Burlington, situated at the north end of Burlington Beach, at the head of Lake Ontario, in the County of Halton, about eight miles east of the city of Hamilton and just across the bay, has a permanent population of 1,500, which during the summer months runs into thousands. It is widely recognized as a rare and beautiful spot, and is regularly visited by tourists from distant points, and many from neighboring towns, attracted by the situation which guarantees moderate temperatures during the heated term, for the hot south winds are tempered in crossing the water.
For miles about the country is level or gently undulating, rich, and beautiful, and has in the background first the foothills and then the mountain, which shelters this section from the violence of storm& that devastate others more exposed. Lying, as it does, in the basin of Lake Ontario and being almost surrounded by the mountain, the district enjoys a climate which really belongs several degrees farther south.
When it became necessary to reward Chief Joseph Brant for his military services and the loyalty of the Six Nation Indians, it was here the choice of a tract of something over three thousand acres was made, and here the Chief spent the balance of his life, during which time he made three trips to England in behalf of his people. On the occasion of his second visit the Queen ordered the Duke of Wellington to present the Chief at Windsor, and was so pleased with the interview that at parting she extended her hand to be kissed, which he declined, saying he would kiss her face, he was king himself at home. Wellington was delighted with the behaviour of the chief and ordered his coach and four. Robed in war costume and with feathers and paint Chief Joseph was driven through Regents Park and all ‘over London. A successful warrior was the Indian’s ideal of greatness, and being fresh from the field of Waterloo the Duke filled the bill. Immediately upon his return Brant laid out a square village plot near his own home beside the “Big Water” and called it Wellington Square, hence the original name. This land has now all passed out of the hands of the Brant family, and together with the balance of the district, is largely occupied with thoroughbred and dairy herds and large fruit plantations and gardens. The firmness and richness of these horticultural products are recognized in all markets, particularly melons and tomatoes, which are a specialty and shipped in car loads daily. The season here is particularly early and exempt from summer frosts. The first home-grown strawberries that appeared in Toronto this year were shipped from Burlington. In a good average year the shipments of fruit from this point alone exceed five thousand tons.
Most of the section was improved at an early date, but less than twenty-five years ago the lands along Maple Avenue were a wilderness of brush and pine stumps. These have now disappeared and are replaced with luxuriant orchards, hedges, lawns and beautiful homes, which testify of the remarkable suitability of the soil for the purpose to which it is put. Good spring water is abundant. The soil is excellent, of great variety and well drained. The general farm improvements are of an exceptionally high order, especially in regard to buildings, and the situation is perhaps unequalled in the Province.
Railways running east, west, north and south, daily boats running direct to Toronto, and others to Montreal and intermediate points, and an electric service, afford splendid shipping facilities. The same morning they are picked Burlington fruits are placed on the breakfast tables of Toronto hotels still wet with dew.
Unaided and alone the Burlington fruit growers were pioneers in exporting perishable fruits in cold storage, and continue their weekly shipments with gratifying results. Whether the unrivalled success of these shipments is due to the superior quality of our fruit or to the management I will not undertake to say, but certain it is they have attracted the attention of horticulturists all over this continent, and the horticultural press of the United States speaks of Burlington, Ont., as the only point outside of California where this is being done regularly by the growers themselves. Much correspondence has passed regarding this work. Even from the south of France-letters have come expressing concern at our competition in British markets and enquiring as to the capabilities of this section.
GEO. E. FISHER.