Opening of the new Niagara Township Municipal Building, 1957
Publication:
St. Catharines Standard (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada), 30 May 1957
:


Description
Creator:
Huggins, Jean A. E. (1895-1989), Correspondent
Media Type:
Text
Image
Item Type:
Scrapbooks
Description:
A scrapbook about Niagara Township municipality, its history, new municipal building and elections in 1957, consisting of articles from local newspapers:
"Municipal Building Features Modern Architecture" by Jean Huggins, St. Catharines Standard, June 1, 1957;
"Evening Review copy goes into cornerstone of Niagara Twp. hall" and "Cornerstone laid by Hunter at Niagara Township building" - Niagara Falls Evening Review, April 26, 1957;
"Former Niagara Twp. Reeves Honored At Formal Opening" - Niagara Falls Evening Review, undated;
"Niagara Twp. Council holds First Meeting In New Municipal Building" - unknown publication and date;
"Highway engineer will open municipal building tonight"-Niagara Falls Evening Review, May 30, 1957;
"Niagara Township Winners" - Niagara Falls Evening Review, Dec 10, 1957
"First Woman Elected To Council, Deputy Reeveship to Goring" - St. Catharines Standard, Dec 10, 1957;
Date of Publication:
30 May 1957
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
QC00213, QC00208
Language of Item:
English
Geographic Coverage:
Donor:
Huggins, Jean A. E. (1895-1989)
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Contact
Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library
Email
Website
Agency street/mail address
10 Anderson Lane P.O. Box 430
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
905-468-2023
Full Text

BUILDING OPENED

VIRGIL — Official opening and dedication of the new Niagara Township municipal offices took place here Friday afternoon.

Robert G. Dawson, former reeve and warden, assisted by former reeve Wilfred Stewart, cut the ribbon and declared the offices open. Former Warden W. J. Hunter was also present.

Reeve Victor Dyck welcomed the guests, and gave a brief summary of the township's expansion.

Rev. Dr. Fred Sass delivered the prayer of dedication.

Clerk John K. Couillard acted as chairman.

A picture of the Queen was presented by E. Blake Erwin, township engineer since 1931.

The first council meeting in 1850 was conducted in an inn at Queenston, then held in the fire hall at St. Davids for many years. In 1950, the Mackenzie Building at Queenston was rented from the Niagara Parks Commission. Until the latter building was leased, daily township business was carried out at the home of the clerk. The present clerk is J. K. Couillard, who was appointed to the post in 1953.

With better meeting facilities, members of council hope that rate-payers of the township will make a sincere effort to attend council meetings, to learn how their elected members carry on the business of the area.

"Municipal Building Features Modern Architecture"

VIRGIL — A dream has come} true. Niagara township has its own municipal building.

The number of township officials in the past 107 years who had that dream would be hard to estimate, but it has become a reality through the efforts of council members during the past three years.

Officially, Lincoln county's one township came into being after the passing of the Baldwin Act in 1849, when municipal government as we know it today, was established.

Each township council consisted of five elected members, one of whom was appointed reeve by the council at the first meeting in each year. In townships where there were more than 500 electors, another member was appointed deputy-reeve.

Niagara's electors must have increased to that number by 1871, since it was in that year the first deputy-reeve, George D. Prest, was elected by popular vote. Today, the township has 2,837 electors.

Actually, Niagara's history as a township, dates back to 1791, when townships were first laid out. No self government was involved and the townships were only geographical areas at first forbidden to be named and designated by numbers in the survey. Legislature in 1793 authorized ratepayers to meet and elect petty officers, such as clerks, assessors, collectors, overseers of highways, pound keepers and town wardens, but their powers were strictly limited to administrative acts. All powers of local legislation were withheld except powers to regulate the height of fences and limit the time and seasons during which animals might be allowed to run at large.

Until 1850, Niagara town and township worked together. The first municipal meeting under the District Municipal Act of 1841 was Jan. 3, 1842. The meeting of inhabitants, freeholders and householders of the town and township of Niagara was held at the Cross Roads, Four Mile Creek and officers were appointed. By 1846, Cross Roads became Lawrenceville and sometime later, about 1863, became Virgil. It is at Virgil that the new municipal building is located.. Debentures in the amount of $82,500* were authorized by the Ontario Municipal Board. The total figure includes all building costs, landscaping, furnishings and equipment, architect's fees, legal fees, etc. It does not include the cost of land, approximately 13 acres purchased in November 1955 at a cost of $14,000. An adjoining tract, giving access to Lorraine St. cost an extra $1,000.

The erection of a maintenance building, at a cost of $19,856 was started immediately following the land purchase and completed in September. 1956.

On Sept. 12, 1955, architects Huget and Secord were engaged and the contract for the building let to Guy Violino Construction Co Fort Erie, July 12, 1956.

The building is modern in design, of Queenston limestone. It contains council chambers, committee room, spacious main office, offices for the clerk, reeve and assessor, a kitchenette and washrooms.

Downstairs, accessible from the outside, are two large rooms, one of which is designated for use by the firemen and one which may eventually be used for police purposes. There is also a large storage room, vault and furnace room. Outside are spacious lawns and ample parking area.

40 REEVES

During the 107 years since Niagara township's first council was elected by open voting, there have been 40 reeves, including Victor Dyck, the present reeve. Only four are still living, Robert Dawson, Walter H. Sheppard, Wilfred Stewart and William Hunter.

The first two and last named became wardens of Lincoln county. There are also four ex-councillors living, W. L. Patterson, now deputy-reeve of Niagara-on-the-Lake, who has also been a warden, Gordon Hunter, Joseph Parnell and Frank Stewart.

A plaque with the names of all the reeves will hang in the new building.

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Opening of the new Niagara Township Municipal Building, 1957


A scrapbook about Niagara Township municipality, its history, new municipal building and elections in 1957, consisting of articles from local newspapers:
"Municipal Building Features Modern Architecture" by Jean Huggins, St. Catharines Standard, June 1, 1957;
"Evening Review copy goes into cornerstone of Niagara Twp. hall" and "Cornerstone laid by Hunter at Niagara Township building" - Niagara Falls Evening Review, April 26, 1957;
"Former Niagara Twp. Reeves Honored At Formal Opening" - Niagara Falls Evening Review, undated;
"Niagara Twp. Council holds First Meeting In New Municipal Building" - unknown publication and date;
"Highway engineer will open municipal building tonight"-Niagara Falls Evening Review, May 30, 1957;
"Niagara Township Winners" - Niagara Falls Evening Review, Dec 10, 1957
"First Woman Elected To Council, Deputy Reeveship to Goring" - St. Catharines Standard, Dec 10, 1957;