Original Inhabitants

First Nations peoples have been living in southwestern Ontario for over 12,000 years and there are still several First Nations settlements close to Elgin County where First Nations communities live and share their cultural traditions. Learn more about the various First Nations communities in our area by visiting:

Cultural Groups

European settlers have been colonizing and settling in the St. Thomas-Elgin area since in the early 1800s. The cultural diversity has continued to change as immigrants from different parts of the world have moved to the area. Currently, 28% of the population in Elgin County is either a first or second generation immigrant; however, many immigrants come from largely Caucasian countries, such as Britain and United States, resulting in only 2.4% of the Elgin County population identifying as a visible minority.

Languages Spoken

In St. Thomas, English is a first language for 92% of the population, while French is a first language for 1% of the population. The most common first languages other than English and French are:

  1. German
  2. Dutch
  3. Polish
  4. Croatian
  5. Khmer (Cambodian)

For more information, see Statistics Canada's St. Thomas Census Profile.

In Elgin County, 13% of the population has a first language other than English or French. Other than English and French, the most commonly spoken languages in the county are:

  1. German
  2. Dutch
  3. Portuguese
  4. Polish
  5. Spanish

For more information, see Statistics Canada's Elgin County Census Profile.

For more information about local cultural diversity, visit the St. Thomas-Elgin Local Immigration Partnership.


Elgin County
City of St.Thomas
YW St.Thomas
Province of Ontario