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Trip Planner Canada  /  Ontario  /  Centre Wellington  /  Elora

Elora

3.8
Wildlife Areas · River Rafting & Tubing · Outdoor Activities
Elora is a community in the township of Centre Wellington, Wellington County, Ontario, Canada. It is well known for its 19th-century limestone architecture and the geographically significant Elora Gorge.Elora is no longer an independent entity. In 1999, the Township of Centre Wellington was formed by amalgamating the Town of Fergus, Ontario, Village of Elora and the Townships of Nichol, Pilkington, West Garafraxa and a part of Eramosa. In 2011, the community referred to as Elora had a population of approximately 7,756.HistoryRoman Catholic missionaries first visited this area in the early to mid 1600s "to Christianize" the indigenous people, particularly the Neutral Nation on the old Attiwandaronk Lands. The first settlers arrived in 1817 and Roswell Matthews built a home here the next year.Captain William Gilkison (1777-1833) was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, and emigrated to North America in 1796. He served with the British forces in the War of 1812 as an assistant quartermaster-general, and in 1832 purchased some 14,000 acres of land in Nichol Township. He selected this area at the falls of the Grand River as a town site for his proposed settlement and named it Elora. It was laid out by Lewis Burwell, deputy provincial land surveyor, late in 1832, and the following year Gilkison established a sawmill and a general store. The founder of Elora died in April, 1833, before the full results of his foresight and enterprise were achieved.Elora was officially founded in 1832 by Captain William Gilkison, originally from Scotland, who was a British officer recently returned from India. He had also served in the War of 1812. He bought 14,000 acres of land on the Grand River and settled on the east side of the river. The plan for the settlement was laid out by Lewis Burwell, in late 1832, when it was called Irvine Settlement. By 1833, Gilkison had opened a sawmill and a general store. The village was renamed Elora when the post office was established in 1839. Gilkison named the community after his brother's ship, which was itself inspired by the Ellora Caves near Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India.
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