Bowmanville

Bowmanville, Ontario, population centre, population 39,371 (2016 census), 35,168 (2011 census). Bowmanville is located 25 km east of Toronto on Highway 401. Originally called Darlington Mills, it was renamed in the 1830s after Charles Bowman, the principal landowner. Bowmanville was incorporated as a village in 1852 and as a town in 1857. In January 1974, Bowmanville became part of the town of Newcastle (now Clarington) in the new Regional Municipality of Durham. Home of diverse manufacturers in the 19th century, Bowmanville now serves as a dormitory for Toronto and Oshawa.



Indigenous Peoples

Bowmanville is located on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee, Mississauga and Chippewa (Ojibwe) (see also Anishinaabe). At the time of European settlement, the Mississauga and Chippewa inhabited the area between Lake Ontario and Lake Simcoe, including what became Bowmanville.

Williams Treaties

In 1923, commissioners representing the provincial and federal governments hastily arranged two treaties in order to extinguish the First Nations’ title to the land. Known collectively the Williams Treaties, the documents were signed in 1923. There are seven First Nation signatories to the Williams Treaties: Alderville, Mud Lake (now known as Curve Lake), Rice Lake (now known as Hiawatha), Mississaugas of Scugog Island, Chippewas of Beausoleil, Chippewas of Georgina Island and Chippewas of Rama.

Battle of Bowmanville

Camp 30

Camp 30, Bowmanville, Ontario, c. 1941─1942. Camp 30 was a prisoner-of-war camp during the Second World War.

In the Second World War a local boys’ reformatory housed a prisoner-of-war camp. When German prisoners were handcuffed in retaliation for the cuffing of Canadians taken at Dieppe, a riot ensued. The riot came to be known as the Battle of Bowmanville.


Further Reading

  • William Humber, A Small Town at the Edge (1997).