Grimsby is a town on Lake Ontario in the Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada. Grimsby is a part of the Hamilton Census Metropolitan Area. The majority of residents reside in the area bounded by Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment. The escarpment (colloquially known as 'the mountain') is home to a section of the Bruce Trail.
Grimsby has experienced significant growth over the past decade as the midpoint between Hamilton and St. Catharines. Growth is limited by the natural boundaries of Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment and has almost come to a stop as a result of the Greenbelt Plan which has permanently frozen Grimsby's urban boundary. Some residents feel that development is detrimental to the town as orchards close to the town centre are used for residential development; however, most of the orchards in Grimsby were replaced by houses between the 1950s and 1980s and very few orchards remain.
Some notable attractions in Grimsby are the local skatepark, the Grimsby Museum, the Grimsby Public Library, the Grimsby Public Art Gallery, the West Niagara YMCA, the Danish Church and the hockey arena (Peach King Centre), home of the Grimsby Peach Kings.
The town of Grimsby was founded in 1790 (originally named Township Number 6 and then 'The Forty'), after a group of United Empire Loyalists settled at the mouth of 40 Mile Creek in 1787. Robert Nelles, a politician and later lieutenant-colonel in the War of 1812, was one of the main founders of the town. His home, located on Main Street West, was used for many planning sessions during the war. In 1816 the village became known as Grimsby, the name of the surrounding township. Canada's first Chautauqua was established in 1859 in Grimsby Park and Beach but by 1900 interest had declined and by 1909 it had ceased. The Village of Grimsby was officially incorporated in 1876 and became a town in 1922. The town has gone through numerous changes, being first a small rural village; then a centre for the manufacture of farm machinery, hospital furniture, furnaces and other metal products; and later the hub of the Niagara Peninsula's fruit-growing industry. For many years, Grimsby also had a successful fishing industry which lasted until the 1960s. The Town of Grimsby and the Township of North Grimsby were amalgamated in 1970 with the formation of the Regional Municipality of Niagara. With a number of wineries and distilleries, Grimsby now serves as the starting point for touring the Niagara wine region.
Grimsby is also the birthplace of a now forgotten Hollywood director, Del Lord. He rose to acclaim as the director of most of the Three Stooges short vaudeville comedies. Later, under Columbia Pictures, he also directed nearly 200 feature films.
Grimsby Beach was once a major holiday resort. Grimsby Park started in 1846 as a park for the Hamilton district of the Methodist Church. In 1910, the park's new owner, Harry Wylie, modernized the park with carousels, a motion picture theater, and a "Figure 8" roller coaster. Canada Steamship Lines bought out the park in 1916, but the park declined through the 1920s, mainly due to multiple fires that consumed many of the wooden buildings. Operations continued until 1949, with attractions gradually closing and developers buying land to build houses.