Parks, Gardens & Conservation Areas
Grimsby Park and Grimsby Beach
The early Methodists missed the fellowship of church attendance, so each summer for a week or ten days, a mammoth camp meeting would be held so that everyone could absorb enough religious fervour to last through the long winter. The camp meeting was an important social as well as religious event. These meetings were held in various locations, but in 1859 John Bowslaugh donated the land on the shores of Lake Ontario for a permanent Ontario Methodist Camp Meeting Ground.
Because of its continued success, sixteen years later a company was incorporated to manage the site. Cottages were built and a community grew that included a grocery store, barber shop, telegraph office, hotels and even its own railway stopping. By 1888 a new temple was built and dedicated which could seat up to 7000 people. Steamers travelled daily from Toronto to land at Grimsby Park's Pier.
Gradually the camp meetings became a thing of the past. The year 1910 saw a new owner bring a mid-way, shooting gallery, merry-go-round and more. The park was now a summer resort. As time passed, the cottages became homes and the summer fun of Grimsby park turned into the more regular life of a little community.