Thorold, Ont, incorporated as a city in 1975, population 17 931 (2011c), 18 224 (2006c). The City of Thorold is situated on the NIAGARA PENINSULA. Though physically linked to ST CATHARINES, its large neighbour directly to the north, Thorold is independent. The area was settled in the 1780s, and was incorporated as a village in 1850 and as a town in 1875. It was named after British Member of Parliament Sir John Thorold (1734-1815). Its growth is linked with the development of the 4 courses of the WELLAND CANAL. At the canal's commencement (1829) a townsite was laid out, and Thorold attracted various marine services and industries, such as limestone quarrying, flour milling, wood products and one of Canada's first cotton mills, many using the canal for transportation or water power. The advent of cheap hydroelectric power from nearby NIAGARA FALLS around the turn of the 20th century led many heavy industries such as pulp and paper, abrasives and metal goods to locate here. Since 1945 the long-standing Anglo-Saxon and Irish flavour of this industrial community has been changed by sizable Italian immigration. Recently the desire to move residential development away from Niagara's most valuable agricultural lands along Lake Ontario has resulted in new community proposals for Thorold. A monument at Battle of BEAVER DAMS Park recalls the famous encounter of the War of 1812.