Greater Toronto Area where the Trans Canada Highway passes near, thus also making this the closest point from the highway to the City of Toronto at 100 kilometres (62 mi) apart.

Unincorporated community
Coordinates: 44°15′49″N 79°3′56″W / 44.26361°N 79.06556°WCoordinates: 44°15′49″N 79°3′56″W / 44.26361°N 79.06556°W
Regional municipalityDurham
 • Total0.5 km2 (0.2 sq mi)
200 m (700 ft)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Forward sortation area
Area code(s)705
NTS Map031D06

Business and commerce

Sunderland has a community of small businesses that focus primarily on the needs of surrounding rural families. Downtown Sunderland also has a number of restaurants, drug store, dog groomer, grocery and bottle store, hardware store, an art gallery, a museum (Sunderland & District Historical Society), bank, post office and a branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.


The land that the Town of Sunderland was built on, was granted in the early 1820s to United Empire Loyalists. (Sir Isaac Brock's Estate was given 1,400 acres (5.7 km2) of free land in the vicinity). Sunderland slowly grew around the Brock Hotel - a popular overnight stop for travelers that was owned by Lorenzo Jones. The first post office was called Brock and was run by Andrew Hill; it was located just north at the modern junction of Highway 12 and 7th Concession.

Sunderland was originally called Jones Corners, as both Arch and Lorenzo Jones owned property in what became the downtown core. They produced a town plan and it was renamed Sunderland by 1871 when the Toronto - Lindsay Line of the Toronto and Nipissing Railway was built. The town's population grew rapidly during this time. (Vroomanton, a larger village to the west was bypassed by the railway, and its population subsequently dropped).

Sunderland's name is thought to come from Charles Spencer, the Third Earl of Sunderland in England. He was the Secretary of State, and he helped move Palatine German families to London and then, with Queen Anne's aid, to Ireland in the early 18th century. Many of the men in these families had ancestors who fought for Britain in the American War of Independence in 1776 and in the War of 1812 in the New World, and so, in 1818, after the wars, for their efforts, they were granted free land in what was to become Brock Township, Ontario. These early Palatine settlers included surnames like: Shier, Baker, Bagshaw, Switzer, Lowe, St. John, Lodwick, Brethour and Doble.

Hurricane Hazel struck Sunderland in 1954, and another storm in 1957 destroyed the skating arena and tore out many trees. Although the railway ceased operations through Sunderland in the 1980s, the town has remained vibrant, due in no small part to its close proximity to Toronto, Lindsay, and Newmarket.


The region around Sunderland is rolling farmland, with dense first-growth deciduous forests and rich agricultural soil. Sunderland displays many typical traits of a temperate humid climate. Its altitude and proximity to the Canadian Shield allows for much deciduous forests with beginning sprouts of coniferous trees.


Sunderland has one public school, Sunderland Public School, which celebrated its 50-year anniversary on 20 October 2007. The nearest high school is Brock High School, located west of Cannington.


Sunderland is home of the Brock Minor Hockey Association and the Sunderland Skating Club


Sunderland hosts the annual Maple Syrup Festival at the beginning of April each year.[1] The town also hosts the annual Sunderland Agricultural Fall Fair in September of each year.[2] This fair has been held annually since the 1850s and is the longest continuously running fair in Ontario. As well, Sunderland hosts Orange Parades with the Orange Order, usually during the month of July.

Service clubs

Sunderland has been home to a local Lions Club since 1955. As of 2011 the club has approximately 60 members which puts it amongst the largest in its Lions International District known as A-16. The club runs various fundraisers throughout the year such as a Car Draw and Beach Volleyball tournament as well as annually hosting a Blue Rodeo concert. All profits from these events are put back into service projects and used for the purpose of community betterment. One of the club's largest service projects is the annual Sunderland Lions Music Festival which is held over 3 weeks, beginning in Mid-February.

Nearby communities


Other information

  • Area code: +(00)1-705
  • Postal code: L0C 1H0

There are about 30 homes on the extreme south-west corner of Brock Township with (rural route) Sunderland mailing addresses and a 905 North American area code.


  1. ^ Sunderland Maple Syrup Festival
  2. ^ Sunderland Agricultural Fair
  3. ^ Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 8 November 2018 to 0901Z 3 January 2019.

External links

Blackwater Creek (Sunderland) Aerodrome

Blackwater Creek (Sunderland) Aerodrome, (TC LID: CSD7), is 2 nautical miles (3.7 km; 2.3 mi) west of Sunderland, Ontario, Canada.

George Arthur Welsh

George Arthur "Art" Welsh DSO & Bar (28 July 1896 – 16 February 1965) was a Canadian flying ace, farmer and political figure. He represented Muskoka—Ontario in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as a Progressive Conservative member from 1945 to 1955.

He was born in Sunderland, Ontario, the son of Art Welsh, and was educated there, in Lindsay and at the University of Toronto where he qualified as a Physical Education teacher. In 1917, he enlisted with the Royal Flying Corps and served in northeast France during World War I. He received the Belgian Croix de guerre and was credited with five "victories". On his return, he served as village postmaster and took over ownership of the family farm and mill. At the beginning of World War II, Welsh reenlisted in the Canadian Army and was put in charge of an anti-tank battery. His unit took part in the invasion of Sicily in July 1943. Welsh was awarded the Distinguished Service Order twice. He was wounded in September 1943 and returned to Canada to serve as commander of the training wing at Camp Shilo. Welsh served in the provincial cabinet as Minister of Travel and Publicity from 1946 to 1948 and Provincial Secretary and Registrar from 1949 to 1955. After retiring from politics, Welsh served as sheriff for Ontario County.

He died of a heart attack in Hastings, Barbados.

Pockets Warhol (capuchin monkey)

Pockets Warhol (born 1992) is a capuchin monkey, one of 18 residents (as of 2018-12-12) at Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary near Sunderland, Ontario, Canada. Pockets came to media attention in 2011 when the sanctuary held a fundraiser featuring 40 paintings by the monkey.

Vroomanton, Ontario

Vroomanton, Ontario is a ghost town located just north-west of Sunderland, Ontario in Brock Township, Ontario.

The farming town was founded by Colonel James Vrooman, who was granted free land here in 1820 for his heroic service in the War of 1812. (The Vrooman family- namely brother Solomon Vrooman's- participation in the Battle of Queenston Heights was vital in the victory for the British over the Americans, as the cannon at Vrooman's Point kept over 4000 American troops from crossing the Niagara River). The son of Dutch settlers James was born here in 1796 at Queenston Heights. He is buried along with his 2 wives at the United Church cemetery at Conc. 7 and Sideroad 17A.

Other early settlers in the village were: Wilson, Glendenning, Oke, Shier, Keenan and Speiran.

The Vroomans played a major role in the village's development. Colonel Vrooman offered land to John Gelbrae to build a grist mill on Vrooman Creek. Prior to this settlers had to walk 14 miles through the forest to the nearest grist mill in Uxbridge, Ontario with wheat bundles strapped to their backs. With the opening of the mills the population increased and soon the village had wooden sidewalks lined with shops

In its heyday the village had the two mills- a sawmill and gristmill, set-up where they dammed up the local Vrooman Creek and made a large pond. There was a school (built 1868), 2 churches, a post office (postmasters: M. McPhaden and N. Bolster), a hotel, 3 stores, a carriage shop, blacksmiths and an Orange Hall. These existed after the town plan was made with a total of 6 streets named: King, Queen, Simcoe, Nelson, Victoria and Brock. At its height the population was about 200.

Unfortunately as the village prospered the railway lines (Toronto and Nipissing Railway) did not come through. Instead, the lines came through at Sunderland, Ontario in 1871. Sunderland was a smaller village at the time, but quickly became the hub of Brock Township, Ontario, leaving Vroomanton to wither. Villagers moved away, buildings were torn down, until only the church, Orange Hall and school remained.

The Catholic Church on the east side of town was called St. Malachy's and was the central Catholic church for all of the former Ontario County (all the way to Uptergrove in the north). It had wooden shingles. An inspector warned the church to change the shingles as they were a fire hazard. On May 14, 1942, while the caretaker was burning leaves, a spark became lodged in a crack in the wooden shingles on the roof of St. Malachy's destroying its structure in a few hours. The story goes that asphalt shingles were purchased and stored in the basement waiting to be put on the roof. The Pastor, Father Toomey and the congregation thought that the damage was too great to repair so no new church was built in its place.

There are some remains of the past in this village. A very old wooden barn still stands rickety as can be on the main road behind some trees. The old school, built in 1868, has been lived in since 1972 at its original location at Queen and King Streets. The old Methodist Church is now a United Church, built in 1909 on the site of a previous wooden church built in 1854. Beside this church is the Vrooman's cemetery. An old wooden home decays beside the creek bridge. Queen Street and King Street are the village's only 2 remaining streets of its original six.

Wild Wing Restaurants

Wild Wing Restaurants is a Canadian franchised restaurant chain that specializes in chicken wings, quick serve foods, and other related products.

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