Trafalgar Township Historical Society

“Recognizing, documenting, educating and celebrating the rich agricultural heritage of North Oakville,Trafalgar Township”

Our History

Palermo Blacksmith c.1965 by Ross Wark. Used with Permission

Trafalgar Township began as a system of trails and trade routes created and used by the Indigenous People. The Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe and other Indigenous Nations travelled the Red Hill trail, which ran along the original Lake Ontario edge across Trafalgar Township. The trail connected to the 16 and 12 mile creeks, culminating at Indigenous settlements in the area. The trail still exists today running alongside Leighland Avenue.

Small hamlets formed along concession lines laid out one mile and a quarter square. As the Pioneers built log homes using wood gathered from their new properties, the Indigenous People were required to obtain permits to gather wood from the same land.

In the 1830’s, Trafalgar Township became a busy stagecoach stop from Hamilton to York (Toronto). Roads had to be planked to support the heavy traffic flow. In the 1850’s, the agricultural industry prospered with the creation of new technology, and the high demand for wheat.

The political boundaries of Trafalgar Township ceased to exist with the amalgamation of the Township, the Village of Bronte and the Town of Oakville in 1962. However, the geographic boundaries remain with Trafalgar Township extending from Lake Ontario on the south, Winston Churchill Blvd to the east, Burloak Drive to the west, and extending north, over rich farmland, to Steeles Avenue.

However, Trafalgar Township’s legacy continues in the original roads and concessions which are still in use today. As for the original trail which traversed Trafalgar Township, the QEW highway follows much of the former path which was originally blazed by the Indigenous People. The trail reminds us that Oakville-Trafalgar is located on the treaty lands and territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit. Oakville-Trafalgar would not be the same without the original trails, paths and roadways which continue to connect us together.

Open Archives

We host our Open House at the heritage Palermo School House. Check the calendar below for the next scheduled day.

Meet our archivist, search our archives, research township family history or just come to reminisce. You’ll never know who will show up with a fascinating new piece of local history.

Admission FREE but voluntary donations are welcome.

PLEASE NOTE: From December through March, if Halton school buses are cancelled due to poor weather, our Archives Open event will also be cancelled.

Upcoming Events

Jan
17
Fri
1:30 pm Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Jan 17 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
We host our Open Archives at the Palermo School House. We invite you to meet our archivist, explore our archives, research your Trafalgar Township ancestors, or just reminisce.
3:30 pm Board Meeting @ Palermo School House
Board Meeting @ Palermo School House
Jan 17 @ 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
 
Feb
21
Fri
1:30 pm Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Feb 21 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
We host our Open Archives at the Palermo School House. We invite you to meet our archivist, explore our archives, research your Trafalgar Township ancestors, or just reminisce.
Mar
3
Tue
7:00 pm Guest Speaker (Mar 2020) @ Palermo Schoolhouse
Guest Speaker (Mar 2020) @ Palermo Schoolhouse
Mar 3 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Guest Speaker: Danielle Manning of Ontario Archives discusses “A Century of Ontario Photographs”
8:00 pm Annual General Meeting @ Palermo Schoolhouse
Annual General Meeting @ Palermo Schoolhouse
Mar 3 @ 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm
 
Mar
20
Fri
1:30 pm Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Mar 20 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
We host our Open Archives at the Palermo School House. We invite you to meet our archivist, explore our archives, research your Trafalgar Township ancestors, or just reminisce.
Apr
17
Fri
1:30 pm Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Apr 17 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
We host our Open Archives at the Palermo School House. We invite you to meet our archivist, explore our archives, research your Trafalgar Township ancestors, or just reminisce.
May
5
Tue
7:00 pm Guest Speaker (May 2020) @ Palermo Schoolhouse
Guest Speaker (May 2020) @ Palermo Schoolhouse
May 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Guest Speaker: Elizabeth Strong – A History of Bronte
May
15
Fri
1:30 pm Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Open Archives @ Palermo School House
May 15 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
We host our Open Archives at the Palermo School House. We invite you to meet our archivist, explore our archives, research your Trafalgar Township ancestors, or just reminisce.
Jun
19
Fri
1:30 pm Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Jun 19 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
We host our Open Archives at the Palermo School House. We invite you to meet our archivist, explore our archives, research your Trafalgar Township ancestors, or just reminisce.