Norfolk County

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THE COMMUNITY

Norfolk County is a rural single-tier municipality on the north shore of Lake Erie in Southwestern Ontario, Canada with a 2016 population of 64,044. Despite its name, it is no longer a county by definition, as all municipal services are handled by a single level of government. The largest community in Norfolk County is Simcoe, Ontario with a 2016 population of 13,922. The other population centres are Port Dover, Delhi, Waterford and Port Rowan, and there are many smaller communities. For several years in the late 20th century, the county was merged with Haldimand County but the merged entity was dissolved in 2000.

Located on the Norfolk Sand Plain in the Carolinian Life Zone, Norfolk County’s soil type is sandy loam, the most fertile land in Ontario. With a mild climate and lengthy growing season, the region has long been the centre of the Ontario tobacco belt. However, many farmers have begun the process of diversifying their crop selections to include fruits and vegetables, lavender, ginseng, hazelnuts, and wolfberries as tobacco consumption continues to decrease.

A significant natural feature of Norfolk is Long Point, a 40 kilometre (25 mi) spit of land projecting into Lake Erie. It plays an important part in eastern North American bird migration, and was designated a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1986. Long Point Provincial Park is located on the point. More than 25% of Norfolk County is considered to be forested; especially near the major communities and hamlets that dot the county.

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