Discover downtown Thorold to shop, dine, and live in a heritage area in Niagara’s canal city promoted by the Thorold Business Improvement Area; B.I.A.The purpose of our non-profit organization is to represent and support the downtown business people. The B.I.A. hopes to enhance both the development of existing business and to work cooperatively with the City’s economic development officer to attract new businesses. B.I.A. members are welcome to attend General Meetings every other month. Sign up for our emails to be sure to be kept in the loop.
It is the goal of the Thorold Business Improvement Area ( B.I.A. ) to continue to revitalize, improve, beautify, maintain and promote the downtown of Thorold as a whole. We will work diligently to keep it a clean, safe and attractive business and shopping destination for local residents and visitors.
Thorold BIA General Membership Meetings
If you're wondering what we're up to and want to have your say in front of the board and other members, come on out to our next general membership meeting. All welcome!
A special place for members to get information on meetings, minutes, policies, emails, etc.
Thorold received the status of bronze in 2015 for bicycle friendliness and we work every day to make our area more and more friendly to cyclists. We have bike racks, repair kits, water and washrooms available at several different downtown establishments.
Thorold was almost called St. George but was named after Sir John Thorold , a member of British Parliament for Lincolnshire, England. Thorold was originally a wooded plateau overlooking Lake Ontario. After the forest was cleared it was called “Stumptown” for a short time. It officially became a village in 1850, a township in 1875 and a city in 1975.
In 1866 there was a terrible fire in downtown Thorold. It started on the west side of Front St. and with some high winds travelled up the street and over a couple blocks as far as St. John’s Church. At least 40 buildings were consumed by the fire. The St. Catharines hose company came to help during the height of the fire.
The Welland Canal
The Welland Canal passes through the heart of the city, and the Twin Flight Locks located downtown, attract thousands of tourists annually.
Throughout its short life, the route attracted only limited freight and passenger traffic. To improve its fortunes, the name of the line was changed in 1894 to the Niagara, Hamilton & Pacific Railway with the intention of expanding to the west. No work was ever undertaken, however, and the company filed for bankruptcy in 1899. What remained was purchased by the NSC&T later that year (known as the Main Line by the company).
The third and final company brought into the fold was the St. Catharines Street Railway, a horse car line that was incorporated in 1874 with the first route being open for public service in November 1879.
In March 1882, the name of the company was changed to the St.Catharines, Merriton & Thorold Street Railway to recognize anticipated expansion plans. This move was followed by full electrification in October 1887, along with the absorption of the Niagara & St. Catharines Street Railway the following year. A new name for the company, being the Port Dalhouise, St. Catharines & Thorold Electric Street Railway, took affect in 1893. The NSC&T acquired controlling interest in May 1901.
Opened the following year, the entire route was electrified in 1900 and subsequently sold to the NSC&T in 1901. Although this line was entirely urban in nature, it did offer a connection to American railway interests over the International Railway Company Bridge, a matter that would prove of benefit in the future.
Thorold is home of one of the first and last interurban rail lines: The NSC&T line. The NSC&T Company ultimately became one of the largest radial systems developed in the country, in addition to being one of the oldest, and perhaps the last to have survived.
The earliest of these lines was the St.Catharines & Niagara Central Railway, a steam road that was incorporated in 1881 and opened between Niagara Falls and Thorold in 1887.
There are many ways to enjoy downtown Thorold such as walking, cycling, driving or taking transit.
We will be providing maps for:
Bicycle Friendly Equipment