Belleville, ON, incorporated as a city in 1877, population 49 454 (2011c), 48 821 (2006c). 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. The original inhabitants were fur traders, but the settlement's founder is considered to be the Loyalist, Capt John Meyers, 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, lt-gov of UC.
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 and in this century an economy based on diversified light manufacturing. The Hastings County Museum and campus of Loyalist College are located here.