Kingsville, Ont, incorporated as a town in 1901, population 21 362 (2011c), 20 908 (2006c). The Town of Kingsville amalgamated with the townships of Gosfield South and Gosfield North in 1998. Kingsville is located about 40 km southeast of WINDSOR, in Essex County on the north shore of Lake Erie. Kingsville is Canada's most southerly town: it is 60 km southeast of Detroit, Michigan, and is at the same latitude as northern California.
Kingsville was originally settled by British soldiers and LOYALISTS who began arriving in the area in the late 1700s. The community was founded in 1843 when Colonel James King built the first house. King was also instrumental in the building of the first school that same year. The community was later named in honour of him. Early industries included a grain mill, a tannery, a lime refinery, a blacksmith shop and a dock. Kingsville was a lake port for the local farming community and the local fishing industry. Hiram WALKER, the founder of Hiram Walker Distillery, built a hotel resort near Kingsville in 1891, but the hotel existed for only 13 years. From the 1950s to the 1980s Kingsville's main industries were automotive-related manufacturing firms. Today tourism is once again important to the town's economy, as is Kingsville's 2 economic mainstays, fishing and agriculture.
The area is also a centre for bird watching, with POINT PELÉE NATIONAL PARK located nearby. In 1904, Jack MINER established one of the first BIRD SANCTUARIES in North America at Kingsville. It was officially declared a provincial crown reserve in 1917. More exotic birds can be seen at Colasanti's Tropical Gardens. Other local attractions include the John R. Park Homestead, a living history museum in which visitors can experience pre-1850 life in Upper Canada, and tours at Pelee Island Winery.