Puslinch, Ontario

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Township (lower-tier)
Township of Puslinch
Coat of arms of Puslinch
Coat of arms
Location of Puslinch within Wellington County
Location of Puslinch within Wellington County
Puslinch is located in Southern Ontario
Location of Puslinch within Wellington County
Coordinates: 43°27′N 80°10′W / 43.450°N 80.167°W / 43.450; -80.167Coordinates: 43°27′N 80°10′W / 43.450°N 80.167°W / 43.450; -80.167
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
County Wellington
Incorporated January 1, 1850
 • Type Township
 • Mayor Dennis Lever
 • Governing Body Township of Puslinch Council
 • MP Mike Chong (Con)
 • MPP Ted Arnott (PC)
 • Land 214.61 km2 (82.86 sq mi)
Population (2016)[2]
 • Total 7,336
 • Density 34.2/km2 (89/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal Code FSA N0B
Area code(s) 519, 226 and 905
Website www.puslinch.ca

Puslinch is a township in south-central Ontario, Canada, in Wellington County, surrounding the south end of Guelph. The main source of production is agricultural, spring water bottling and mining. Aggregate mining has been dominant throughout the county.[3] About half of the township is forested, and a conservation area lies to the southwest. Near the western edge of the township, just outside Cambridge, Ontario is Puslinch Lake, the largest kettle lake in North America. It is part of the Guelph census metropolitan area.

The township has its own Strategic Plan, with the current version dated 2015 to 2020. Its mission statement is as follows: "Progressing together to provide reliable and sustainable services to our residents, businesses and visitors. We will protect our resources while respectfully building upon our heritage as a safe, fun and prosperous rural community."[4]



The township includes the communities of Aberfoyle, Aikensville, Arkell, Badenoch, Barbers Beach, Corwhin, Crieff, Killean, Little Lake, Morriston and Puslinch.


Aberfoyle house

Aberfoyle is the administrative centre for Puslinch Township and is home to the municipality's administrative offices, and fire station. It is located at the headwaters of Mill Creek, approximately three kilometres south of Guelph city limits on Brock Road, formerly a portion of old Hwy 6. Aberfoyle was first settled in the 1840s and is named for Aberfoyle, Scotland. In 1869, the population was only 100.[5]

It is famous for its spring water Aberfoyle Spring Water, which is bottled from Aberfoyle (formerly Aberfoyle Spring Water Company). Nestlé bought the company in 2002. Other features include Aberfoyle Public School[6] and the Aberfoyle Mill, a popular restaurant.[7]


Arkell, pronounced "AR-kull", has a long relationship with beer brewing. Arkell was founded in 1830 by John Arkell, an Englishman who returned to the UK and founded Arkell's Brewery.[8][9] Just north and east of the village runs the Arkell Spring Aquifer, renowned for its fresh spring water which has brought many beverage companies to the area, including Sleeman Breweries, Wellington Brewery, and F&M Brewery. Wellington Breweries named one of their most popular beers Arkell Best Bitter in honour of the prized water they use in their brewing.[10] The Arkell Springs also provide some of the municipal water for the city of Guelph.[11]

Arkell is a popular stopping point for cyclists and hikers to take a break when touring the country-side roads the surrounding city of Guelph, or the popular hiking trails at the Starkey Hill loop just east of the village, or the Arkell Springs trail which stretches along the Eramosa River from Watson Rd. It is home to many beautiful houses, and picturesque settings. Just north of Arkell, east to nearby Eden Mills near the Eden Mills outdoor education centre and south-east to Arkell Rd. at the Nassagaweya-Puslinch Townline Rd. intersection, opened in 1974 by the Guelph Hiking Club.[12]


Before colonization, the area was a "neutral" zone and was inhabited by the Neutral Nation, in a village of 4,000 in what is now the Badenoch area of Puslinch, near Morriston.[13]

The township was named after Puslinch House in Devon, England, where Elizabeth Yonge, the wife of Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada Sir John Colborne, was born. The name was given by Lady Seaton after her birthplace in Devon, England. Sir John would later be the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario from 1828 to 1836.[14] A historical plaque indicates that the township was surveyed in 1828-1832 by David Gibson and was originally known as the Church Lands.[15] Many people arrived in the 1830’s via Stone Road from Dundas to Galt toward Killean in Puslinch.[16] A settler, Edward Ellis who arrived in 1839, donated land for the construction of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, also known as Ellis Chapel, in 1861.[17] [18][19] Records from 1846 indicate a population in the township of 1500, most of whom were "Highland Scotch".[20]

The Arkell area was named after John Arkell (from an originally Dutch family) who emigrated from Kempsford, South Gloucestershire, arriving to the township in May 1831. He established the small community, but returned to England three years later. His first cousin Thomas Arkell remained, built a home, bred sheep and cattle, and was a Magistrate for three decades.[21][22] Henry Arkell, a breeder of sheep was heavily involved with the Puslinch Agricultural Society and was a Director of the Guelph Central Exhibition and the Fat Stock Show.[23]

The settlement of Aberfoyle was named by John McFarlane from Aberfoyle, Perthshire, Scotland who arrived in 1841 and ran the first general store. A small mill had been built earlier, in 1831, by George Schatz who built a sawmill and also laid out lots of land at a time when the area was called Schatzville, inhabited mostly by German families. Schatz also operated a foundry and brickyard over the years in the Aberfoyle area. The post office did not open until 1854 with Samuel Falconbridge the first postmaster. The first church, Mount Carmel, was built in 1877.[24]

Many of the Germans lived around Morriston, also part of Puslinch.[25] By 1857, Morriston had established the “Victoria Fire Company of the United Village of Morriston and Elgin” with a single fire wagon.[26] In that year, Morriston had a "daily male population of about 400".[27]


Population trend:[28]

  • Population in 2011: 7029 (2006–2011 population change: 5.1%)
  • Population in 2006: 6689
  • Population in 2001: 5885
  • Population in 1996: 5416
  • Population in 1991: 4943

Private dwellings occupied by usual residents: 2534 (total dwellings: 2619)


The main thoroughfares in the area include:

GO Bus Service[edit]

  • GO Bus 29: to Mississauga (Square One GO Bus Terminal and Cooksville GO)
  • GO Bus 48: to York University and Guelph University
  • GO Bus 25 to Mississauga (Square One GO Bus Terminal), Milton, Cambridge, and Kitchener (Downtown, Wilfred Laurier University, and University of Waterloo)


Aberfoyle Mill Restaurant

Notable residents[edit]


In December 2017, the township will consider re-naming Swastika Trail, a private road on the western edge of the township. [31] The road was initially named in the 1920s[31], before the rise of Nazi Germany in 1933 (although Adolf Hitler's party adopted the hooked cross as the Nazi party symbol in 1920) [32]. Residents on the street are divided by the name change, while the Jewish group B'nai Brith Canada supports it.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Puslinch, Ontario (Code 3523001) census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  2. ^ http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2016/dp-pd/prof/details/Page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo1=CSD&Code1=3523001&Geo2=POPC&Code2=0555&Data=Count&SearchText=Morris&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&B1=All
  3. ^ https://www.wellington.ca/en/business/resources/PD2012-10OfficialPlan5-YearReview-AggregateResourcesMapping.pdf
  4. ^ http://www.puslinch.ca/en/our-government/resources/Reports%20and%20Publications/Community-Based-Strategic-Plan-2015-020.pdf
  5. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=z6wOAAAAYAAJ, page 17
  6. ^ http://ontario.compareschoolrankings.org/elementary/Aberfoyle_Public_School/Guelph/Report_Card.aspx
  7. ^ https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restaurant_Review-g2522942-d766777-Reviews-Aberfoyle_Mill_Restaurant-Puslinch_Ontario.html
  8. ^ Arkell's Brewery: Our History
  9. ^ 162 Years of Arkell's history
  10. ^ http://www.torontosun.com/2012/08/10/canada-brews-up-good-standings-at-beer-awards
  11. ^ http://guelph.ca/plans-and-strategies/water-supply-master-plan/arkell-spring-grounds/
  12. ^ http://www.guelphhiking.com/history.html
  13. ^ https://archaeologymuseum.ca/the-attawandaron-discoveries/
  14. ^ http://www.clarksoftomfad.ca/AnnalsofPuslinch1850-1950.htm
  15. ^ http://www.clarksoftomfad.ca/EllisChapel.htm#Churchlands
  16. ^ http://www.clarksoftomfad.ca/EllisChapel.htm#Indianpresence
  17. ^ http://www.clarksoftomfad.ca/EllisChapel.htm#BuildingEllisChurch
  18. ^ http://www.ontarioplaques.com/Plaques/Plaque_Wellington01.html
  19. ^ http://www.ontarioabandonedplaces.com/upload/wiki.asp?entry=9328
  21. ^ http://www.puslinchhistorical.ca/research.php?page=arkell
  22. ^ http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onwellin/pioneers/arkell_thomas.htm
  23. ^ http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onwellin/pioneers/arkell_thomas.htm
  24. ^ http://www.puslinchhistorical.ca/research.php?page=aberfoyle
  25. ^ http://www.puslinchhistorical.ca/research.php?page=german-settlement
  26. ^ http://www.clarksoftomfad.ca/MorristonVillageMedley.htm
  27. ^ http://www.clarksoftomfad.ca/Morristonnews.htm
  28. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006 census
  29. ^ http://www.stratfordbeaconherald.com/2015/10/31/the-stratford-cullitons-took-advantage-of-call-up-goalies-in-a-12-4-win-over-the-cambridge-winter-hawks
  30. ^ http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,768513/
  31. ^ a b Germano, Daniela (November 25, 2017). "Renaming Sought for 'Swastika Trail'". National Post. Postmedia. 
  32. ^ https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/man-who-brought-swastika-germany-and-how-nazis-stole-it-180962812/

External links[edit]