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The Municipality of Kincardine is located on the shores of Lake Huronmarker in the County of Brucemarker in the province of Ontariomarker, Canadamarker. It has a population of 12,000, and covers an area of 580 square kilometres. The municipality, located at the mouth of the Penetangore River, was created in 1999 by the amalgamation of the Town of Kincardine, the Township of Kincardine, and the Township of Bruce. It was formerly known as Penetangore.


In addition to the town centre, Kincardine contains the following small communities:


The municipal government is overseen by a council of nine. The council consists of a mayor elected at large, two councillors elected from Ward 1 (the former Town of Kincardine), one from Ward 2 (the former Township of Kincardine), one from Ward 3 (the former Township of Bruce), and three elected at large.

The council currently consists of:

  • Larry Kraemer, mayor
  • Laura Haight, deputy mayor
  • Guy Anderson, councillor for Ward 1
  • Mike Leggett, councillor for Ward 1
  • Gordon Campbell, councillor for Ward 2
  • Randy Roppel, councillor for Ward 3
  • Kenneth Craig, councillor at large
  • Ron Hewitt, councillor at large
  • Marsha Leggett, councillor at large

The municipal government is responsible for public works, firefighting, parks, recreation, tourism, and economic development. Policing is handled by the South Bruce detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police.


Sunset on Lake Huron seen from Harbour Street.

The economy of Kincardine is dominated by the Bruce Nuclear Power Development which is currently operated by Bruce Power, a private company under lease from Ontario Power Generation. There is also a thriving tourist industry, emphasizing sandy beaches, beautiful sunsets and Scottish cultural tradition.



On March 5, 1848, Allan Cameron and William Withers landed by ship at the site of the modern-day town, in that part of Canada West known only as the Queen's Bush, and founded a community called Penetangore. On January 1, 1850 the Queen's Bush was divided into counties, and the counties were divided into townships. Penetangore now found itself located within the Township of Kincardine in the County of Brucemarker. Both the township and the county were named after James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine.

In the summer of 1851, the Durham Road finally reached its terminus at Penetangore, and allowed access to the settlement by land. The road would be considered nearly impassable by today's standards, but at the time represented a significant improvement in communication and trade. A post office was established at Penetangore in the same year.

In the early years of Bruce County, Kincardine was the only township with any appreciable settlement, and served as the seat of local government for the entire county. Tensions eventually rose to the point where this arrangement could no longer be maintained, and on January 1, 1854 several new municipalities were formed, leaving only Kinloss Township and Bruce Township in union with Kincardine. Kinloss subsequently separated in 1855, and Bruce in 1856.

Kincardine turned 160 in 2008.

Early development

Over this time, the name Penetangore had gradually fallen out of favour, and was officially discontinued (except with regard to the river) when the Village of Kincardine was incorporated on January 1, 1858. The first grammar school in the county was established at Kincardine in 1860.

During the years 1856 to 1866, a long, convoluted political battle was fought over the location of the county seat. Kincardine and Walkertonmarker were the main contenders, and the latter finally emerged victorious. Kincardine would continue to dominate the county economically, but had clearly lost much of its early political primacy.

Later development

The Village of Tivertonmarker, located on the boundary between Kincardine Township and Bruce Township, was incorporated in 1879.

To protect ships using the busy harbour, the Kincardine lighthouse was built in 1881.

At some point during the late 1800s or early 1900s, the Village of Kincardine became the Town of Kincardine.

Arrival of nuclear power

A small nuclear power plant was constructed at Douglas Pointmarker in Bruce Township in 1968, and the eight additional reactors of the Bruce Nuclear Generating Stationmarker were built between 1977 and 1987. As a result, a wave of highly educated people moved to Kincardine for work, and were commensurately paid. This significantly changed the demographics of the town, and its entire economy.

As a result of the purchase/lease of the site by British Energy and the subsequent assumption of the lease by a wholly Canadian consortium following the Enron scandal, Bruce Power has resumed operation of Bruce A, a 4 unit station. Units 3 and 4 are in commercial operation and units 1 and 2 are undergoing a massive refurbishment requiring a retube of the fuel channels in the reactor and a replacement of the steam generators. Bruce Power has also applied to the Ontario Government following the Energy Minister's release of the forecast of needed new generation with a request to be allowed to build new Nuclear facilities.

Ontario has proposed the construction and operation of a Deep Geologic Repository in Kincardine, Ontario for the long-term storage of low and intermediate level nuclear waste on lands adjacent to the Western Waste Management Facility in Kincardine, Ontario. Pending approvals and licensing by regulatory agencies, the DGR will commence construction in 2012 and operation in 2017/2018.


In 1998, the Village of Tiverton lost its separate incorporation, and became part of the Township of Bruce.

The Town of Kincardine, the Township of Kincardine, and the Township of Bruce were then amalgamated to form the Township of Kincardine-Bruce-Tiverton on January 1, 1999, with boundaries identical to those of the municipality that had existed in 1855. After the first election of the new municipal council, a plebiscite was conducted, and the name changed to the Municipality of Kincardine. In an interesting twist, one of the defeated options on the plebiscite was the name Penetangore.


The Kincardine Bulldogs is the local hockey team. They compete in the Western Junior C hockey league. FIn the 2006-2007 and the 2007-2008 seasons the bulldogs finished 1st in the WJCHL.


Kincardine District Secondary School is the local high school for most students in the area. Approximately 800 students are attending in the 2007/2008 year. There are 5 local elementary schools, Elgin Market Public School, Huron Heights Public School, St.Anthony's Catholic School, Kincardine Township-Tiverton Public School (located in Kincardine Township), and Ripley Huron Community School (located in Ripley).

Famous residents

  • Hockey player Paul Henderson was born in a sleigh near this town.
  • Supermodel Jessica Stam was raised on a farm in the Kincardine area.
  • Decorated Canadian Forces sniper Master Corporal Graham Ragsdale was raised in Kincardine.

See also


External links

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