• Jen Bedard

The Communities of NOTL - Virgil

The small community of Virgil was originally referred to as The Crossroads because it was situated at the junction of Creek Road and Black Swamp Road.

Virgil got its name sometime between 1862 and 1876, but not before it was named Lawrenceville in 1844, after a prominent settler in the area. The arrival of Russian Mennonites, escaping persecution during the First World War, helped boost the fruit industry in the area; they still have a presence in the town and a beautiful church building.

The local fruit harvest includes peaches, cherries, plums, pears and tomatoes and there were several canning factories in the area until a few decades ago. Today, one of these buildings is home to one of the many local wineries.

The Virgil Dam Conservation Area nearby includes the man-made Virgil Dam, a small dam that is filled by a creek. With 50-hectares of woodland and wetland the area is popular with canoeists, fishermen and those just wanting to picnic or spend some quiet time in the stunning natural surroundings. Visiting the Tulip tree plantation with its 15 types of nut trees is a much-loved activity in the area.

School-going children of elementary age have a choice of two schools in Virgil, but the secondary school was closed down in 2010. A relaxed and slow pace of life in the neighbourhood favours retirees and people with young families. Everyone indulges the present-day lifestyle that is mixed with country flare and there is a rich community-based culture.