Grimsby, Ontario, incorporated as a town in 1970, population 25 325 (2011c), 23 937 (2006c). The Town of Grimsby is situated on the NIAGARA PENINSULA to the east of Hamilton. The first European settlers, primarily LOYALISTS, arrived in the 1780s after the AMERICAN REVOLUTION. Originally called The Forty, it was named for Grimsby, England. First incorporated as a town in 1921, it was reincorporated in 1970 after it merged with the township of North Grimsby. In spite of its eligibility to become a city, Grimsby has elected to retain its town status.
Following the clearing of the land for mixed-farming practices, Grimsby grew as an agricultural service centre. In the late 19th century, 2 developments aided its growth. The large-scale expansion of orchards and vineyards in the area resulted in several packing and canning plants and a winery. For a while the town was popular as a lakeside resort, with steamboat services from Toronto. More recently, it has attracted a variety of light industries.
Good transportation linkages with Hamilton, first by interurban electric railway and later by the QUEEN ELIZABETH WAY, have fostered the growth of a dormitory community. The Nelles Manor, a gracious Loyalist residence (1798), is one of Ontario's few remaining 18th-century buildings.