Dundas is one of the oldest communities at the Head of the Lake. The town formally began when lots were surveyed along present-day Spencer Creek in 1797. Prior to that time, there was a small community along the creek known as Coote’s Paradise. Captain John Coote was a British military officer stationed at Fort George in what is now Niagara-on-the-Lake. Captain Coote and many of his co-officers regularly journeyed from Fort George to the coastal marsh through the waters of Lake Ontario and Hamilton Harbour. The incredibly rich marsh was an excellent location for hunting mammals and birds alike; vast numbers of waterfowl used it as breeding grounds and a migration stopover in the spring and fall. The variety and abundance of species present made it a hunter’s paradise and as Captain Coote was one of the prominent hunters to frequent the area, it became known as Coote’s Paradise.
The small community located at the end of the marsh was also given the name Coote’s Paradise until surveying began in 1797 when it was renamed Dundas, in honour of Henry Dundas, Viscount Melville, Secretary of State for the Home Department from 1791 until 1801. For more information click here.