Seaforth is a quintessential small Ontario town, dating from the early railway era in Victorian times. As we learn from the Provincial Plaque in Victoria Park (Map 601), "Anticipating the construction of the Buffalo, Brantford and Goderich Railroad through this region during 1850-1853 Christopher and George Sparling acquired most of the present site of Seaforth. George laid out a subdivision in 1856 and Christopher sold most of his land in Tuckersmith Township to a syndicate, headed by James Patton of Barrie Ontario. Patton is said to have procured a railway station and named it Seaforth. Situated on the Huron Road (Hwy 8) and the railway, the town was a shipping point for wheat."
It wasn't long after that that Seaforth had a post office, several hotels, a doctor, a blacksmith, a wagon-maker and several firms engaged in the building trades and the buying and selling of grain. Seaforth was a noted grain-buying centre. At one time, firms were handling a million dollars worth of wheat each year, more than any point in Ontario, Toronto being no exception. The town was incorporated in 1875.
In September of 1876, at two o'clock in the morning, a fire broke out in Mrs. Griffith's candy and grocery store raging through Main Street, destroying 12 acres of the business section. However, the town rebounded quickly and Main Street was rebuilt with bricks and mortar, known as 'Commercial Blocks', which are still present today more than a century later. The most impressive was the one built by Alexander Cardno, more commonly referred to as 'The Cardno Block', located at the centre of the west side of Main Street. This structure contained the town's first clock tower and served as a hub for social activities held in the Cardno Music and Concert Hall, located on the second floor, and flanked by tall windows overlooking the bustling main street. The clock still continues to keep perfect time and remains a constant reminder of the district's illustrious past.
Come with us on a tour of Seaforth beginning at Victoria Park (Map #601) and circling through our community, ending at Cardno Music Hall and Tower (Map # 204) on Main Street. Along the way, you will pass sixteen municipality designated heritage properties and take in Seaforth's entire Main Street, one of the oldest Designated Heritage Conservation Districts in Ontario.
A copy of this area's rich history can be found on www.huroneast.com
Riding on the success of past collaborations with the producers of Rediscovering Canada Television, Economic Development Officer Jan Hawley came up with an idea to create a short video highlighting her community’s downtown heritage shopping district.
Click here for the video link
"DRESSING FOR SUCCESS"
Visit www.RediscoveringCanada.com for further details