Accommodation for Newcomers in Norfolk County, Ontario

Accommodation for Newcomers in Norfolk County, Ontario

Accommodation for Newcomers in Norfolk County, Ontario

Norfolk County, Ontario Accommodation for New Migrants

New immigrants arriving in Norfolk County, Ontario have a tough task ahead of them. It is the same around the world. When you land in a new country you have to do everything in one go, and this includes finding someplace to live in Norfolk County, Ontario.


Usually, accommodation for newcomers in Norfolk County, Ontario is done on a short-term basis. Once the newcomer and their family have a better idea of where they want to live in Norfolk County, Ontario then they’ll usually move a second or third time until they are finally settled. It is the same in Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada as in virtually every place in the world.


Where is most newcomer accommodation in Norfolk County, Ontario?



Accommodation for newcomers in Norfolk County, Ontario guide


Norfolk County, Ontario is well known the world over for being extremely welcoming to new migrants to Canada. It’s a charming place with plenty or heritage. All newcomers to Norfolk County, Ontario need to know some of the culture and heritage.


Information on Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada


Norfolk County is a rural single-tier municipality on the north shore of Lake Erie in Southwestern Ontario, Canada with a 2016 population of 67,490. 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, whose 2016 population was 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.

The county seat and largest community is Simcoe. Other population centres are Port Dover, Delhi and Waterford.

The area of modern-day Norfolk County was a focus for the Princess Point culture (c. 500 CE – 1000 CE) late in its development. Early Princess Point activity was clustered around the marshy peninsula of Princess Point near Hamilton. The Princess Point people likely were the first to introduce maize agriculture to Ontario, gradually migrating westward toward the Grand River and its fertile floodplains as they did so. This migration continued southward toward Norfolk County, whose better-drained sandy soil was more suitable for maize-growing.

By 1669, the French explorers De Galinee and Dollier de Casson had reached what is now Port Dover. They erected a cross with the arms of France claiming sovereignty for King Louis XIV over the Lake Erie region on March 23, 1670. A history of the area written in 1898 indicates an even earlier visit to what is now Norfolk County, in October 1626, by a Recollet priest, Laroche-Daillon with two Frenchmen Grenolle and La Vallee. The priest spent three months with the Neutrals First Nation. The same account also indicates that two Jesuits, Breboeuf and Chaurnonot, visited the Neutrals in this area in 1640.

The first European to live in the area, with the Neutrals, was William (Billy) Smith, son of Abraham Smith. He eventually settled near the current Port Rowan in 1793. This was in the first community, the Long Point Settlement (near what is now Port Rowan), where mills were built by United Empire Loyalist settlers. In the subsequent years, sawmills and grist mills were opened and the population increased. After the town site was surveyed in the late 1700s, the area was called Charlotte Villa and was later renamed Charlotteville.

Norfolk County was originally created in July 1792 as a constituency for the purposes of returning a member to the new Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, and was described as having the following territory:

Norfolk County was reduced in size in 1798, with parts going to the counties of Oxford, Middlesex and Haldimand, and became part of the London District. It consisted of the following townships:

In 1826, the townships of Rainham and Walpole were moved to Haldimand County in Niagara District because of their distance from the London courthouse.

The community that is now Simcoe was first settled when Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe gave land to Aaron Culver in 1795 on the agreement that he would build mills. After they were in operation, a hamlet formed by 1812, although it was burned down by American troops in 1814. Between 1819 and 1823 Culver laid out a village; streets were surveyed in 1835 to 1836 or 1837. The settlement initially consisted of two distinct areas, Birdtown, named by William Bird who arrived in the early 1800s and the Queensway which grew up around Culver’s sawmill and grist mill in the 1820s. The post office opened in 1829 and was called Simcoe.

The County had an important role during the War of 1812. Fort Norfolk was built in Charlotteville (near Vittoria and Normandale) in 1813 with accommodation for 300 troops. The Battle of Nanticoke, against American troops, was an important event in 1813. In August 1812, Major General Isaac Brock gathered a force of about regulars and militia at Port Dover. Using boats on the lake, they reached Amherstburg (also in Upper Canada) and then attacked and captured the American Hull’s Army at Detroit. The Americans forces later burned Port Dover. The Americans forces also burnt Port Dover, Port Ryerse and the Walsingham settlement in 1814.

In 1837, Norfolk County was separated from the London District to form Talbot District, and Simcoe was declared to be the district town. At the beginning of 1850, the district was abolished, being replaced by Norfolk County for municipal purposes.

Because the county was heavily forested, logging became a major industry between 1860 and 1880. Agriculture was even more important however, with wheat being the primary crop until 1880 and then corn and oats.

The South Norfolk Railway was started in the county and began operating in 1889. Even earlier, the Hamilton and Lake Erie Railway (H&LER) began operating in 1873 but was merged with the Hamilton and North-Western Railway which completed the final section to Port Dover and to Jarvis in the mid 1870s.

Townships of Norfolk County in 1798:

In 1826, the townships of Rainham and Walpole were moved to Haldimand County in Niagara District because of their distance from the London courthouse. Walsingham was originally one township, but had been split into North and South Walsingham in 1881.

Prior to its amalgamation with Haldimand in 1974, Norfolk consisted of eight townships. Although no longer political entities, they are still geographic townships that figure in the legal description of lands for surveying purposes, and their areas are still shown on maps for convenience.

By the early 1900s, orchards and canning crops were more typical. A major switch to tobacco began in 1920.

By the 1920s tourism was an important contributor to the economy. Summer resorts in Port Dover, Port Ryerse, Normandale, Fisher’s Glen, Turkey Point and Port Rowan were attracting many summer visitors. However, Norfolk was primarily agricultural with fruit and vegetables the primary crops. On report from 1924 states that “Norfolk apples have become pre-eminent in two hemispheres”; thousands of barrels of apples were shipped each year and canning was also a major industry, with companies such as Dominion Canners and St. Williams Fruit Preservers. There were a few factories too, in Port Dover and Waterford, while Port Dover was a major fishing centre, with fish shipped not only within Canada but also to the U.S.

A report from 1924 also discusses an electric railway that had been introduced “in recent years”. This was the Grand River Railway that connected Hespeler, Berlin (later called Kitchener) and Waterloo with connection to Brantford and Port Dover:

The two counties remained separate until 1974, when they were merged as the Regional Municipality of Haldimand–Norfolk on the advice of a report by Milt Farrow, a “special advisor” appointed by the Government of Ontario. This political unit existed from 1974 to 2000.

Under this arrangement the Regional Municipality of Haldimand–Norfolk consisted of the upper-tier regional government and the lower-tier Towns of Haldimand, Dunnville and Simcoe, and the townships of Delhi, Norfolk and the City of Nanticoke. The last regional chairperson in Haldimand–Norfolk was John Harrison.

On January 1, 2001, the regional municipality was dissolved and two single-tier municipalities, the Town of Haldimand and the Town of Norfolk, were formed. These municipalities immediately changed their official names to Haldimand County and Norfolk County—and special advisor Milt Farrow later said in published interviews that he should have recommended those names. Since they no longer have townships or other municipal subdivisions below them, both municipalities are not true “county” governments in the traditional sense; they are legally classified as cities.

The Townships of Delhi and Norfolk, the Town of Simcoe, and the western half of the City of Nanticoke were amalgamated to form the “Town of Norfolk”. Moreover, many smaller communities such as Port Dover and Port Rowan are now in “Norfolk County”. The newly formed municipality’s first by-law was to change the name to Norfolk County.

In January 2005, the county unveiled a new coat of arms which included natural symbols associated with the county: hooded warblers, a tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) and an eastern dogwood flower.

The first mayor of the county, Rita Kalmbach, was succeeded in 2007 by Dennis Travale, who served two terms as mayor. Charlie Luke succeeded him and served one term as mayor. Kristal Chopp was elected in 2018 and was succeeded in 2022 by Amy Martin. A transit system was introduced in Norfolk County in 2010.

Knowledgepool Collective Intelligence Corp. has invested in Norfolk County bringing technology and innovation companies such as a Data Center, an Electric Vehicle Charging Manufacturer, and Internet of Things development companies to Norfolk. Which is reviving the area with influx of new investment and advancing the County as a new Agri-Tech hub for the region.

Norfolk County’s main town is Simcoe, which hosts city council and generally serves as the administrative center. Port Dover, Delhi and Waterford are the other population centers in Norfolk County. Langton and Port Rowan are the largest communities in the western side of the county.

As the population is mainly rural, smaller communities generally predominate along highway intersections.

Norfolk County’s primary tourist attractions are the ports, towns and villages along Lake Erie, which the municipality promotes as Ontario’s Garden. These towns include Port Dover, Turkey Point and Long Point. Fishing is another key attraction for tourist, as well as birding, hiking, camping and cycling. Main festivals include the Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show (October), Waterford Pumpkin Festival (October), the Friday the 13th motorcycle rally at Port Dover, and Simcoe Christmas Panorama (December). Agri-tourism is another expanding attraction for tourists coming to Norfolk County, with a few wineries in development and numerous farmgate retailers. Wilsonville’s Whistling Gardens, in the northeast Norfolk County, is Ontario’s newest publicly accessible botanical garden and one of the few that are privately run in Canada. In 2014, it was named one of Norfolk’s Top 10 Amazing Places on a social mapping tool created by Ontario’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.

The Norfolk County Public Library has branches in Delhi, Port Dover, Port Rowan, Simcoe and Waterford. The Simcoe branch, an Ontario Historic Site, was created in 1884 on Peel Street after a mechanics’ institute was closed and its property donated for the creation of a free public library. The original building was used until 1912, when it was replaced with a new library building constructed as one of the Carnegie libraries.

The Lighthouse Festival Theatre Company has produced live theatre at Port Dover’s old town hall (under the clock tower) since 1981. The Theatre is open year-round and provides a variety of events, including concerts, public meetings, community fund raisers, dance recitals, workshops, band rehearsals and classes. Annually, more than 36000 people now attend events at Lighthouse Theatre.

Waterford’s Old Town Hall is home to many local theatre productions. This restored historic building, built in 1902, includes an auditorium with stage, seating for 180, and provides cultural diversity to the community in its capacity as a venue for musical, artistic and theatrical productions, a meeting hall and rental facility.

More recently, the South Coast Jazz festival has attracted thousands of visitors to the region, featuring since its 2014 inception such artists as Holly Cole, David Sanborn, Oakland Stroke, and Toronto’s Shuffle Demons.

The Port Dover Harbour Museum, housed in an original fisherman’s net shanty, commemorates Port Dover’s fishing industry. The galleries present exhibits on the days of commercial sail as well as Lake Erie shipwrecks, ship building, Long Point, the War of 1812 and other aspects of lakeside life in this community. The museum is also active in the preservation and presentation of local folklore and living traditions, particularly in the areas of fishing and lakeside history. Since 2002, the museum has been the home to a collection of artifacts from the 1852 wreck of the steamer Atlantic. One notable exhibit commemorated the bicentennial of the burning of Dover Mills, a hamlet burned to the ground by American soldiers in 1814. The Town of Port Dover was later established when the harbour at the mouth of the Lynn River was dredged.

The Waterford Heritage & Agricultural Museum is located in Waterford’s best known industrial landmarks “The Pickle Factory”. The museum exhibits the social, industrial, and agricultural history of the area through the use of interactive and engaging exhibits.

The Eva Brook Donly Museum is a Victorian-period historic house museum that has been featuring displays of local history since it first opened in 1946. Located in downtown Simcoe and operated by Norfolk County, the museum is renowned for its collections of artwork by the late William Edgar Cantelon and Eva Brook Donly. Here, you can see Dr. Troyer’s infamous witch trap, Abigail Becker’s gold medal presented to her for having rescued stranded sailors in 1854, an original Van Norman stove and much more. The museum also has an extensive archival collection of local genealogical historical material, including photographs, diaries, wills, legal papers, obituaries, maps and more. The archival collection is now apart of Norfolk County Archives. Norfolk County established their municipal archives there in 2018 and the collection has grown to include the corporate records for the County, including Council meeting minutes, by-laws, assessment rolls, vital statistics and other County administrative records.

The Teeterville Pioneer Museum is a museum devoted to pioneer life in the 19th century. It includes antique farm equipment as well as home and garden tools.

The Delhi Tobacco Museum and Heritage Centre displays the agricultural and cultural history of the former township. Despite a province-wide smoking ban, the museum still guarantees its patrons the benefits of viewing the artistry and science of tobacco farming during the Golden Years of growing tobacco. It is located near Quances Dam. There is also a park nearby that is enjoyed by the local residents for picnics, barbecues, and for walking around with. It is closed on Sundays and major holidays.

The Backus Mill Heritage and Conservation Centre, an open-air museum featuring a historic grist mill and a nature center, is a National Historic Site.

Housed in the Lynnwood National Historic Site, the Norfolk Arts Centre is Norfolk County’s public art gallery. The Norfolk Arts Centre has regularly changing exhibits featuring local and regional artists, diverse arts programs and special events.

Port Dover is the location of a biker rally which takes place every Friday the 13th. Simcoe is well-known for annual community events including the Lynn River Music and Arts Festival, as well as the Simcoe Panorama. Port Rowan also hosts an annual Bayfest.

The Norfolk County Fairgrounds are home to the Norfolk Wildlife and Adventure Show, Eat & Drink Norfolk and the Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show, Canada’s largest County Fair, that is held every Thanksgiving weekend in October. In addition to traditional agricultural and arts competitions, it features major grandstand shows that include Demo Derbys, Monster Trucks, Tractor Pulls and sold out concerts with artists Big n Rich, Barenaked Ladies, Burton Cummings, Dallas Smith and Carly Rae Jepsen.

Every October, Waterford hosts a Pumpkin Festival close to the end of the month. The Waterford Lions and Lioness clubs have been organizing the event since 2009. Due to low funding, the fireworks are no longer an event at the Waterford Pumpkin Festival. The usual features of the Pumpkin Festival are a pyramid of 1500 pumpkins, decorated buildings, craft shows, an automobile show, a carnival, live entertainment, and the locally famous Pumpkinbowl football game at Waterford District High School.

The Donnybrook Fair in Walsh is an annual two-day event. The fair has been held every year from 1857 until the present, making 2007 the 150th Fair. This mid-September event involves the children of Walsh Public School and St. Michael’s School entering projects and many agricultural commodities, grown locally, for prize money and ribbons. More than $1200 was paid to the elementary children in 2006. The fair has grown every year with the help of many volunteers. Fundraising events are held all year to finance the fair. These events include an annual barbecue dance, a Victoria Day brunch, food booths at every “Friday the 13th” event in Port Dover, and numerous raffles. The most popular event at each fair is the demolition derby. These were sponsored for a long time by the Horsepower Unlimited Car Club from Simcoe but are now sponsored by the Vittoria & St. Williams Fire Department Auxiliaries. 2007 was considered to be the 34th consecutive year of the demolition derbies.

Throughout the year, the fairgrounds and the Community Centre Hall are frequently used for weddings, funerals, and buck and doe events. The name “Donnybrook Fair” comes from an early settler of Walsh, who said the fair reminded him of an annual horse fair in Donnybrook, Dublin, Ireland.

In August 2013, Mumford & Sons hosted a 4-day stopover of their travelling music festival, called Gentlemen of the Road, in Norfolk County. It took place in the Norfolk County Fairgrounds, and was called the Gentlemen of the Road Simcoe Stopover. 35,000 festival-goers attended the festival, as well as many out-of-town resources for the event production. The aim of this tour was to be an economic stimulus for small towns in various parts of the world, where their festival stopovers occurred. The band encouraged festival goers to spend their money locally at each stopover. Simcoe and Norfolk were no different, where the tour was estimated to attract as much as $10 million in tourism revenues.

Norfolk County is also known for its attraction to boaters and fishers. The small village in Norfolk County, Turkey Point, is known for having the largest freshwater marina in Canada, MacDonald Turkey Point Marina. All summer long, thousands travel from Turkey Point to Pottahawk Point to party. A thriving boating scene can be found in Port Rowan; where alcoholic beverages can frequently be found on the docks and consumed by boaters over the age of majority. They must be purchased inland either through a local bar or through the government-owned beer store.

The Norfolk HERicanes ices house league teams in the Greater Hamilton Girls Hockey League and has its rep teams playing in the Lower Lakes Female Hockey League. The HERicanes play out of Talbot Gardens and Simcoe Rec Centre in Simcoe, Port Dover Arena, Waterford Arena and Delhi Arena.

Norfolk has three Junior C level hockey teams. The Port Dover Sailors and Delhi Travellers play in the Provincial Junior Hockey League. While the Simcoe Shamrocks once played in Norfolk County, they moved to Hespeler in 2018 because of arena issues.

The Norfolk Minor Hockey Association (Norfolk Knights) is a REP Partnership between Port Dover, Simcoe, and Waterford Minor Hockey Associations. Teams compete at the Junior B/BB level.

The Norfolk Harvesters RFC of the Niagara Rugby Union are a rugby football club that operates men’s, women’s, u18 boys’ and u18 girls’ rugby teams. The Club was established in 2001 and has won division championships in 2003, 2004, 2007, 2014, and a four-year run of championships in the “B” Division from 2015 to 2018. The club’s current home is the rugby pitch at Waterford’s Hellyer Memorial Park. Players and coaches have gone on to represent the Niagara Rugby Union, Rugby Ontario, and at the national level with Rugby Canada.

Public schools in Norfolk County are administered by the Grand Erie District School Board. The board maintains 16 public elementary schools and five public high schools in Norfolk:

Separate schools are administered by the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board, which maintains seven elementary schools and one high school.

The Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board also administers the on-site secondary school of the Sprucedale Youth Centre, a secure detention facility for young offenders.

There is also a separate school administered by the Conseil scolaire catholique Mon Avenir

In 2004 the documentary film Tobacco’s Last Stand was released which highlighted the effect on tobacco production on the region.

Simcoe has its own radio station, CHCD-FM. The area is otherwise served by media in Erie (Pennsylvania), Cleveland (Ohio), Buffalo (New York), and some radio stations from Toronto are also often receivable.

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Norfolk County had a population of 67,490 living in 27,594 of its 30,085 total private dwellings, a change of 5.4% from its 2016 population of 64,044. With a land area of 1,597.68 km (616.87 sq mi), it had a population density of 42.2/km2 (109.4/sq mi) in 2021.

According to Statistics Canada 2016 census:


Finding Immigration Accommodation for Newcomers in Norfolk County, Ontario


Most searches for immigration accommodation for newcomers in Norfolk County, Ontario begin with a search engine. Local papers in Norfolk County, Ontario may well be online and of course accommodation websites like Craigslist Norfolk County, Ontario and Book Direct and Save Norfolk County, Ontariocan be of great help.


What is the cost of newcomer accommodation in Norfolk County, Ontario


Norfolk County, Ontario accommodation for newcomers varies greatly in cost depending on requirements and neighborhoods. Lots of new arrivals to Norfolk County, Ontario use to give them an indication of short-term rental process in Norfolk County, Ontario and also the option to book with confidence and security.


Rental accommodation in Norfolk County, Ontario for newcomers


Once you decide to rent a property in Norfolk County, Ontario there are certain things specific to Norfolk County, Ontario to keep in mind. For example, make sure to agree on who pays for utilities such as electricity and water.


Property owners and landlords in Norfolk County, Ontario will usually require references and bank statements and not all individuals and families looking for newcomer accommodation in Norfolk County, Ontario have access to these so do make sure you locate some of the new immigrant services in Norfolk County, Ontario.


Rental housing is the most common housing option for new immigrants in Norfolk County, Ontario. With a huge range of rental properties available, including apartments, condos, and co-living spaces, new arrivals can easily find a rental property that meets their needs and budget.


Apartments in Norfolk County, Ontario are available in a variety of sizes and styles, from studios to multi-bedroom units. They can be found in a range of neighbourhoods from the downtown area to the more relaxed suburbs. Rent prices can vary greatly but expect to pay around CAD $1,800 to CAD $4,500 per month for an apartment in the centre of Norfolk County, Ontario.


Co-living options are increasingly popular for new immigrants in Norfolk County, Ontario, offering a more affordable and social living experience. They usually have private bedrooms and shared living spaces with added benefits like cleaning, internet and utilities included in the rent.  Rent prices for co-living spaces in Norfolk County, Ontario start from CAD $1,500 per month.


When choosing a rental property make sure to consider the cost of living and the lease terms and conditions.  Read the fine print on your lease documents as it is a contract you are signing so it is important you fully understand.


You can find even more detailed information about life in Norfolk County, Ontario here, places to go, things to do and how to get around in Norfolk County, Ontario.



Hotel Accommodation for New Immigrants in Norfolk County, Ontario


Some newcomers arriving in Norfolk County, Ontario find it easier to take residence in a Norfolk County, Ontario hotel for a few weeks before finding something more permanent.


Long-term hotels in Norfolk County, Ontario offer affordable rates and flexible stay options for individuals and families who need a place to stay for a few weeks or months.  You might find standard hotels in the area offer a few rooms at long-term rates to ensure they have a regular income.  Ask around and always book direct with the hotel as they can give the best rate that way.  The best way to book direct is with


Business NameRatingCategoriesPhone NumberAddress
Normandale Century Inn & RestaurantNormandale Century Inn & Restaurant
2 reviews
Hotels+151942683452326 Front Road, Vittoria, ON N0E 1W0, Canada
Erie Beach HotelErie Beach Hotel
10 reviews
Hotels+1519583139119 Walker St, Port Dover, ON N0A 1N0, Canada
Best Western Little River InnBest Western Little River Inn
4 reviews
Hotels+15194262125203 Queensway W, Simcoe, ON N3Y 2M9, Canada
1 review
Venues & Event Spaces, Hotels+15194264751385 Queensway W, Simcoe, ON N3Y 2M9, Canada
Turkey Point HotelTurkey Point Hotel
3 reviews
American (Traditional), Pubs93 Cedar Drive, Vittoria, ON N0E 1W0, Canada
Brant Hill InnBrant Hill Inn
3 reviews
Hotels+1519583150130 John Street, Port Dover, ON N0A 1N7, Canada
Comfort InnComfort Inn
2 reviews
Hotels+1519426261185 Queensway E, Simcoe, ON N3Y 4M5, Canada
Queensway MotelQueensway Motel
2 reviews
Hotels+15194263658139 Queensway W, Simcoe, ON N3Y 2M8, Canada

If you are looking for accommodation in another town or city in Canada, you can find it on our Canada Living Guide index page which has guides to finding housing in Canada as a newcomer in more than 700 cities and towns across the country.

Jacqueline Chow is an international immigration and visa expert with over 15 years of experience in the field. With a background in law and a passion for helping people, Jacqueline has built a reputation as a trusted and reliable source of information and advice on all aspects of immigration and visas. She has worked with clients from all over the world, including high-net-worth individuals, professionals, skilled workers and families. As a sought-after speaker and commentator Jacqueline has been featured in various media outlets and has given talks on immigration and visas at conferences and events around the world.