Dufferin County

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Dufferin County
County of Dufferin
Location of Dufferin County
Location of Dufferin County
Coordinates: 44°05′N 80°10′W / 44.083°N 80.167°W / 44.083; -80.167Coordinates: 44°05′N 80°10′W / 44.083°N 80.167°W / 44.083; -80.167
Country Canada
Province Ontario
County seatOrangeville
 • Land1,486.44 km2 (573.92 sq mi)
 • Total61,735
 • Density41.5/km2 (107/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)

Dufferin County is a county and census division located in Central Ontario, Canada. The county seat is Orangeville, and the current Warden is Paul Mills. The current chief administrative officer is Sonya Pritchard [1]. Dufferin covers an area of 1,486.31 square kilometres (573.87 sq mi), and its population is 61,735 (2016).


It was originally organized as the "Provisional County of Dufferin", with preparatory work authorized by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in 1875[2] and the actual formation taking effect in 1881, being created from parts of the counties of Grey and Simcoe, on the north and east, and from the County of Wellington on the south and west.

Initial municipalities of Dufferin County
From Formation (1881)[3] Extension (1883)[4]
Grey County
Simcoe County
Wellington County

The Village of Grand Valley was erected from East Luther in 1897, and the two municipalities amalgamated in 1995 to form the Township of East Luther Grand Valley, which was erected into the Town of Grand Valley in 2012.[6][7]

The county gets its name from Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, who was Governor General of Canada between 1872-1878. Originally an agriculturally based economy, Dufferin's economy has diversified to include commercial and retail businesses, industries related to residential and commercial construction (building, supplies, aggregates, real estate) and manufacturing. A portion of Dufferin’s economy still depends on agriculture but tourism is becoming more important as the county takes a more positive role in attracting visitors.


Dufferin County is the highest plateau immediately south of Georgian Bay, and as such forms the watershed between the four lakes: Huron, Erie, Ontario and Simcoe. Four rivers — Saugeen, Grand, Credit and Nottawasaga — take their rise in Dufferin or in adjacent townships and drain through the county.

The county is a lofty table-land that is about 1,700 feet (518 m) above sea-level and about 1,400 feet (427 m) above the level of downtown Toronto. A continuation of the Caledon Mountains skirts the eastern side of the county. The highest peaks, however, are no match for the Blue Mountains north of Dufferin or the Caledon Mountains on the south.

The County of Dufferin, sits on the fringe of the Greater Toronto Area, about 100 kilometres northwest of Toronto. It is largely a rural county with three urban settlement areas, namely Grand Valley, Orangeville and Shelburne. The Town of Orangeville, the county seat, is situated on the southern border of the county and is the largest urban centre, with just over half the population. Although Orangeville dominates in terms of population, in area it is very small and geographically compact.

Historical townships[8]
Township Area Origin
Amaranth 63,471 acres (99 sq mi; 257 km2) Opened in 1821 and named from a common weed-plant (Amaranth) with green or purplish flowers, or it might be named after the "un-fading flower" of the classic poets. Settled mainly between 1840 and 1873. Communities were Orangeville, Laurel, Shelburne, Waldemar, Bowling Green
East Garafraxa 40,835 acres (64 sq mi; 165 km2) Opened in 1821. Settled mostly between 1833 and 1850. (community centre, Marsville)
East Luther 38,599 acres (60 sq mi; 156 km2) Settled mainly between 1860 and 1875. Community centres: Grand Valley, Monticello and Colbeck.
Melancthon 74,705 acres (117 sq mi; 302 km2) Opened in 1821 and named after one of the leaders of the German Reformation (Philipp Melanchthon). A swampy township like East Luther so it was slow to be settled. Not generally settled until after 1850. Community centres: Melancthon, Corbetton, Riverview, Hornings Mills.
Mulmur 70,291 acres (110 sq mi; 284 km2) Opened in 1822. Origin of the name is forgotten, possibly a corruption of an Indian word or name. Settled mainly after 1867. Community centres: Mansfield, Honeywood, Terra Nova, Primrose.



Dufferin County
2016[11], 2011[12], 2006[13], earlier[14]


Upper Grand District School Board operates secular Anglophone public schools. The Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board operates Anglophone Catholic public schools. The Conseil scolaire Viamonde operates secular Francophone schools serving the area. The Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud (CSDCCS) operates Catholic Francophone schools serving the area.

Travel Region[edit]

Built c.1871, the Orangeville Town Hall contains an opera hall, used by the Theatre Orangeville company

Dufferin County is part of two Ontario travel regions. Headwaters Tourism Association represents the county and the adjacent municipalities of Caledon and Erin, while Central Counties of Ontario combines the Headwaters area and a larger adjacent region.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sum of Bruce County municipalities from 2016 Census Profile
  2. ^ An Act to separate the Town of Orangeville and certain Townships in the Counties of Wellington, Grey and Simcoe, from the said Counties, and to erect the same into the County of Dufferin, S.O. 1874 (2nd Sess.), c. 31
  3. ^ An Act to confirm certain preliminary proceedings, and make further provision for the formation of the County of Dufferin, S.O. 1880, c. 37
  4. ^ An Act to separate the Township of East Luther from the County of Wellington, and to annex the same to the County of Dufferin, S.O. 1882, c. 38
  5. ^ Erected as a town in 1977.
  6. ^ "Respecting the past, embracing the future!". Town of Grand Valley.
  7. ^ "Welcome: A message from the mayor". Town of Grand Valley.
  8. ^ Middleton, Jesse Edgar; Landon, Fred (1927). Province of Ontario: A History 1615 to 1927. Toronto: Dominion Publishing Company.
  9. ^ "Ruskview". Canadian Climate Normals 1981−2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
  10. ^ "Orangeville". Canadian Climate Normals 1981−2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
  11. ^ "2016 Community Profiles". 2016 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 21, 2017.
  12. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". 2011 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013.
  13. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". 2006 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011.
  14. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012.

External links[edit]