:"For the town in England, see Chatham, Kent." Infobox Settlement
official_name = Municipality of Chatham-Kent, Ontario
nickname = The Maple City & The Classic Car Capital of Canada
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption =


mapsize =
map_caption =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = Province
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name = Canada
subdivision_name1 = Ontario
subdivision_name2 = none–Single-tier municipality
leader_title = City Mayor
leader_title1 = Governing body
leader_title2 = MPs
leader_title3 = MPPs
leader_name = Randy Hope
leader_name1 = Chatham-Kent Council
leader_name2 = Bev Shipley (CPC)
Dave Van Kesteren (CPC)
leader_name3 = Pat Hoy (OLP)
Maria Van Bommel (OLP)
established_title = Established
established_date = 1998
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 2458
area_total_sq_mi = 949
area_land_km2 =
area_land_sq_mi =
area_water_km2 =
area_water_sq_mi =
area_water_percent =
area_urban_km2 =
area_urban_sq_mi =
area_metro_km2 =
area_metro_sq_mi =
population_as_of = 2006
population_note = (Ranked 45th) [ [ Population and dwelling counts, for Canada and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2006 and 2001 censuses - 100% data ] ]
population_total = 108177
population_density_km2 = 44.0
population_density_sq_mi =
population_metro = 108589
population_density_metro_km2 = 44.0
population_density_metro_sq_mi =
population_urban = 59242 (Chatham downtown),
11114 (Wallaceburg),
5100 (Blenheim)
timezone = Eastern (EST)
utc_offset = −5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = −4
latd=42 |latm=24 |lats=00 |latNS= N
longd=82 |longm=11 |longs=00 |longEW=W
elevation_m = 198
elevation_ft = 650
website = []
footnotes = Population data by Statistics Canada

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent (2006 population 108,177) is a city-status single-tier municipal government in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. The municipality is mainly rural and agricultural, with industry in the larger urban areas.


The former city of Chatham began as a naval dockyard in the 1790s, as it straddles the Thames River. The town was named after Chatham, Kent, England, which was also developed around a naval dockyard. In England, the name Chatham came from the British root "ceto" and the Old English "ham" thus meaning a forest settlement.The Place Names of Kent, Judith Glover, 1976, Batsford. ISBN 0905270 614]

In the War of 1812, the Battle of the Thames took place between Moraviantown and Thamesville on October 5, 1813.

During the 19th century, the area was part of the Underground Railroad. As a result, Chatham-Kent is now part of the African-Canadian Heritage Tour. [ Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site] is a museum of the Dawn Settlement, established in 1841 by Josiah Henson near Dresden as refuge for the many slaves who escaped to Canada from the United States. The Rev. John Brown, the abolitionist, planned his raid on the Harpers Ferry Virginia Arsenal in Chatham and recruited local men to participate in the raid. The small village of North Buxton, part of the African Canadian Heritage Tour, also played an important role in the Underground Railroad.

In 1998 the County of Kent and the city of Chatham were amalgamated to form the Municipality of Chatham-Kent. Some saywho this controversial move has had a negative impact on small-town Ontario, where the province shifted financial responsibility unto the individual municipalities, and taxes and infrastructure suffered as a result. The Municipality of Chatham-Kent currently consists of 23 communities.

Much paranormal activity has been reported in and around Chatham-Kent, mainly due to its rich--and often turbulent--history. The downtown area, following the Thames River, is rife with ghost stories, both past and present. The most famous case in the area is the Baldoon Mystery-which actually took place just outside Wallaceburg. In 2004, local author/historian Sheila Gibbs wrote a book titled "The Ghosts of Chatham-Kent", which quickly became a best-seller among the locals. A sequel was released in October 2007.


At 2,458 square kilometres, Chatham-Kent is the twelfth-largest municipality by area in Canada and the largest in southwestern Ontario. Over 59,000 of the 108,000 residents live in the former City of Chatham. Other population centres in the municipality include Wallaceburg, Blenheim and Tilbury, Ridgetown and Dresden.

The Lower Thames River runs through Chatham-Kent to Lake St. Clair in the west, while the Sydenham River flows through Wallaceburg and Dresden. The municipality has several kilometres of shoreline along lakes Erie and St. Clair.

The Indian reserves of Moravian 47 and Bkejwanong (commonly referred to as Walpole Island) border Chatham-Kent.

Adjacent counties and municipalities

* Lambton County (north and northwest)
* Middlesex County (northeast)
* Elgin County (northeast and east)
* Across Lake Erie lies Erie, Lorain and Cuyahoga Counties, Ohio, US (south)
* Essex County (southwest and west)
*Across Lake St. Clair lies Macomb and St. Clair Counties, Michigan, US (west)

Economy and industry

Chatham-Kent has an increasingly diverse economy, with a base in the agricultural and automotive sectors. The municipality and senior levels of government are keen to promote continuing diversification.

Located in the "industrial heartland", Chatham's roots in the automotive sector go back to Gray-Dort Motors Ltd., one of Canada's earliest automobile manufacturers. Today, a heavy truck plant operated by Navistar International Corporation (NYSE symbol NAV) is one of the largest employers in the city. Established in 1912, the operation was threatened with closure in 2002, but remained open thanks to $65 million in government grants and a new collective agreement with the Canadian Auto Workers local representing the workers. [ [ Navistar truck plant in Chatham, Ont. to remain open] CBC News, Sept. 4, 2003] Other auto industry plants in the municipality include AutoLiv Canada in Tilbury (airbags), Siemens in Chatham and Tilbury (emissions controls and plastics), Inergy Automotive Systems in Blenheim (fuel systems, Closing summer of 2008) and Tilbury's Arvin Meritor (brakes).

Blenheim is home to RM Auctions, the world's largest vintage automobile auction house and RM Restorations, the world's largest vintage automobile restoration company. The nickname "The Classic Car Capital of Canada" comes from the company's position in the industry and abundance of classic car events in the community.

Other area industries include ECR International Ltd., designs and produces oil and gas fired furnaces in Wallaceburg. As of 2007, ECR International is the only remaining Canadian manufacturer of residential gas furnaces. Furnace Brands include Olsen, Airco and Oneida Royal.

Chatham-Kent is the headquarters for Pioneer Hi-Bred Limited (a division of DuPont), a major agricultural seed breeding and biotechnology company. Omstead Foods, founded in Wheatley in 1911 is now the largest fresh fish producer in Canada and second largest frozen vegetable processor. [ [ Omstead Foods] ] In 1996, Chatham became the home of Commercial Alcohols, which is the largest ethanol plant in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. It produces ethanol for industrial, medical, and beverage uses. In January 2005, the plant was named as one of Canada's 50 best managed companies. There are plans to double the size of the current Chatham facility. The plant faced criticism in the past due to corn mash odour from its stack, but has installed technology to eliminate the problem. However, these efforts have failed horrendously. [ [ Greenfield Ethanol Press Release] ]

There are many farms in the municipality, and a number of vineyards have been opened in the last few years.

Many international workers come to Chatham-Kent, especially in the warmer seasons, to do farm labour. In the past there have been allegations of low pay and poor living and working conditions for these agricultural labourers. [ [ Migrant tomato workers complain of substandard conditions ] ] 'El Contrato', a film by The National Film Board of Canada, addresses these issues in depth.

Chatham is home to the headquarters of Union Gas, a natural gas utility and Spectra Energy company. Other energy related activities include wind farms near the shores of Lake Erie.

Chatham also serves as a retail centre for the municipality and surrounding area. This has included the development of large big-box stores particularly at the north end of Communication Road in Blenheim, and at the north end of St. Clair Street in Chatham.

Mallory Industries is a third generation family owned business started in 1891 by George W. Mallory at his home in Guilds. The factory moved Blenheim in 1914 in order to secure electricity, and moved to its current location on Communication Road south of Blenheim in 1957. Their international operations in Blenheim, ON and Sioux City, Iowa supply squeegees and wash brushes to many top retailers across North America. []

Thompsons Limited, formerly known as W.G. Thompson and Sons, Limited, is a third generation family owned and operated business headquartered in Blenheim serving the agricultural industry [] . Thompsons has a network of modern elevators located across southern Ontario and the United States that receive, process and ship grain and edible beans for domestic and export markets. In addition, the regional grain handling facilities serve as retail centres for seed, fertilizer, crop protectants and other farm services. It also researches and sells seed under its Hyland Seeds brand [] as well as packages and sells edible bean products and its own popcorn.


Chatham's Wheels Inn is a full-service family resort. The 65,000 square foot resort includes an indoor amusement park, an arcade, an indoor/outdoor pool with twin water slides, a miniature golf course, a go-kart track, bowling lanes and various other features. The resort attracts tourism from Canada and from the United States.

There are two Provincial Parks in Chatham-Kent, Rondeau Provincial Park and Wheatley Provincial Park, and Point Pelee National Park is nearby. There are also numerous local conservation areas.

Downtown Chatham is home to the annual "Retrofest" organized by the Historic Downtown Chatham BIA, in partnership with the Kent Historic Auto Club. [ [ Chatham Annual Retrofest] ] Hundreds of classic car enthusiasts travel to Downtown Chatham to showcase their classic cars and vintage vehicles.

Downtown Chatham is also home to the Chatham Capitol Theatre, a community-based, world-class theatre that is presently in the reconstruction and renovation phase of its history. The project to restore the theatre is run under the auspices of the Chatham Capitol Theatre Association, a not-for-profit corporation with registered charitable status.


Chatham-Kent was created in 1998 through an amalgamation of the City of Chatham and the various towns, villages and townships that formed the County of Kent. Communities in Chatham-Kent include:

* Blenheim (Population of 5,100)
* Bothwell
* Dresden (Population of 2,679)
* Erie Beach
* Erieau
* Highgate
* Merlin
* Morpeth
* Ridgetown (Population of 3,300)
* Thamesville (Population of around 1,000)
* Tilbury (Population of around 4,000)
* Wallaceburg (Population of 11,114)
* Wheatley (Population of 1,200)

Chatham-Kent's former townships are as follows:

* Camden Township
* Chatham Township
* Dover Township
* Harwich Township
* Howard Township
* Orford Township
* Raleigh Township
* Romney Township
* Tilbury East Township
* Zone Township

Health care

Chatham-Kent is served by the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance. The Public General Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital in Chatham were moved to a single campus in 2004, while the former Sydenham District Hospital remains in Wallaceburg. The eastern portion of the municipality is served by the Four Counties Health Services in Newbury in nearby Middlesex County.

Research published in 2002 by the Heart and Stroke Foundation cited Chatham-Kent as a hotspot for heart disease in Ontario. [ [ Realty Times - Real Estate News and Advice ] ] Further research is underway to determine the reasons for this and other hotspots. Chatham-Kent Public Health launched a campaign in fall 2007 to tackle other ailments prevalent throughout the community, including asthma, chronic allergies, sinus problems, many types of cancer, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, alcoholism, and obesity. [ [ Are You Sure You’re OK Campaign ] ]

Chatham-Kent features one of the 14 provincial Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN). The Erie St. Clair (ESC) LHIN services the Chatham-Kent Community as well as Sarnia/Lambton and Windsor/Essex. The ESC LHIN is located in the town of Chatham.


Television stations

*CHWI (A-Channel): a CTVglobemedia television station. The station operates out of Windsor and has offices in both Chatham and Wheatley (where it is licensed). This television station has been operating since October 19, 1993.
*CKCO (CTV): a CTVglobemedia television station. The station operates out of Kitchener, and has offices in Sarnia, London, and Chatham. Chatham and area are also served by stations coming from , , and .

Radio broadcast stations

*CKSY 94.3FM: an adult contemporary music station on the air since July 1, 1986. In 2002, CKSY swapped broadcasting frequencies with CKUE. CKSY can be heard regularly in the Cleveland, Ohio metro area.
*CKUE 95.1FM: "The Rock", a rock music station established on October 6, 1999. In 2002, CKUE swapped broadcasting frequencies with CKSY. CKUE operates a repeater station in Windsor, Ontario, formerly on 95.1 FM (now moved to 100.7 FM), and thus the broadcast day originates from both the Chatham and Windsor studios.
*CFCO 92.9FM and 630AM: A news, sports, Country music station. The original AM broadcasting station was launched in 1926; the repeater FM signal, meant to improve the station's reception in office buildings in Chatham-Kent, was launched in 2000. CFCO boasts a large daytime signal that covers much of Michigan, including Metro Detroit, and some of Ohio and Indiana in addition to southwestern Ontario.
*CBEE 88.1FM: the radio rebroadcast station for CBC Radio One (CBE) out of Windsor, Ontario.
*CKGW-FM 89.3 FM: Christian music/news/talk station. CKGW is part of the UCB Canada family of stations. Originally planned as repeater of Belleville's CKJJ-FM 102.3 FM, it was reorganized into a stand-alone station before its launch in 2007 and operates at 89.3FM. It includes some programmes from Belleville, plus local standalone programming.

CKSY, CFCO and CKUE are owned by Blackburn Radio. In addition, some stations out of , , , and also reach the area.

Print media

The "Chatham Daily News" is the only daily newspaper in Chatham-Kent. There are several weeklies located in Chatham and the various communities in the municipality, including the "Blenheim News Tribune", "Chatham This Week", the "North Kent Leader" in Dresden, "Ridgetown Independent News", "Tilbury Times", the "Wallaceburg Courier Press" and the "Wheatley Journal".

The "Chatham Daily News," "Chatham This Week," "Wallaceburg Courier Press," "Wallaceburg News," and Dresden's "North Kent Leader" are all owned by Quebecor through their Osprey Media Group and Bowes Publishers Limited subsidiaries.

Internet Media

* [ C-K Times] An online, community media source.


Elementary and secondary

There are two school boards in Chatham-Kent. These are the Lambton Kent District School Board (headquartered in Sarnia) and the St. Clair Catholic District School Board (headquartered in Wallaceburg). The LKDSB is a public school board, and consists of 13 secondary and 53 elementary schools. The St. Clair Catholic board consists of three secondary schools, one in Chatham and two in Sarnia, and 16 elementary schools. There are also independent schools, such as Wallaceburg Christian School and Chatham Christian Schools--an elementary and secondary school in the same building. Every year in September, Chatham-Kent hosts a "Red Feather" weekend. It is a charity event in support of the local United Way, and runs from Monday-Sunday, but the weekend is the focus of the event. All of the local high schools compete in different competitions. The weekend culminates in a huge dance, but has also faced criticism from locals due to drinking, noise, drug use, and vandalism. In August 2007, the local school board revamped Red Feather due to the above mentioned problems. The traditional dance, the annual parade and broomball and other minor events, have been suspended indefinitely. Although the event has not been completely cancelled, the weekend will only be a shadow of what it once was. It is unknown whether or not it will return in the foreseeable future.


Chatham-Kent is the home of two colleges - St. Clair College and University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus, popularly known as Ridgetown College.

St. Clair College is a satellite of St. Clair College of Windsor. There are two campuses located in the municipality - Thames Campus (located in Chatham) and the Wallaceburg Campus (located in Wallaceburg). More than 5,000 full time and 12,000 part time students attend the college each year.

Ridgetown College offers diplomas in agriculture, horticulture, and veterinary technology. It was formerly known as Ontario Agricultural College and then Ridgetown College of Agricultural Technology.


Ice hockey

Chatham has a team in the Ontario Hockey Association Western Junior B league:
* [ Chatham Maroons]

There are also four teams in the Great Lakes Junior C Hockey League
* Blenheim Blades
* Dresden Jr. Kings
* Wheatley Sharks
* Wallaceburg Lakers

As well as the Chatham Jr B Maroons, there is also the Chatham Girls Hockey Association, and the Chatham AAA Cyclones, as well as the Chatham Maroons and St.Clair College Saints (Chatham Thames Campus).
* []

Canadian football

In 2006 Chatham entered a team into the inaugural season of the [ Allstar Peewee Football League (APFL)] , and in 2007 entered a team into the Jr. Ontario Varsity Football League.
* [ Chatham-Kent Cougars]

Rugby Union football

Founded in 2001, Chatham has a rugby team in the [ Southwest Rugby Union (SWORU)] :
* [ Chatham-Kent Havoc]

Association Football/Soccer

Chatham-Kent does not have a professional or semi-pro Football/Soccer team but there are many leagues for young children to adults that operate in Chatham-Kent.



Chatham-Kent is situated just off Highway 401 (also known as "Carnage Alley" because of a string of fatal accidents [ [ Officer in critical condition after 'carnage alley' crash ] ] ), connecting Montreal, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, and Windsor, Ontario; and Detroit, Michigan via the Ambassador Bridge. Blenheim, Chatham and Wallaceburg are linked with Sarnia, Ontario and the Blue Water Bridge to the United States by Highway 40.

The sections of Highway 2 and Highway 3 (the Talbot Trail) in Chatham-Kent were downloaded by the province in 1998, becoming local roads 2 and 3, but they remain significant through routes and are still locally known by their old names.

The first gas station in Canada to sell E85 fuel to the public is located on Park Avenue East in Chatham. [cite web |url= |title=E85 Gasoline Now Available in Chatham-Kent |date=2007-06-26 |accessdate=2007-11-18]


Chatham is served by VIA Rail passenger services between Toronto and Windsor, part of the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor with four trips in each direction daily, and is served by both the Canadian National Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway for freight transportation.


Within the city of Chatham public bus services are provided by CK Transit.

Chatham-Kent has an intercity bus service between all cities(excluding Blenhem) in the municapality, started Sept 2007. The Trip costs $5/Person, Round Trip 2 Hours and is provided by CK Transit.

In addition, Chatham-Kent also has intercity bus services, with Greyhound Canada services to and from Windsor, London and Toronto, and through Detroit, Michigan to Chicago, Illinois. These services stop at Thamesville, Chatham and Tilbury.


There is a municipal airport located 14km south east of Chatham featuring a 5000 foot paved, lighted runway, with refuelling facilities (Esso), tie-down services, pilot training and chartered flights. The nearest airports served by regional carriers are Windsor and London.

Famous people from Chatham-Kent

* Chris Allen - Former NHL player with the Florida Panthers
* Douglas Anakin - won a gold medal at the 1964 Olympics in the bobsled
* Bill Atkinson - former Major League Baseball relief pitcher
* Courtney Babcock - Olympic distance runner
* Sinead Brady - Runner up in Canada's Next Top Model
* Shae-Lynn Bourne - championship figure skater
* Ernest Burgess - 24th President of the American Sociological Association, author and urban sociologist who is known for his groundbreaking social ecology research
* June Callwood - prominent magazine writer in the 1950s who became an Officer in the Order of Canada in 1986
* James Couzens - U.S. Senator, Mayor of Detroit, industrialist, philanthropist, and vice president and general manager of the Ford Motor Company
* Robertson Davies - novelist
* Kenne Duncan - western/action movie actor
* Andy Fantuz - former CIS Offensive MVP and Slotback for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL
* Dave Gagner - retired NHL hockey player and brother-in-law of Diane Gagner - former Chatham-Kent mayor
* Frank Gross, OMC - philanthropist posthumously awarded the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship in 2006
* Tracey Hoyt - actress who plays Aurora Farqueson on the CBC Television series "The Tournament"
* Fergie Jenkins - Baseball Hall of Famer
* Ryan Jones - Former finalist of 2007 Hobey Baker Award
* Judy LaMarsh - former Canadian Minister of Health
* Lori Lansens - author of "Rush Home Road" and "The Girls"
* John B. Lee - Author, poet and current Poet Laureate of Brantford, Ontario
* Doug Melvin - General Manager of the Milwaukee Brewers
* Harry Garnet Bedford Miner - Victoria Cross winner during World War 1, born in Cedar Springs
* Dave Nichol - award winning product marketing expert and former president of Loblaw's
* Geoffrey O'Hara - early 20th century composer, singer and music professor who was the writer of such popular songs as the 1918 hit K-K-K-Katy
* Ron Pardo - comedian and impressionist, from Pardoville
* Doug Shedden - professional ice hockey coach and former player
* Glen Skov - National Hockey League (NHL) hockey player
* Joseph Storey - Architect; designer of many local landmarks in the 1950s and 1960s
* Ron Sparks - award-winning comedian, actor and writer best known for Video on Trial
* Shaun Suisham - Washington Redskins kicker (formerly Dallas Cowboys)
* Sylvia Tyson - singer-songwriter, broadcaster, and guitarist who found early fame with her then-husband Ian Tyson in their folk duo Ian and Sylvia
* Todd Warriner - former NHL hockey player picked 4th overall in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft by the Quebec Nordiques
* Brian Wiseman - 1999 IHL MVP Houston Aeros
* Michelle Wright - award winning country music singer


External links

* [ Chatham-Kent website]
* [ CKTransit's official website]
* [ Chatham-Kent weather]
* [,0.181669&hl=en Google map of Chatham-Kent]
* [ Article citing health issues in Chatham-Kent]
* [ Chatham-Kent "Are your sure you're OK?" campaign]
* [ Chatham-Kent Family History Reference Library]
* [ The Chatham Capitol Theatre]

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