Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

2004 - Now in our 15th Year - 2019

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First Oil Wells in Canada

First Oil Wells in Canada

Photos by Alan L Brown - Posted June, 2009

First Oil Wells in Canada

Plaque Location

The County of Lambton
The Village of Oil Springs
At the Oil Museum of Canada
on the northwest corner of Gum Bed Line and Kelly Road
2 km from the intersection of Oil Springs Line and
Oil Heritage Road (Road 21) in Oil Springs
via south on Oil Heritage Road then east on Gum Bed Line

Coordinates: N 42 46.332 W 82 07.263


Click here for a larger map

Plaque Text

The presence of oil in this locality was observed by early travellers and by the pioneer farmers who used it for medical purposes. In 1858, near Oil Springs, James M. Williams dug the first oil well in Canada and later established a refinery at Hamilton. In 1861, John Shaw, by drilling into the rock, opened the first flowing well, its situation being Lot 18, Concession 2, Enniskillen Township. From these beginnings developed one of Canada's most important industries.

Related Ontario plaques
Ontario's Oil Refining Industry
The Founding of Petrolia
The Craigleith Shale Oil Works 1859



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