Burlington, Ont, incorporated as a city in 1974, population 175 779 (2011c), 164 415 (2006c). The City of Burlington is located at the head of Lake Ontario, 50 km west of Toronto. Burlington was first incorporated in 1873 as a village encompassing the earlier settlements of Port Nelson and Wellington Square. It achieved the status of a town in 1914 and became a city in 1974. Burlington's first and most distinguished settler was the Mohawk Loyalist Joseph Brant, who received a grant of 3450 acres (almost 1400 ha) on Burlington Bay in 1798.
In the 19th century the local economy was built on water-borne commerce, particularly the transshipment through Port Nelson, Wellington Square and Port Flamboro (later Aldershot, now part of Burlington) of wheat, lumber and quarried rock. Commerce was stimulated further by the arrival of the railway in 1854. However, economic growth stalled as timber reserves depleted and as larger steamships bypassed local wharves for the ports of Hamilton and Toronto. Between the 1890s and WWI the shift of local agriculture to market gardening and fruit growing transformed Burlington into the "Garden City" of southern Ontario.
Its modern role as a residential area for nearby cities was given impetus by completion of the Queen Elizabeth Way in 1939 and of the Burlington Skyway Bridge in 1958. Since WWII, Burlington has increasingly developed an economic base of secondary manufacturing and service industries. In 1958, Burlington, Nelson Township and the Aldershot area of East Flamborough were amalgamated to form one municipality (Burlington). Burlington is the home of the world-renowned Royal Botanical Gardens.