The Old Mill in Elora.
|Motto: "Tempus Rurum Imperator" (Latin)
"Time commands all things"
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|Forward sortation area||N0B 1S0|
|Area code(s)||519 and 226|
Elora[pronunciation?] is a community in the township of Centre Wellington, Wellington County, Ontario, Canada. It is well known for its 19th-century limestone architecture, its artistic community and the geographically significant Elora Gorge.
Elora was founded in 1832 by Captain William Gilkison, a British officer recently returned from India. Originally called Irvine Settlement, the village was renamed Elora when the post office was established in 1839. Gilikson named the community after his brother's ship, which was itself inspired by the Ellora Caves near Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India.
Originally part of Nichol Township, Elora was incorporated as a village in 1858 and remained as such until it was amalgamated with Fergus and portions of Eramosa, Nichol, Pilkington and West Garafraxa Townships to form Centre Wellington in 1999. Elora had a population of 4,546 according to the 2001 Census, the last to record the village's population as a separate entity.
In 2000 a proposal was made to bring a racetrack with slot machines to Elora. The race track became the subject of much debate. The Centre Wellington Citizens Coalition was formed in opposition to the race track, primarily because of the inclusion of gambling facilities. A 4–3 decision to approve the opening was made by township council. It came down to a 3–3 decision and the mayor at the time voted in favour of it. In 2002, the Grand River Raceway opened in Elora, with 200 slot machines.
In 2002 the Township of Centre Wellington announced that for safety reasons it would be necessary to demolish the historically important David Street Bridge. Concerned about the preservation of Elora's culturally significant architecture, the group Elora Heritage was founded. They received over 1,000 names on a petition. They met with representatives from town council as well as the provincial and federal governments. It became apparent that the bridge was beyond preservation; however council agreed to preserve the pier and build a replica bridge. The replica bridge presented numerous engineering challenges and its successful construction was met with acclaim. The Township of Centre Wellington was also lauded for being responsive to its citizens in this matter.
The Canada 2001 Census was the last Canadian census to record Elora as a separate community. In the Canada 2006 Census, demographic statistics were published only for Centre Wellington. According to the Canada 2001 Census:
|Population:||3,796 (13.4% from 1996)|
|Land area:||3.54 km²|
|Population density:||1,072.3 people/km²|
|Median age:||39.1 (males: 37.4, females: 39.1)|
|Total private dwellings:||1,447|
|Mean household income:||$29,473|
The Elora Gorge is at the western edge of the village, adjacent to the Elora Gorge Conservation Area. At the eastern end of the village is the Elora Quarry Conservation Area, a scenic former limestone quarry, which is now a popular swimming area. The Elora Quarry was used to film a couple of scenes in the movie Angel Eyes. Both of these conservation areas are under the authority of the Grand River Conservation Authority.
Elora is also a noted tourist attraction, with a waterfall and small islet called the "Tooth of Time", overlooked by an old mill, numerous small shops and art galleries. The Gorge Cinema is Canada's oldest continuously running repertory theatre. The Elora Mill is Ontario's only remaining five-story mill and has been renovated as a prestigious inn and restaurant. The village is a terminus to Ontario's scenic 47-km Elora Cataract Trailway to its east, and is just 10 km from the Trans Canada Trail to its southwest. Elora is also known for its unique shops and its quaint cafés and restaurants, which lie along the river's edge. The Victoria Street Walking Bridge, a steel bridge first built in 1899, was removed in 2005.
In 2001, a group of citizens organized to develop a century school, whose headmaster had been at one time David Boyle, into an arts and cultural centre. After much hard work on the part of organizers and volunteers, the Elora Centre for the Arts has opened and has become an important part of Elora's traditional aesthetic heritage. Doctor Frederick Banting, A.J. Casson, Harold Town, and Corbett Gray were all admirers of Elora. Friend to A.J. Casson, Frederick Banting married Marion Robertson, a radiographer and daughter to Florence and Doctor William Robertson, both residents of Elora for over 50 years.
The township of Centre Wellington has a community museum and an active historical society.
Elora has a very active lawn bowling club that offers programs for all ages. The Elora Rocks Lawn Bowling Club is a member of District 7 of the Ontario Lawn Bowling Association, and more information about the club may be found on the District website.
At the community level, Elora also has a skating club, a curling club, a girls' hockey team (Grand River Mustangs), minor hockey team (Centre Wellington Fusion), soccer (Fergus-Elora District Soccer), a ringette team, and a few baseball teams, as well as several other sports clubs and organizations.
People from Elora
- Sitara Hewitt, actress (Little Mosque on the Prairie).
- Charles Kirk Clarke (1857–1924), psychiatrist, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto; Clarke Institute of Psychiatry named in his honour
- George A. Drew, Premier of Ontario
- Fred Jacob (1882–1927), novelist, dramatist and literary/dramatic correspondent with Toronto's The Mail and Empire.
- Myrtle Cook (1902–1985), athlete, she beats the world record for the women's 100M sprint on 2 July 1928 by obtaining 12 seconds in Halifax.
- Dane Dobbie, professional lacrosse player, Calgary Roughnecks
- "2001 Community Profiles". Statistics Canada. Government of Canada. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- Carter, Floreen Ellen, Place Names of Ontario. London, ON: Phelps Publishing, 1984.
|Conestogo Lake Conservation Area||Fergus|