Belleville, Ontario, incorporated as a city in 1877, population 50,716 (2016 census), 49,454 (2011 census). The city of Belleville, the seat of Hastings County, is located on the Bay of Quinte, an arm of Lake Ontario about 180 km east of Toronto at the mouth of the Moira River.
Belleville's founder is considered to be Captain John Meyers, a Loyalist who built a gristmill beside the river in 1790. The village of Meyer's Creek grew up at the site. In 1816, it was officially surveyed and the name was changed to Belleville after Arabella, wife of Francis Gore, lieutenant governor of Upper Canada.
As the forests of the hinterland were logged, Belleville became an important sawmilling centre. The Grand Trunk Railway passed through in 1855 and the town became a divisional point; the GTR station, dating from the 1850s, is a well-preserved example of the early railway era. Logging died out in the 1870s, but the city developed a thriving cheesemaking industry. Today, Belleville has an economy based on diversified light manufacturing. The Hastings County Museum and campus of Loyalist College are located here.