April, 2017:

Galt, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Galt, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

In 1784 the British Crown granted to the Six Nations Indians, in perpetuity, all the land along the Grand River six miles deep on each side of the river from its source to Lake Erie. The Indians, led by Joseph Brant, had the land surveyed in 1791 and divided into Indian Reserve lands as well as large tracts which they intended to sell to land developers. One such developer was the Honorable William Dickson who, in 1816, came into sole possession of 90,000 acres of land along the Grand River which later made up North and South Dumfries Townships.

It was Mr. Dickson’s intention to divide the land into smaller lots to sell to the Scottish settlers that he hoped to attract to Canada. For the town site, the place where Mill Creek flows into the Grand River was chosen and in 1816 the settlement of Shade’s Mills began. When the Post Office opened in 1825, the new name of Galt was chosen for the town in honor of the Scottish novelist and Commissioner of the Canada Company, John Galt.

In its early days Galt was an agricultural community serving the needs of the farmers in the surrounding countryside. By the late 1830s, the settlement began to develop industrially and acquired the reputation for quality products that in later years earned the town the nickname “The Manchester of Canada”.

In the late 1960s the provincial government began looking at ways in which municipal governments could become more effective. On January 1, 1973, the City of Galt was amalgamated with the towns of Preston and Hespeler to form a single city, the new city being called Cambridge.

22 Blenheim Road, Galt – 1½ storey Gothic Revival house with large dormers in the attic – Galt Book 1

16 Blenheim Road – R.O. McCulloch’s House – c. 1879 – yellow brick, Italianate style – cornice brackets, dentil moulding, decorative concrete keystones, wooden logia-style porch. Robert McCulloch was heir to Goldie-McCulloch Co. Ltd., the forerunner of Babcock & Wilcox Canada. – Galt Book 1

36 Blenheim Road – red brick Gothic Revival – verge board trim on gables, bay window – Galt Book 1

26 Lansdowne Road North – Queen Anne style – verge board trim on gable, dichromatic brickwork, cornice brackets on bay window – Galt Book 1

222 Main Street – Italianate – cornice brackets, iron cresting above bay windows and around 2nd floor balcony, cornice brackets, hipped roof– Galt Book 2

12½ Water Street – Old Post Office– A.D. 1883 – clock tower– Galt Book 2

Simcoe, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Simcoe, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Simcoe is a town in Southwestern Ontario located near Lake Erie at the junction of Highways 3 and 24, south of Brantford. From Hamilton take Highway 6 to Simcoe.

Simcoe was founded in 1795 by Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe. He gave a grant to Aaron Culver, one of the earliest settlers, with the condition that he was to build mills. In 1801 he built a sawmill and a few years later added a grist mill.  The combined operation known as Union Mill was instrumental in the development of Simcoe. By 1812 a hamlet had grown up around the mills. The mills were burnt and the adjacent houses looted by U.S. troops in 1814. In 1819-23, Culver laid out a village which he called Simcoe. The mill was rebuilt by Duncan Campbell around 1825. By the 1870s, Nathan Ford operated a large flour mill, grain elevator and distillery on this site. The last water-powered mill on this site ceased operations in 1928.

94 Norfolk Street – Italianate style with two-and-a-half storey tower-like bay topped with a cupola with iron cresting on top; decorative voussoirs and keystones

109 Norfolk Street South – Eva Brook Donly Museum – Georgian style

Norfolk Street at corner of Lynn Park Drive – Stone mansion, Palladian window in round gable, decorative voussoirs, deep verandahs, enclosed verandah on second floor at rear

72 Lynwood Drive – Neo-colonial style, gambrel roof

121 Colborne Street – two-storey pillars supporting the roof with verandahs on both levels

217 Colborne Street – Second Empire style – mansard roof, dichromatic tilework

Caledonia, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Caledonia, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Caledonia is a small riverside community located on the Grand River in Haldimand County. It is located at the intersection of Highway 6 and Highway 54 (within the town, these streets are called Argyle Street and Caithness Street respectively).  On Highway 6, the town is 10 kilometers south of Hamilton and 10 kilometers north of Hagersville. On Highway 54, the town is 15 kilometers east of Brantford and 10 kilometers west of Cayuga.

The Grand River flows 293 kilometers from the Dundalk Highlands to Lake Erie and is the largest river in southern Ontario. The river winds its way through marshes, woods, farmsteads, and communities. Rainbow trout use this river in their migration.

Caledonia was once a small strip of land between Seneca and Oneida villages. The Grand River traveled through Caledonia dividing it into two sides, North and South. In 1834, Ranald McKinnon was hired to build a dam in Seneca and a dam in Caledonia. Completed in 1840, the dams made water power available. The dam at Caledonia was constructed as part of a series of dams, locks and canals to facilitate navigation of the Grand River from Lake Erie to Brantford. Mills were built throughout Seneca village, and five mills were built in Caledonia by 1850.  Commercial navigation ceased by 1879, but the dam continued to serve the local mills and provided a recreation opportunity. The present dam was built in 1980 downstream of the original structure.

204 Caithness Street – paired cornice brackets, corner quoins, decorative verge board trim on gable of two-and-a-half-storey tower-like bay

153 Argyle Street – Gothic Revival cottage, corner quoins, decorative brickwork

4 Argyle Street – Toll House c. 1875 – built as an office and residence for the collector of tolls for the bridge over the Grand River

11 Orkney Street – Gothic Revival

78 Sutherland Street

Grand River Mills – Caledonia Milling Co. – built in 1846 – the last timber-frame water powered mill along the Grand River in Ontario