Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

2004 - Now in our 15th Year - 2019

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The Icelandic Settlement Disaster

The Icelandic Settlement Disaster

Photos by Alan L Brown - Posted December, 2010

The Icelandic Settlement Disaster


The Icelandic Settlement Disaster

Photo from Google Street View ©2010 Google - Posted December, 2010

Plaque Location

The City of Kawartha Lakes
In Kinmount, just north of the
Road 121 bridge over the Burnt River
on the west side of the street behind the old railway station

Coordinates: N 44 46.892 W 78 39.158


Click here for a larger map

Plaque Text

In the 1870's, economic distress prompted mass emigration from Iceland. On September 25th, 1874, 352 Icelanders, exhausted and weakened by illness arrived at the emigration sheds in Toronto. When the Victoria Railway Company offered work constructing its line from near Kinmount, the provincial government housed the Icelanders in log shanties down river from here. Poor ventilation, sanitation and diet allowed sickness to rage through their cold, over-crowded quarters. Within six weeks, twelve children and a teenager had died. By the spring of 1875, the death toll had doubled and many of the settlers scattered in search of a better life. In the fall, most regrouped in Toronto and travelled west to found the settlement of Gimli, Manitoba.


Kawartha Lakes Plaques

Here are the visitors' comments for this page.

> Posted April 20, 2018
Is there any listing of the people that died and are buried there as my ancestors came through Kinmount and one of my ancestors died as an infant while at Kinmount?
Warren Jonasson martinandford@hotmail.com

> Posted July 11, 2009
This plaque is displayed in three languages -- English, French and Icelandic. Another plaque also is displayed with the names of those you died in the Icelandic Settlement Disaster.

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