Ayr, Ontario – My Top 5 Picks

Ayr, Ontario – My Best 5 Picks

Ayr is located south of Kitchener and west of Cambridge, and south of Highway 401.

In 1824, Abel Mudge built a saw mill and flour mill at the junction of Cedar Creek and the Nith River. This was the first of three settlements, Jedburgh in the east (Main Street), Nithvale in the west (Piper Street) and Mudge’s Mill in the center (Stanley/Northumberland Streets) in what is today the Village of Ayr.

Jedburgh began in 1832 when John Hall, a young immigrant from Jedburgh, Scotland, purchased a 75-acre parcel of land that included the area now flooded by Jedburgh Dam. By 1850 Hall had developed several industries, including a flour mill, sawmill and distillery with water power provided by the damming of Cedar Creek. At the same time a smaller settlement, Nithvale, was founded to the west of Mudge’s Mill where a small sawmill opened along the Nith River.

In 1840 when Robert Wyllie established a post office it was given the name “Ayr”, a name influenced by the large number of former Ayrshire, Scotland immigrants who were drawn to Canada by promises of inexpensive, fertile land.

In 1846–47 Daniel Manley’s mill was built, William Baker’s store was established and John Watson’s foundry constructed with Watson’s Dam its power reservoir. These three key businesses played large roles in Ayr’s early success as did the coming of the Credit Valley Railway in 1879. James Somerville began the first Ayr newspaper in 1854.

#190 and #192 – Triple-gable Gothic Revival style

40 McDonald Street – Second Empire style, mansard roof with dormers, yellow brick, cornice brackets, corner quoins

42 McDonald Street – yellow brick, verge board trim, corner quoins

102 Main Street – Italianate – hip roof, yellow brick, two-storey bay window, corner quoins, cornice brackets

105 Hall Street – Ayr Public School – 1890 – cupola, Romanesque style window arches, dentil molding