The Maitland Education and Recreation Corporation (MERC) is a volunteer organization whose purpose is to operate a Community Centre (MERC Hall), and to provide recreational and educational programs and events for the benefit of the people living in Maitland and the surrounding area.
MERC is operated by a Board of Directors elected by the Maitland community at the September Annual General meeting. Any resident of Maitland can attend monthly MERC meetings, volunteer for MERC activities and be part of the MERC Board. The MERC Hall is located at 120 East MacLean Blvd. It is surrounded by a lighted ball diamond, soccer fields, a play structure, outdoor rink and a large parking lot. To the west of the MERC Hall is the main entrance to the Maitland Trails.
MERC activities are funded through hall rentals and community fund raising events. Some children’s sports programs (soccer) and adult sports programs (Sunday slo-pitch) are operated and supported by MERC.
MERC also provides a Bursary for Maitland-area High School students that are continuing with their post-secondary studies. Qualifying students should have volunteered time and contributed to MERC/Maitland activities. These students should see their school’s Guidance Counsellor for details.
The historic community of Maitland is located four miles east of Brockville and seven miles west of Prescott on scenic Highway 2 along the “shores” of the St. Lawrence River.
The French began settlement in this region during the 1700’s. “New Oswegatchie” located near Blue Church, was named after an earlier mission fort, “Oswegatchie” located on the site of present day Ogdensburg, NY. They operated a thriving shipyard on Pointe au Baril. With the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the north shore of the St. Lawrence came under British rule. The area remained relatively unsettled until an influx of United Empire Loyalists in 1782. A village plot was laid out in 1824 by Jehiel and Ziba Phillips. Adjacent to it, George Langley acquired an estate on which St. James Anglican Church was built in 1826. He constructed the nearby windmill, opened a store and in 1828 became Maitland’s first post master. The community named after Sir Peregrine Maitland, Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada 1818-28 was a point of access to the Rideau area and flourished during the building of the Rideau Canal 1826-32. Other local industries were soon established including a distillery, cheese factory, and iron works. By 1850, Maitland had 200 residents. (From the Historic plaques on Hwy. # 2)
Present day Maitland is made up of four subdivisions. The McLean subdivision runs along the St. Lawrence River and north to the CP/CNR railway tracks. It includes the original 1800’s village and later growth from the 1960’s.
The Maitland Park Estates is located east of County Rd. 15 (Church St.) between Ultramar Terminal and Highway 401. On Christmas Eve, Maitland Park residents line their neighborhood streets with candles for a Christmas Lumiere that has become a family tradition.
The Kemp subdivision is located east of County Rd. 15 (Church St.) and north of the 401.
The Maitland By The Trails subdivision is located west of County Rd. 15 and north of the railway tracks. The neighborhood marks the traditional entrance to the Maitland Trails. These trails are open to the public year round (except during deer hunting season) for hiking and cross country skiing.
Among Maitland’s many attractions is the Homewood Museum located on Highway 2 near Invista (formerly Dupont). It offers a glimpse into family life in Upper Canada in the 1800’s. The collection includes artifacts from a thriving medical practice and an active apple business. The orchard surrounding the home contains many heritage varieties of apples. Maitland residents also enjoy many parks, a scenic view of the St. Lawrence River, a fantastic chip wagon, and recreational group and community centre (MERC).
For more information, please feel free to visit the Augusta Township website.
When you visit and live in Maitland, you know that you have found some place special!