In 1825, George Tillson, a Massachusetts native, made a prospecting tour from Normandale on Lake Erie in search of iron ore. Tillson settled on the future site of Tillsonburg, led to this spot by the Otter River winding its way through the dense forests of oak, pine, ash and black cherry. He purchased six hundred acres in the Township of Derham.
In 1836 the settlement was surveyed and the name Dereham Forge changed to Tillsonburg. Another milestone in the community's history was its incorporation as a town in 1872. when E.D. Tillson became the first Mayor.
At the dawn of the twentieth century, Tillsonburg prepared for the new century's growth. The Tillson brick factory manufactured all the bricks used in the building on the main street.
In the early twenties the town's business was given an incredible impetus by the advent of flue-cured tobacco as a crop. The birth of the tobacco industry produced a rapid growth in the town and an increase in wealth.
Always a sporting town since the earliest days of the Pan-Dried hockey and baseball teams, Tillsonburg reached its sports zenith in 1952 when the mens basketball team, sponsored by Gerry Livingston, won the Canadian Senior Championship and the right to represent Canada at the summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.
Tillsonburg is located in Southwestern Ontario, Canada in the southern end of the County of Oxford. Tillsonburg is bounded on the east by the Region of Haldimand-Norfolk and on the west by Elgin County.
Tillsonburg page 2
Tillsonburg official Home Page
Things to do and see in Tillsonburg…
(1) Annandale House and Museum; Annandale House is a Canadian National Historic Site since 1997.|
Annandale House was built in the 1880's by E.D. Tillson, first Mayor of Tillsonburg and has been restored to its former glory. With a newer addition, the complex today serves the community as the museum and the tourist information centre. Visitors to the site can tour three floors of the house with its
restored period rooms and history galleries, as well as, the main gallery with its changing displays. Special programs, group tours and buses are welcome! The facility is totally accessible and parking is available on-site.
Picnic tables located on the grounds and of course it as also a place that I love for wedding and family photographs.
For additional information have a look at Annandale House
(2) Lake Lisgar Water Park |
Lake Lisgar water park is only open during summer months (mid June through to Labour Day) as it is and outdoor pool.
Our Tillsonburg water park is a great place for our children and grandchildren. It has an accessible heated pool has and a 186' giant twister waterslide with a zero beach entry leading to several spray features for all ages.
They can accommodate groups of 1,000 people, and a great place for family reunions, corporate picnics, private rentals and children's birthday parties. One can float on a tube, play on thrilling large inflatable toys, enjoy the exhilarating slide ride, stand in the spray, and swim for one affordable inclusive price. The pool is under the supervision of qualified lifeguards. They offer onsite concessions with food, drink and cold treats.
(3) Theatre Tillsonburg… |
Theatre Tillsonburg was not formally established until 1981. Over the years I have had the pleasure to photograph and see some wonderful and funny shows there. If you have the time and you happened to be in Tillsonburg during a show I highly recommend it. For additional information have a look at www.theatretillsonburg.com/home.html
(4) Welcome to the Tillsonburg Station Arts Centre |
The Station Arts Centre is home to a non-profit volunteer organization called "The Tillsonburg District Craft Guild." The Station is a historical site that provides tourist information, art galleries, adult & children's art classes, a gift shop, pottery studio & a Saturday Farmer's Market.
The Centre is comprised of two historic train stations. These stations are the Great Western Railway Station which is located on its original site & The Tillsonburg Lake Erie & Pacific C.P. Station which was moved from its' original home located further down Bridge St., in 1994.
The two stations are joined uniquely together via the Station Gallery which is used to feature a diverse array of Changing Art Exhibits, every 5 to 6 weeks. The Guild invites all visitors to stop by & partake in our proud heritage.
Being a photographer I really enjoy the versatility of the building to its unique areas to photograph. The colours go great with just about anything my subjects are wearing. And it is a great place for engagement photos as there are many different looks and areas to work.
I have also enjoyed displaying a couple of time at the station art with some good results in advertisement. On Saturdays from April to November (Weather Permitting) the Station Arts also has a Farmer's Market where one can pick up a few fresh vegetables and fruit in season from local farmers including the Mennonite Community. They are there from 8AM - 12 noon.
Another event that I enjoy is Canada day and the pancake breakfast from 8a.m. - 11a.m. there is lots of activity that day with music, artists and much more. For more information have a look at
Parks & Sports Fields |
Here is a list of the parks and sports fields in the Tillsonburg area;
Southridge Park, Cranberry Park, Gyulveszi Park, Memorial Park, Glendale Park, Westmount Park, Kinsmen Participark, Bert Newman Park, Library Parkette, Kiwanis Coronation Park, Trottier Park, Cadman Conservation Area.
(5) The Kinsmen Participark |
The Participark Trail runs through a picturesque river ravine right in the heart of Tillsonburg. And picturesque it is for sure as there some great places for the nature photographer as well as those interested in flowers, rivers, plant life and of course its also a wonderful spot for family and other portrait opportunities.
The trail goes from Concession St. W. south to Baldwin St. and most any day you can see people walking their dogs our just out for a leisurely stroll. I love taking a quick walk trough the park as one can walk it all the way from Concession to Baldwin and back in a half hour or less depending on the pace.
Of course the park also offers some great places for weddings and family picnics as well as cycling and cross-country skiing and the like.
For those who have lived in the Tillsonburg area for many years my well remember when the park was first started and how it was really a Participark full with monkey bars, and other athletic equipment where one could stop and do chin-ups and a whole lot more. However it seems that over the years all of these have disappeared as equipment became in poor condition and were not replaced or repaired most likely due to lack of use.
I can even remember a covered bridge that I just loved to use for engagement and other photographs. But one Halloween night some good-for-nothing rascals put it on fire and it was never rebuild… what a shame.
In the center of the park there is one of the best picture opportunities with the Kinsmen Bridge that starts on Bridge Street and goes through Hickory Hills community and ends at Quarterline Road. That is actually also a great place for a walk as it gives one a good view from the bridge as well as a nice walk trough the retirement area of Hickory Hills. By now you might have noticed that Participark park is a favourite of mine both for a walk as well as great place to capture some beautiful photographs.
(6) Kiwanis Coronation Park |
Coronation Park has also been a favourite of mine for many years as I would have a hard time counting how many weddings I have photographed there.
But it has also been a favourite place to bring our children and now grandchildren as both the park as well as the swings and monkey bars offer a great place for all of us to unwind and relax.
On many weekends you will also find families and groups holding reunions and family pickings.
The Coronation Park Pavilion as well as the Memorial Park and Newman Park Gazebo are available on a rental bases.
For more information contact the Tillsonburg Community Centre at 519-688-9011 for availability.
(7) Bert Newman Park |
Newman Park and its Gazebo are one of the smaller parks in town but the gazebo is one of the nicest to photographs. The wooden structure gazebo and surrounding tree lines and beautiful decorated flower park is again a great place for photo opportunities and a cozy place for smaller gatherings.
When I find some more time I will add some additional information on the other parks.
(8) Rotary Club Clock Tower |
In 1994, the downtown area was significantly enhanced with the construction of the Rotary Club Clock Tower, which incorporated a clock from the town's former Post Office, and a bell from the demolished Town Hall.
Soon, it became a community tradition (sponsored by the Rotary Club) for local residents to gather at the Clock Tower to ring in the New Year with fireworks, hot apple cider and the dropping of a ball.
(9) Tillsonburg Soccer Park |
Regional soccer tournaments are held here and the park features a clubhouse with meeting and catering facilities. It has been my privilege to photograph a few weddings there and I must say that it is not a bad place for weddings.
Of course I wish there were a few more shade trees around for wedding photographs, but I guess that is not something one needs for a soccer field.
Click here for a map of the parks in Tillsonburg http://www.tillsonburg.ca/Portals/_Tillsonburg/News/Parks_map_Tburg.pdf
(11) Tillsonburg Town Centre Mall. |
The Tillsonburg Town Centre Mall opened in 1980, where the former Town Hall once stood. The Tillsonburg Town Centre mall along with the recently opened big box stores including Canadian Tire, Shopper's Drug Mart and Staples Business Depot has it a very strong downtown core.
Besides the Town Center Mall there are many more shops on Broadway, our 100-foot wide main street. But there is more to Tillsonburg than Broadway… there are many more businesses on the many side streets, Tillson Ave and Simcoe Street just to mention a few. Oh yes… did I mention FREE PARKING… of course that is for two hours after that one gets ticketed.
After an hour or a day of shopping, enjoy lunch or supper at one of our friendly restaurants and just like our shops, you'll find both recognized names and local family operated eateries, from fast foods to charming bistros, your appetite will be satisfied.
(12) Tillsonburg Airport. |
The hours of operation for TRA are as follows:
April and October 9AM-5PM
November through March 9AM-4PM
May through September 8AM-dusk
More to come....
Distance to major centres From Tillsonburg:
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For additional information on getting to Tillsonburg and maps go to Mapquest.com