Town of Simcoe and Norfolk County Community Profile (2015)

St. Paul's Presbyterian Church is located in Simcoe, Ontario, in the heart of Norfolk County. Simcoe gets its name from Governor John Graves Simcoe, who oversaw the colonization of much of the area in the late 1790's and early 1800's by European settlers and British loyalists coming north from the United States.

Simcoe is located in the heart of Norfolk County. The county is home to approximately 64,000 residents. About 15% of the county's residents first learned and still understand a language other than English. Access and for extensive information about the county.

Located on the shores of Lake Erie, within Canada's "Carolinian Forest" region, Norfolk County is known as Ontario's "South Coast", and has an abundance of forest lands and other natural features, including sandy beaches at Port Dover, Turkey Point and Long Point. About 25% of the county's land area (1,600 sq. km) is forested. Many rare birds and other wildlife make the county home. Indeed the county's "coat of arms" displays Hooded Warblers and Tulip Tree leaves as part of the emblem. The County, the Long Point Region Conservation Authority, Nature Conservancy of Canada and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources all own significant tracts of forest land that are open and accessible to residents and visitors alike. Long Point itself, lying along the county's southern boundary of Lake Erie, is designated as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, and is managed as a National Wildlife Area by the federal government.

Simcoe is a typical south-western Ontario town, with a population of approximately 15,000. This population has remained stable or has actually increased slightly over the past ten years. About 12,500 of these folks are fifteen years of age or older, and the population is identified as having about 56% of Protestant faith, 21% Catholic and roughly 20% who have identified no religious affiliation.

The community boasts both a public high school and a relatively new Catholic high school - both are well-supported and have excellent gymnasium facilities available for community use. Several elementary schools are located in town, both public and Catholic supported, including Ecole Ste-Marie which is referred to as an immersion school. A branch campus of Fanshawe Community College is located on the east side of town.

Simcoe has an abundance of recreational facilities many of which are located on the grounds of the Norfolk County Fair. Facilities within the town include two arenas, a year-round municipally owned and operated indoor swimming pool, a golf club, curling club, lawn bowling facility and a skateboard park. Many other recreational and cultural opportunities are found within Norfolk County including live theatre, golf clubs, marinas, sailing club, museums, an arts centre, provincial parks and conservation areas. Municipal parks are prominent in the urban area of Simcoe, with the scenic Lynn River and its tributaries winding through the centre of town. Hiking and bicycling trails link Simcoe to Port Dover along the Lake Erie shoreline to the south (Lynn Valley Trail) and to Waterford in the north (Waterford Heritage Trail)) and to Delhi in the west (Delhi Rail Trail). The Norfolk Sunrise Trail is now paved for its entire length through Simcoe. The Norfolk trail network now links up with Brant County trails near Scotland, Ontario and then to the Trans Canada Trail in Brantford

Simcoe is home to the Norfolk General Hospital, one of the largest employers in the area. The hospital is recognized as having one of the highest rates of volunteerism in the Province, providing the Hospital and Nursing Home with over 40,000 hours annually. The hospital provides patients with a diverse range of clinical services including an emergency department, operating theatres, intensive care unit, obstetric care, labs, a CT scanner and digital mammography unit. For more information see

Shopping, restaurants and other facilities in Simcoe meet every taste and preference. Many of Simcoe's workers are employed at nearby industrial facilities of U.S. Steel Canada, Esso Refineries, as well as Good Humor-Breyers, Toyotetsu (a car parts manufacturer associated with Toyota) and Norfolk Leaf Tobacco Ltd. within the town.

Economically, the county has suffered in past years due to the shutdown of a nearby Ontario Power Generation facility and the downturn of the tobacco-growing farming sector. However, Norfolk's agricultural community has responded through tremendous diversification and now identifies itself as Ontario's Garden. Several "green energy" solar and wind farm projects, recent expansions at the Toyotetsu plant, new agricultural ventures into wineries, lavender production and expanded ginseng production, and major residential developments in Port Dover and Simcoe are all signs of the renewed and diversified economic outlook for Norfolk.

All in all, Simcoe and Norfolk County have much to offer to residents (current and prospective) and visitors. The natural beauty of the landscape coupled with diverse and active urban communities make the area a great place to live, work and play.

(population-related statistics in this community profile were taken from the Statistics Canada 2011 Census). 

Other useful links to learn about out county.

Cruise the Coast

Norfolk County Videos