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Centrally located in the heart of Eastern Ontario, Frontenac is steeped in history. Originally proclaimed on July 16, 1792 as part of the newly-created Midland District, Frontenac was joined by neighboring Lennox and Addington counties, as one of the original nineteen counties in Upper Canada. The union was formally dissolved on January 1, 1865.
On January 1, 1998, the eighteen former townships were restructured to form four – the Townships of North, Central and South Frontenac and the Frontenac Islands, represented by their respective mayors on a four-member County Council.
Today, the County of Frontenac offers an exceptional quality of life while providing businesses with strategic access to major markets in both Canada and the USA. Residents enjoy the advantages of a rural lifestyle, living, working and travelling in one of the most naturally beautiful parts of our province, yet benefit from the region’s proximity to a number of major urban centres.
The northern part of the County is accessible via Highway 38 from Kingston or via Highway 7 from Ottawa or Peterborough.
The southern part of the County has easy access to the 401 and is approximately 250 km from the City of Toronto.
The County is also accessible via Highway 41 from the Trans-Canada Highway at Pembroke.
The Townships of North Frontenac, Central Frontenac, South Frontenac and Frontenac Islands comprise the County of Frontenac.
The Township of Frontenac Islands is the only Frontenac Township located south of the City of Kingston and is comprised of, among others, Howe Island and Wolfe Island, the two largest islands in the chain of 1,000 islands in the St. Lawrence River. Farms and single family homes are the primary land uses on the islands which are both serviced by ferry from the mainland. Wolfe Island also serves as an access point to Cape Vincent, New York via ferry on its south side. The major village in the Township is Marysville.
The Township of South Frontenac is located immediately to the north of the City of Kingston. Although South Frontenac is the smallest of the three northern Townships in land area, it has the largest population of the Townships. Again, the primary land uses in South Frontenac are single family residences and farms. In fact, the Township experienced a 15% increase in housing starts over the five year period from 1996 to 2001. The major villages in South Frontenac are Sydenham, Verona, Harrowsmith, Battersea, Inverary, and Perth Road Village.
The Township of Central Frontenac is located at the southern tip of the Pre-Cambrian Shield and its geography reflects the transition from rich farmland to hard rock topography. The intersection of the two main highways in the region (Hwy 38 and Hwy 7) also serves as a trade or market transition zone for the area. At this point, the trading influence of Ottawa meets the trading range of the Golden Horseshoe as residents and visitors find a relaxing alternative to the 401. The major villages in Central Frontenac include Sharbot Lake, Parham, Arden, Tichborne, Godfrey, and Mountain Grove.
The Township of North Frontenac encompasses the largest land area of the Townships, at 1,136 square kilometers. The communities in the Township are mainly found along three highway corridors – Hwy 509, Hwy 506 and Hwy 41. Historical development of the northern section of the County is directly related to the extraction of natural resource – logging and mining – including transportation via the rail line that cut through the area in the early part of the last century. The major villages in North Frontenac include Ompah and Plevna.