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Listowel

Trip Planner Canada  /  Ontario  /  Listowel
Listowel is an unincorporated community in Ontario, Canada, located in the municipality of North Perth. It was created in 1998 during the amalgamation of several other communities in the northern section of Perth County, and dissolved with the creation of North Perth. Its population was 6,867 at the Canada 2011 Census.HistorySettler John Binning arrived in 1857 and was the first to create a permanent residence in the area. The community was originally named Mapleton, but the name was changed when a post office was established. The new name was chosen by a government official and refers to Listowel, Ireland. The majority of early settlers were of Protestant Irish origin (Ulster Scots Planters, or English Planters). Incorporated in 1867 as a village and in 1875 as a town, Listowel is now part of the town of North Perth.In 1907, hydro electric & telephone services came to the town with the Princess cinema. During World War II the theatre was renamed the Capitol and remains Canada's oldest operating cinema.On February 28, 1959, the Listowel Memorial Arena collapsed, burying a boys' hockey team playing a scrimmage game – the worst tragedy in the town's history. Seven young players, along with a referee and recreation director (Reginald Kenneth McLeod), were all killed in the tragic collapse.On March 17, 2011, the local dollar store caught fire and its roof collapsed killing volunteer firefighters Ray Walter (30) and Ken Rea (56). Listowel mourned this tragic loss, closing major streets and posting black ribbons all over town in honour of the fallen firefighters. Paddyfest festivities continued to honour Kinsmen Ray Walter, but in a somber fashion. A community funeral service was held March 24, 2011 at the Listowel Memorial Arena, with a broadcast directly to Elma Community Center. Over 10,000 were expected to visit Listowel that day and Premier Dalton McGuinty joined emergency responders from all across the country to attend the funeral service. A minute of silence was held at the Ontario Legislature earlier in the week and flags were flown at half mast. Firefighters from London, Ontario and Kitchener, Ontario came to help staff the local fire stations so all North Perth firefighters could attend the service. This was the first time a double firefighter fatality in Ontario has happened since 1978. Ken and Ray will be remembered for their braveness and will be honoured in the community of North Perth forever.
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