Elora, Ontario is situated on the Grand River, approximately 20 kilometres north of Guelph, and 20 kilometres northeast of Kitchener-Waterloo. The town of Elora was originally part of Nichol Township.
Elora is a charming town with plenty of things to do if you are visiting for the day. Old 19th century limestone buildings line the main street where you can find boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. For those more adventurous there are plenty of trails along the Grand River.
Victoria Park is a short distance from the downtown area and a great place to view the Grand River along well groomed trails and several excellent look-out points. Bissell Park is located between Mill Street and the Grand River and an easy stroll from the downtown area.
Elora is mainly a farming community. Prior to the arrival of white settlers the Grand River had been a popular hunting ground for the indigenous people of the area. In 1784 the Government purchased the Grand River Valley from the Mississaugas. After the purchase a part of the area was set aside and became known as the Six Nations Reserve.
Over the next several decades land became scarcer in Southern Ontario and in higher demand. Before long huge sections of land ended up in the hands of white businessmen. Thomas Clark of Stamford from the Niagara District purchased 28,000 acres from Chief Brant and proceeded to call it Nichol Township in honour of Col. Robert Nichols, a business associate also from Niagara.
In 1832 Captain William Gilkinson of Brantford purchased half the township of 13,816 acres and founded the town of Elora. Attracted by the falls and the prospect of water power for his mills, Gilkinson would only live another year, never getting an opportunity to witness the rewards of his hard labour and the town he founded and named.
Elora was incorporated as a village in 1858 and remained as such until it was amalgamated with Fergus and portions of Eramosa, Nichol, Pilkington and West Garafraxa Townships to form Centre Wellington in 1999.
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