Oakville-Burlington History - Development in the 1900s

By the early 1900s, Halton Region's development had become part of the "Golden Horseshoe" industrial belt around the western end of Lake Ontario. The most famous industry was the P.L. Robertson Company, maker of the square-slotted Robertson screw, which became one of Milton's largest employers. As the prairie provinces became settled, Halton farmers turned from wheat to dairy farming and fruit growing to meet the growing demand for agricultural products in nearby urban centres. By 1951, Halton and Peel Counties ranked among the largest fruit producers in Ontario with the mild micro-climate protected by the closeness of the Niagara Escarpment. After World War II, Halton entered into a period of prosperity and rapid growth, and by the early 1970s, Halton's population grew by 400 per cent as job opportunities and cheaper "country" living attracted residents. The Oakville Ford Plan was built in 1952 and created 5,000 industrial jobs and prompted many auto suppliers to build in the area. By 1961, less than fifteen per cent of Halton residents were still farming. As farmland was sold for suburban development, planning became a critical factor in the urbanization of formerly rural areas. In 1962, the surrounding townships of Trafalgar and Bronte were amalgamated to form the current Town of Oakville. Over the 1960s, government reforms to streamline administrative structures were introduced in Ontario and in 1974, Halton County was reorganized into the Regional Municipality of Halton with four restructured municipalities (Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville).
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