Fleetwood and Fleetwood Station
The Fleetwood School©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko
Fleetwood was a farming settlement near Lake Ontario that was first settled around 1865. At its height it contained two stores, a sawmill, a tavern, a shoemaker, a church and school. A post office first opened in 1860 but closed a few years later. It reopened in 1872. A cheese factory was established in the 1890s.
Fleetwood prospered until the early part of the 20th century, when it began to stagnate. Lack of a railway has generally been cited as a major factor. The hamlet was bypassed by the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) in favour of Franklin, a small hamlet about 20 kilometres east.
Around 1913 the rival Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) opened a branch line running from Draneol to Lindsay. A small flag station was built about halfway between Fleetwood and Franklin and the area became known as Fleetwood Station. Ironically the CPR line outlived the GTR (later CN) line by almost 60 years. Unfortunately the railway arrived too late to revive Fleetwood's fortunes and by the 1930s, the cheese factory and store had closed.
Fleetwood, like many communities in southern Ontario, continues to support a small rural population. The school still stands and is now a private home.