Leeds, a N. E. county of Ontario, Canada, on the N. bank of the river St. Lawrence, near Lake Ontario; area, 895 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 35,302. It has a rough, hilly surface, diversified by a number of small lakes in which rise Cataraqui and Rideau rivers. The soil is generally fertile. Wheat, oats, potatoes, Indian corn, peas, buckwheat, and rye are the principal productions. It is traversed by the Grand Trunk and the Brockville and Ottawa railroad. Capital, Brockville.
Leeds, a municipal and parliamentary borough of the West riding of Yorkshire, England, situated on both sides, but chiefly on the left, of the navigable river Aire, 22 m. W. S. W. of York and 206 m. by railway N N. W. of London; pop. in 1851, 172,270; in 1871, 259,212. Its site was probably at one time a Roman station; its mediaeval name (Loidis) is Saxon. As a manufacturing town it dates back only to the 16th century. The principal and best part of Leeds stands on the slope of a hill N. of the Aire. Most of the town is irregularly built, with narrow and crooked streets; but in the centre and west the streets are wide and handsome, being lined with modern buildings. Two stone bridges and four of iron cross the river, on the S. side of which are the extensive suburbs of Holbeck and Hunslet. The streets are well paved and the sidewalks flagged and lighted with gas, and an abundant supply of water is conveyed from the Harewood hills, 5 or 6 m. distant. There are many handsome public buildings, especially the town hall, completed in 1858. Improvements are in steady progress.
The largest buildings are the cloth halls, in which the cloth markets are held, the commercial buildings, three market houses, the corn exchange, the court house, with a bronze statue of Sir Robert Peel in front of it, the town hall, the stock exchange, the jail, the cavalry barracks, etc, and the places of public amusement. Many of the churches are large and elegant buildings. In 1871 there were 225 places of worship, of which 73 belonged to the church of England. The Leeds free grammar school, founded in 1552, is endowed with an income of about £2,000 per annum. The industrial school at Burmantofts, opened in 1848, is a large and very complete establishment, the buildings forming a capacious and ornamental Elizabethan pile, and the grounds covering six acres. Leeds possesses an excellent library founded by Dr. Priestley in 17G8; the library and museum of the literary and philosophical society; a mechanics' institution, a school of design, a medical school, etc. The charitable institutions are: the Leeds infirmary with 150 beds, the house of recovery for fever patients, a dispensary, an eye and ear infirmary, a lying-in hospital, and several almshouses for the poor and aged. Leeds is particularly distinguished for its musical festivals.
In woollen manufactures it now surpasses all other English cities, and more leather is tanned here than at any other place in the British empire. For a long time only the coarser kinds of woollens were manufactured, but cloths are now produced which for fineness and colors cannot be surpassed. About 12,000 persons are employed in the woollen manufacture in more than 100 factories; about an equal number of persons are employed in flax spinning and weaving. Nearly a quarter of the whole population are employed in the various manufactories. Notwithstanding this increased prosperity, there is still much pauperism. No other town in England is so admirably situated for trade, being placed in the heart of the inland navigation of the country. It communicates with the sea eastward by means of the Aire and Calder navigation to the Plumber, and westward by the Leeds and Liverpool canal to the Mersey. The warehouses of the Aire and Calder company are of great dimensions, and there are convenient docks. Leeds is also the centre of a network of railways converging to it from all parts of the country, and placing it in connection with every important town of the kingdom. In the surrounding district there are more than 100 collieries.
About 2 m. from Leeds are the ruins of Kirkstall abbey.
Town Hall, Leeds.