Acton, Ontario – My Top 8 Picks

Acton, Ontario – My Top 8 Picks

Acton is located at the intersection of Highway 7 and Halton Regional Road 25. Methodist preachers Ezra and Zenas Adams and their brother Rufus settled on the west branch of the Credit River in the 1820s. A community of pioneer families grew around the Adams family farms. Nicklin’s saw and grist mill and Nelles’ tannery operated here by the early 1840s.

Acton was first named Danville when Settler Wheeler Green opened a dry-goods store in 1828. It was later called Adamsville, after the early settlers. In 1846, the postmaster named the community after the area of Acton in West London, England.

Tanning was an important industry in Acton from 1844 when the first tannery was established. The area was attractive to the leather industry because of the large numbers of trees. Acton was known as the leather capital of Canada. At the turn of the century, it was the largest tanning center in the British Empire. The tannery continued in operation until its closure in September 1986.

The town’s location was chosen because of the good source of waterpower from the Black Creek, and the flour mill established at the beginning is still in operation today, although its source of power has changed. Acton is near the watershed between the Credit River and the Grand River which is just west of the urban area where the Blue Springs Creek begins.

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

Queen Anne style, three-storey turret, architraves with keystones, verge board trim on gables, fretwork, ionic pillars

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

39 Willow Street – Knox Manse established 1889 – Italianate with two-and-a-half storey tower-like bay, pediment above pillared porch, fretwork and verge board on gable

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

55 Mill Street East was built in 1879 by William H. Storey who came to Canada as a child in 1845 and came to Acton in 1856 as a saddle apprentice. He branched out on his own and eventually owned the Storey Glove Factory which was located on Bower Avenue (where the Post Office is now). He built this beautiful Victorian Home at 55 Mill Street East for his family. It was called “The Sunderland Villa”. His carriage house was located at 7 John Street and he heated the carriage house and his home via underground steam pipes from the factory. Mr. Storey died in 1898. After the First World War the building was used to house soldiers and then sat derelict for a number of years until Victor Rumley purchased it in 1937 and moved The MacKinnon Family Funeral Home with Shoemaker Chapel to this location.

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

105 Mill Street – Italianate, hipped roof, corner quoins, banding

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

129 Mill Street – Gothic Revival, dichromatic brickwork, corner quoins

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

98 Church Street – Moorecroft c. 1896 – Italianate, Doric pillars, dormer in attic, wraparound verandah on lower level, pillared balcony on second floor

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

19 Willow Street North – Acton Town Hall opened in 1883 with a grand ball and remained the hub of Acton’s social life for over 80 years. The upstairs auditorium was used for meetings, dances, concerts, Sunday School plays, amateur dramatics, and minstrel shows. The police station, council chambers, library, and practice room for the Acton Citizens’ Band were housed downstairs. In 1974 the regional government moved out of Acton to Georgetown. It is in the Italianate style, cornice brackets, cupola, arched voussoirs with keystones over the windows, cornice return on the gable of the two-and-a-half storey frontispiece; sidelights and transom windows around the front door.

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

69-71 Bower Street – Syndicate Houses built 1882 – Five double houses were built by the Acton Building Association as tenements for workers. Each is remarkable for its distinctive brick pattern