Fergus, Ontario

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Fergus
Unincorporated community
The Fergus post office.
The Fergus post office.
Coordinates: 43°42′11″N 80°22′47″W / 43.70306°N 80.37972°W / 43.70306; -80.37972
Country Canada
Province Ontario
County Wellington County
Township Centre Wellington
Government
 • Township mayor Joanne Ross-Zuj
Area[1]
 • Land 15.08 km2 (5.82 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 19,126
 • Density 1,268.4/km2 (3,285/sq mi)
  [2]
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Forward sortation area N1M
Area code(s) 519 and 226
NTS Map 040P09
GNBC Code FBDWO

Fergus (2011 population 19,126) is the largest community in Centre Wellington, a township within Wellington County in Ontario, Canada. It lies on the Grand River about 25 km north of Guelph.

History[edit]

The first settlers to this area were freed slaves who formed what was known as the Pierpoint Settlement, named after their leader, Richard Pierpoint. Along with a half dozen other men, Pierpoint was granted land in Garafraxa Township somewhere around what is now Scotland Street in Fergus.

In 1833, just a quarter mile from the Pierpoint settlement, Little Falls was established by Adam Fergusson. Along with fellow Scot James Webster, he purchased 7,000 acres (2,832.80 ha) (28 km²) of uncleared land in Nichol Township and laid out the town of Fergus. Webster took up residence here and supervised the settlement's early development.

St Andrew Street East

The first house of this predominantly Scottish community was erected in 1833. A hotel was built in 1834 and a sawmill, grist mill, church and school followed in 1835.

They soon established a vibrant economy, using the waterfalls on the Grand River as power for local industry. The Scots built solid stone houses, factories and other buildings which have characterized Fergus to this day. Many of the houses and factories built by these early settlers are still in use today—occasionally occupied by descendents of the original owners.

Originally Fergus was known as Little Falls, because of the scenic (water) falls downtown, between the Public Library and the Fergus Market. Other names that (parts of) Fergus have been known as include Nichol Township, Aboyne, Garafraxa Township and Pierpoint Settlement.

Geography[edit]

Fergus is located north of Guelph and sits on the Grand River. It is near many natural settings such as the Elora Gorge and Conservation Area, and Belwood Lake.

Climate[edit]

Fergus has a humid continental climate (Dfb) under the Köppen climate classification with cold winters and warm summers.

Climate data for Fergus (1981−2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.6
(60.1)
12.0
(53.6)
23.9
(75)
29.0
(84.2)
32.0
(89.6)
34.0
(93.2)
35.5
(95.9)
35.0
(95)
35.0
(95)
28.9
(84)
24.4
(75.9)
17.5
(63.5)
35.5
(95.9)
Average high °C (°F) −3.6
(25.5)
−2.1
(28.2)
2.6
(36.7)
10.4
(50.7)
17.5
(63.5)
22.8
(73)
25.2
(77.4)
24.2
(75.6)
19.8
(67.6)
12.7
(54.9)
5.4
(41.7)
−0.7
(30.7)
11.2
(52.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) −7.4
(18.7)
−6.3
(20.7)
−1.9
(28.6)
5.7
(42.3)
12.2
(54)
17.5
(63.5)
20.0
(68)
19.0
(66.2)
14.9
(58.8)
8.3
(46.9)
2.1
(35.8)
−3.9
(25)
6.7
(44.1)
Average low °C (°F) −11.1
(12)
−10.5
(13.1)
−6.5
(20.3)
0.9
(33.6)
6.9
(44.4)
12.2
(54)
14.7
(58.5)
13.8
(56.8)
9.9
(49.8)
3.9
(39)
−1.2
(29.8)
−7.1
(19.2)
2.2
(36)
Record low °C (°F) −35
(−31)
−32.8
(−27)
−31.7
(−25.1)
−18.9
(−2)
−6.1
(21)
−0.6
(30.9)
2.2
(36)
−0.6
(30.9)
−5
(23)
−11.7
(10.9)
−18.3
(−0.9)
−34.4
(−29.9)
−35
(−31)
Precipitation mm (inches) 67.9
(2.673)
55.9
(2.201)
59.6
(2.346)
74.1
(2.917)
86.9
(3.421)
83.8
(3.299)
89.2
(3.512)
96.6
(3.803)
93.1
(3.665)
77.2
(3.039)
93.0
(3.661)
68.6
(2.701)
945.7
(37.232)
Rainfall mm (inches) 27.8
(1.094)
25.3
(0.996)
36.7
(1.445)
67.9
(2.673)
86.8
(3.417)
83.8
(3.299)
89.2
(3.512)
96.6
(3.803)
93.1
(3.665)
75.6
(2.976)
80.5
(3.169)
34.7
(1.366)
797.8
(31.409)
Snowfall cm (inches) 40.1
(15.79)
30.6
(12.05)
22.9
(9.02)
6.2
(2.44)
0.1
(0.04)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
1.6
(0.63)
12.5
(4.92)
33.9
(13.35)
147.8
(58.19)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 19.7 14.9 14.0 14.6 14.4 12.0 11.5 12.4 13.9 16.5 17.4 18.3 179.5
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 4.7 4.5 7.4 12.9 14.3 12.0 11.5 12.4 13.9 16.3 13.1 6.8 129.7
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 16.5 11.8 8.2 2.8 0.15 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.73 5.6 13.2 59.0
Source: Environment Canada[3]

Economy[edit]

Fergus and Centre Wellington in general are home to many industries, manufacturers, retailers and trades people. The local economy also benefits greatly from tourism.

Demographics[edit]

Census Population
1841 184
1871 1,666
1901 1,396
1911 1,534
1921 1,796
1931 2,594
1941 2,832
1951 3,387
1961 3,831
1971 5,433
1981 6,064
1991 7,940
2001 10,017
2006 18,211
2011 19,126

The 2001 Census was the last Canadian census to record demographic statistics for Fergus as a separate community. The 2006 Census, statistics were published only for Centre Wellington.

For 2001 census:[4]

Population: 10,017 (12.8% from 1996)
Land area: 7.23 km²
Population density: 1,383.4 people/km²
Median age: 35.2 (males: 34.2, females: 36.0)
Total private dwellings: 3,764
Mean household income: $53,115

Education[edit]

Fergus and Centre Wellington have two major school boards that operate inside the municipality at a public level. The Wellington Catholic District School Board administers Catholic education in Guelph and Wellington County, operating St. Joseph's Catholic Elementary School (JK-8). The Upper Grand District School Board administers to the area surrounding the upper Grand River operating in Fergus, J. D. Hogarth Public School (K-8), John Black Public School, James McQueen Public School (K-6), Victoria Terrace Public School (K-6).

High Schools[edit]

Media[edit]

92.9 the Grand fm

Print[edit]

  • Fergus Elora News Express
  • Guelph Mercury - serves Guelph and Wellington County
  • Wellington Advertiser - serves Wellington County

Attractions[edit]

Wellington County Museum and Archives in Aboyne

Fergus is best known for the annual Scottish Festival and Highland Games, held in August. The games represent the largest gathering of clans in the world outside of Scotland and Cape Breton Island.[citation needed] Competitions are held for music, dancing and 'heavy' events such as the caber toss. A 10 km (6.21 mi) run is also contested.

It also is home to North America's largest truck-show that is held every July, and the Fergus fall fair in September.

Fergus is also home to the Fergus Highland Rugby Football Club. The club plays in the Ontario Rugby Union, and has two Men's teams, two Women's teams and a strong and growing junior program.

St Andrew Street runs parallel to the Grand River on the north side and is the heart of downtown. On the south side of the river is Queen Street where the newly renovated Fergus Market can be found.

The Wellington County Museum and Archives and the Wellington County library are in nearby Aboyne, halfway between Fergus and Elora. The County Museum and Archives are located in a two-storey Italianate-style stone building on a former working farm. The building is the oldest known state-supported poorhouse or almshouse in Canada, and was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1995.[5]

A community complex was completed in fall 2006. It includes a 25 metre indoor swimming pool and a second ice rink to complement the previously existing ice facilities.

Notable Fergusites[edit]

Twin cities[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Statistics Canada: 2012
  2. ^ Statistics Canada: 2012
  3. ^ "Fergus Shand Dam, Ontario". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved April 9, 2014. 
  4. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". Statistics Canada. Government of Canada. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  5. ^ Wellington County House of Industry and Refuge. Canadian Register of Historic Places.

External links[edit]

  • Fergus, Ontario at Geographical Names of Canada
  • Downtown Fergus Business Improvement Area (Fergus B.I.A.) includes over 180 member businesses operating in Fergus, Ontario.
  • EloraFergus.ca, the Elora & Fergus municipal tourism site managed by the Township of Centre Wellington.
  • Maps of Fergus, Ontario providing GIS layers and aerial photos dating back to the year 2000. Maps provided by the Township of Centre Wellington.

Coordinates: 43°42′11″N 80°22′47″W / 43.70306°N 80.37972°W / 43.70306; -80.37972