A Brief History

Tonawanda, which means "swift waters," was the name given to the area by Neuter and Erie Indians, the area’s original inhabitants, and it probably refers to the Niagara River current.


Early Visitors

In the 1600s, the area was visited by French missionaries and explorers, and later by traders, settlers and military personnel, as Tonawanda became an important crossroads in America’s westward expansion.

The British captured the territory from the French in 1759, yielding it to the United States in 1796. During the War of 1812, they burned the village of Tonawanda - even the village of Buffalo itself.

Construction of the Erie Canal in the 1820s brought a new wave of workers and settlers. With the opening of the canal linking Lake Erie and the Hudson River, and the resulting increase in trade and traffic, the area developed swiftly.


Founding of the Town

The Town of Tonawanda, formed on April 16, 1836, prospered as an agricultural and trading center. The Village of Kenmore, created on September 18, 1899, and located within the framework of the town, is one of the largest incorporated villages in the state. The City of Tonawanda parted from the Town of Tonawanda on March 23, 1903.

Thanks to foresighted, systematic planning and responsive government, town facilities have grown to keep pace with community needs.


About Town

Area Demographics

As of the 2010 census, Tonawanda, along with the Village of Kenmore had a population of 73,567, and property values of almost $3.7 billion. A dynamic expansion of facilities and personal lifestyles has added new dimensions to the quality of life in the town.

As an industrial, commercial and residential location, the Town of Tonawanda can provide the ideal solution to satisfy the varied needs of today’s more technological society.

Communities and Housing

Beautiful, tree-lined streets and comfortable homes are the hallmarks of life in the Town of Tonawanda. Residents of established neighborhoods, as well as more recently developed areas, share a common pride in home ownership. From spacious mansions to more modest homes, town residents reflect the same concern for the appearance of their community.

A wide variety of apartments and other rental housing provide the town with a variety of facilities to satisfy the lifestyle of every individual or family. All offer easy access to schools, churches, public transportation, shopping plazas, a major hospital, plus a variety of commercial and savings banks as well as other financial institutions in the town.

Covering a Wide Range of Interests
The variety of industry has fostered a heterogeneous mix of individual lifestyles within the town, which in turn affords its inhabitants a wide range of interests and activities.

Both spectator and participant sporting events are only the tip of the iceberg in reflecting the wide variety of recreational and cultural interests of town residents. There is something for everyone in the town, from bridge tournaments and baseball to neighborhood cookouts and charitable efforts. Everyone seems to find an outlet for doing their own thing within a community of such varied interests. Many of the town’s residents have elected to enjoy the advantages of living in the town during their retirement years.