Sunderland, Ontario is located at the southern end of Brock Township. Surrounded by prime agricultural lands Sunderland is home to approximately 1,200 residents. With many interesting and unique stores, eateries and galleries, Sunderland is a destination for visitors and guests year around. In addition to the permanent attractions, Sunderland hosts many events including the Sunderland Maple Syrup Festival in the spring and the annual Sunderland Agricultural Fall Fair in early fall.
Sunderland, Ontario was not recognized until about 1870 when the Toronto Nipissing Railroad passed through the area. The junction of River Street and Albert Street was referred to as Jones' Corner because the Jones brothers owned the surrounding properties. At this time the name was changed to Sunderland. Many of the early Palatine (German families) like Brethour, Baker, Miller and others had been brought to England and later Ireland by the Earl of Sunderland. Perhaps this is where the name came from. In England the town of Sunderland got its name when the town land was "sundered" or separated from a nearby monastery, hence the name Sunderland. Many of the settlers in this part of Brock were of military background or United Empire Loyalists and received grants of free land. They were very loyal to the British Crown and for many generations supported the Tory or conservative Government. Once the railroad came through the town rapidly expanded and there was an increase in the number of new homes built and businesses started.
One can now travel along the same route followed by the Toronto Nipissing Railroad due to the efforts of a local collaborative that has converted the former railroad bed into a multi-use trail. The Beaver River Wetlands Trail travels north into Cannington and south to the hamlet of Blackwater.