Petrolia
Town of Petrolia
Nickname: 
Canada's Victorian Oil Town
Petrolia is located in Lambton County
Petrolia
Petrolia
Petrolia is located in Southern Ontario
Petrolia
Petrolia
Coordinates: 42°53′N 82°08.5′W / 42.883°N 82.1417°W / 42.883; -82.1417
Country Canada
Province Ontario
CountyLambton
Settled1866
Incorporated25 December 1866
Government
 • MayorBrad Loosley
 • Federal ridingSarnia—Lambton
 • Prov. ridingSarnia—Lambton
Area
 • Land12.68 km2 (4.90 sq mi)
Population
 (2016)[1]
 • Total5,742
 • Density452.8/km2 (1,173/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Postal code
N0N 1R0
Area code(s)519 and 226
Websitetown.petrolia.on.ca

Petrolia is a town in southwestern Ontario, Canada. It is part of Lambton County and is surrounded by Enniskillen Township. It is billed as "Canada's Victorian Oil Town" and is often credited with starting the oil industry in North America, a claim shared with the nearby town of Oil Springs.[2]

Lambton Central Collegiate & Vocational Institute (LCCVI) is located in Petrolia.

History

Victoria Hall, housing Petrolia's municipal offices and a theatre, was built in 1889

In 1857, James Miller Williams of Hamilton began distilling some of the "tar" lying around Oil Springs (located a few kilometers south from Petrolia), after buying the property rights from Charles Nelson Tripp. In July or August 1858, he struck an oil deposit in Oil Springs while digging a shallow well, sparking the oil drilling industry. In 2008, the 150th anniversary of the discovery, Canada Post issued a stamp commemorating this first commercial oil well, featuring portraits of Charles Tripp and Williams.[3] However, these early wells resulted in a large amount of wastage from gushers, estimated at 5 million barrels (790,000 m3) of oil in 1862 alone.[4][5]

Petrolia got its start in 1866 when a major gas well was found, resulting in an oil boom that caused many to abandon Oil Springs in favour of this new settlement. The place separated from Enniskillen Township and was incorporated as a town on 25 December of that same year.[6]

Oil production went through several boom periods in Petrolia; one was in 1898 and another in 1938. Some wells sunk in 1938 were initially producing 100 barrels per day (16 m3/d) at a price of $2 per barrel. This output, however, often lasted only a few weeks, falling to less than a barrel a day.[7]

Oil men from Petrolia travelled to the far reaches of the world (Gobi Desert, Arctic, Iran, Indonesia, United States, Australia, Russia, and over 80 other countries) teaching others how to find and extract crude oil. Those born and raised in Petrolia are referred to as "Hard Oilers", paying tribute to the toughness of their ancestors. Petrolia is also home to the Petrolia Discovery museum. Some oil fields in the area are still operational.

Media and entertainment

Petrolia is home to Victoria Hall, a National Historic Site of Canada.[8] Originally a fire hall, municipal office, police hall, jail and opera house, it was completed in 1889 for a total cost of $35,000. In January 1989, a fire caused extensive damage. It was subsequently restored, and re-opened in 1992. Currently it houses the town hall and Victoria Playhouse.[9]

Directly adjacent to Victoria Hall is Petrolia's Victoria Park, which hosts the annual 'PizzaFest' food festival as a collaboration between the town and their five local pizza restaurants.[10]

Until September 2013, The Petrolia Topic was the sole newspaper in the town of Petrolia. It is owned by Osprey Media. In September 2013, The Independent[11] of Petrolia & Central Lambton began publication.

The Oil Heritage District Community Centre was opened in Petrolia in 2006. It serves rural and town residents in central Lambton County.

Climate

Climate data for Petrolia (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.0
(59.0)
21.0
(69.8)
26.5
(79.7)
31.5
(88.7)
33.5
(92.3)
39.5
(103.1)
38.0
(100.4)
38.0
(100.4)
35.0
(95.0)
29.4
(84.9)
23.3
(73.9)
18.5
(65.3)
39.5
(103.1)
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) −1.3
(29.7)
0.6
(33.1)
5.8
(42.4)
13.0
(55.4)
19.8
(67.6)
25.2
(77.4)
27.7
(81.9)
26.4
(79.5)
22.6
(72.7)
15.3
(59.5)
8.0
(46.4)
1.6
(34.9)
13.7
(56.7)
Daily mean °C (°F) −5
(23)
−3.5
(25.7)
1.1
(34.0)
7.6
(45.7)
13.8
(56.8)
19.1
(66.4)
21.7
(71.1)
20.7
(69.3)
16.9
(62.4)
10.4
(50.7)
4.3
(39.7)
−1.8
(28.8)
8.8
(47.8)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −8.6
(16.5)
−7.5
(18.5)
−3.6
(25.5)
2.1
(35.8)
7.7
(45.9)
13.0
(55.4)
15.7
(60.3)
15.0
(59.0)
11.1
(52.0)
5.5
(41.9)
0.6
(33.1)
−5.1
(22.8)
3.8
(38.8)
Record low °C (°F) −30.0
(−22.0)
−27.0
(−16.6)
−25.0
(−13.0)
−13.0
(8.6)
−2.5
(27.5)
−1.7
(28.9)
5.6
(42.1)
2.0
(35.6)
−2.0
(28.4)
−7.2
(19.0)
−17.2
(1.0)
−22.0
(−7.6)
−30.0
(−22.0)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 66.2
(2.61)
56.6
(2.23)
62.5
(2.46)
86.9
(3.42)
87.0
(3.43)
90.1
(3.55)
75.7
(2.98)
81.8
(3.22)
107.3
(4.22)
81.7
(3.22)
89.3
(3.52)
75.5
(2.97)
960.6
(37.82)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 26.9
(1.06)
31.4
(1.24)
44.6
(1.76)
83.6
(3.29)
87.0
(3.43)
90.1
(3.55)
75.7
(2.98)
81.8
(3.22)
107.3
(4.22)
81.6
(3.21)
83.5
(3.29)
49.3
(1.94)
842.7
(33.18)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 39.2
(15.4)
25.2
(9.9)
17.9
(7.0)
3.3
(1.3)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.1
(0.0)
5.8
(2.3)
26.2
(10.3)
117.8
(46.4)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 16.4 12.7 13.7 15.5 13.0 11.8 11.3 11.5 12.0 13.5 15.3 15.0 161.5
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 6.3 6.3 9.5 14.8 13.0 11.8 11.3 11.5 12.0 13.5 13.9 9.3 133.2
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 11.3 7.9 6.0 1.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.08 2.1 7.8 36.8
Source: Environment Canada[12]

Demographics

Historical population
YearPop.±%
19914,598—    
19964,908+6.7%
20014,849−1.2%
20065,222+7.7%
20115,528+5.9%
20165,742+3.9%
[13][14][1]

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Petrolia had a population of 6,013 living in 2,460 of its 2,524 total private dwellings, a change of 4.7% from its 2016 population of 5,742. With a land area of 12.46 km2 (4.81 sq mi), it had a population density of 482.6/km2 (1,249.9/sq mi) in 2021.[15]

Canada census – Petrolia community profile
202120162011
Population6,013 (+4.7% from 2016)5,742 (3.9% from 2011)5,528 (5.9% from 2006)
Land area12.46 km2 (4.81 sq mi)12.68 km2 (4.90 sq mi)12.68 km2 (4.90 sq mi)
Population density482.6/km2 (1,250/sq mi)452.8/km2 (1,173/sq mi)435.8/km2 (1,129/sq mi)
Median age42.8 (M: 40.4, F: 45.6)43.0 (M: 41.5, F: 44.7)
Private dwellings2,460 (total)  2,323 (total)  2,223 (total) 
Median household income$72,741
References: 2021[16] 2016[17] 2011[14] earlier[18][19]

Notable people

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Petrolia census profile". 2016 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  2. ^ "Oil Springs". Oil Museum of Canada. Archived from the original on 7 August 2008.
  3. ^ "Industries: Oil and Gas". Canada Post Corporation. Archived from the original on 9 October 2012.
  4. ^ Gulless, Micky; Earle Gray; Robert Bott. "Petroleum History Society - Canadian Beginnings". The Petroleum History Society. Retrieved 7 February 2006.
  5. ^ Gray, Earle (2008). "Gesner and Williams: two Canadians who launched the world's petroleum industry" (PDF). Retrieved 31 December 2008.[dead link]
  6. ^ "History of Oil Springs". The Village of Oil Springs. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
  7. ^ Trestain, W.G. (15 July 1939). "unknown". The London Free Press. ((cite news)): Cite uses generic title (help)
  8. ^ Victoria Hall / Petrolia Town Hall National Historic Site of Canada. Canadian Register of Historic Places.
  9. ^ "About the Victoria Playhouse Petrolia". Archived from the original on 3 August 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2007.
  10. ^ "9th Annual Pizzafest". visitpetrolia.ca. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  11. ^ "The Oil Heritage District Community Centre Association celebrated for excellence" (PDF) (Press release). Foundation for Rural Living. 12 April 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2008.
  12. ^ "Petrolia Town, Ontario". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010 (in English and French). Environment Canada. Archived from the original on 23 July 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  13. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006 census
  14. ^ a b "2011 Community Profiles". 2011 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. 21 March 2019. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  15. ^ "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, census divisions and census subdivisions (municipalities), Ontario". Statistics Canada. 9 February 2022. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  16. ^ "2021 Community Profiles". 2021 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. 4 February 2022. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  17. ^ "2016 Community Profiles". 2016 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. 12 August 2021. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  18. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". 2006 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. 20 August 2019.
  19. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. 18 July 2021.

Further reading