Exeter, Ontario

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Exeter, Ontario
Top Left: Exeter's town hall constructed in 1887, Right: Exeter's water tower, Bottom Left: An Exeter, Ontario White Squirrel
Top Left: Exeter's town hall constructed in 1887, Right: Exeter's water tower, Bottom Left: An Exeter, Ontario White Squirrel
"Home of the White Squirrel"
Exeter is located in Ontario
Exeter, Ontario on a map of Ontario
Coordinates: 43°21′N 81°29′W / 43.350°N 81.483°W / 43.350; -81.483
Country Canada
Province Ontario
CountyHuron County
 • Total4.39 km2 (1.69 sq mi)
 • Total4,649
Time zoneEST
Postal Code
N0M 1S0 & N0M 3S0
Area code(s)519, 226

Exeter is a community in the municipality of South Huron, in the southern portion of Huron County, Ontario, Canada, located approximately 40 kilometres north of London. The community proclaims itself the "Home of the White Squirrel", owing to the presence of the unusually-coloured mammals. Exeter's mascot, "Willis The White Wonder", can be seen at many community events throughout the year, including Canada Day celebrations, the Exeter Rodeo, and the Santa Claus Parade.


Exeter was first founded in the winter of 1832 by the Irish settlers James and Jane Willis accompanied by the explorer Sir Michael Jacques. By 1853, Exeter had grown into a community of over 300 with the help of Isaac Carling bringing immigrants from the Exeter and Devon areas of England. The original Carling homestead, a designated historical landmark still stands on Huron St.W. It was on July 1, 1873, when the villages north and south of the Ausable River (Francistown and Exeter respectively) merged to form the Village of Exeter.

The first written reference to Exeter was by Rev. William Proudfoot who passed through the area in 1833. He described the area as having "excellent soil" with the trees "being chiefly maple, elm, oak, ironwood and black ash". When he passed through the area through London Road, which was barely a trail, there were only two dwellings in what is now Exeter. They were the homes of James Willis and William McConnell. Proudfoot spent the night in McConnell's home which also served as a tavern for the area.[2]

Exeter eventually became a town of over 4,700 people. Paintings of some of Exeter's historical citizens, by the late artist Harry Burke, may be seen at the Exeter Legion Hall.


Sir Wilfrid Laurier speaking from the platform of a railway observation car in Exeter during the federal election campaign, November 1904.

Exeter is located on the north-south Highway 4. At the north end of the community, Highway 4 intersects with County Road 83. This intersection of Highway 4 and County Road 83 is the busiest intersection in Huron County.

Freight train service is provided by the Goderich-Exeter Railway, connecting to Canadian National Railway service at London, Stratford and Toronto. The line running through Exeter is most commonly used by the Hensall District Co-Operative.

The closest local airfield is at Centralia/James T. Field Memorial Aerodrome, south of Exeter in Huron Park. Closest major international airport is London International Airport.

Exeter is served by scheduled bus service to Owen Sound and London.[3]


Exeter is home to many community organizations including:

  • The Cultural Collective[4]
  • The Exeter BIA[5][6]
  • The Exeter Lions Club [7]
  • The Huron Waves Music Festival[8]
  • The Exeter Farmers Market
  • The Independent Order of Oddfellows
  • The South Huron Hospital Foundation[9][10]
  • The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority[11]
  • The South Huron Community Choirs: Adult and Handbells


  • Exeter Times-Advocate[12] - Exeter's local newspaper, owned by Metroland Publishing. This paper publishes once-weekly, on Wednesdays.
  • The Examiner - Formerly the Exeter Examiner, first issue published in 2015. This paper is not associated with the Times-Advocate and serves the larger area around Exeter.[13]
  • Cable television is provided by Eastlink TV and includes local community station ETM Television.
  • CKXM-FM 90.5 "myFM" - Exeter and area local news coverage, adult contemporary music.[14]
  • CKNX-FM 101.7 "The One" - local, regional and national news and adult contemporary music
  • CIBU-FM 94.5/91.7 "The Bull" - local, regional and national news and classic rock music


Notable people[edit]


  • MacNaughton Park, including scenic gardens
  • Morrison Dam Conservation Area
  • Restored Town Hall
  • Carling House


Public education in Exeter is managed by the Avon Maitland District School Board, which has Exeter Elementary School and South Huron District High School in the town, on adjoining properties. Catholic education is under the Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board, which manages Precious Blood Catholic Elementary School in Exeter. There is no Catholic secondary school in the town; students have to travel to Clinton or Stratford.

Health & Wellness Facilities[edit]

South Huron Recreation Centre

Health and wellness facilities in the Exeter area include the South Huron Hospital, South Huron Medical Centre/Walk-In Clinic, and the Grand Bend and Area Community Health Centre. Jessica's House is a residential hospice that offers care close to home. Community Psychiatric Services and CMHA Middlesex offer mental health support services. The Exeter Villa and One Care Home & Community Support Services offers help seniors in all capacities.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Wooden, Joseph L. (1973). "Exeter...: a history of Exeter, Ontario". R. Southcott (via ouroots.ca). Retrieved 2006-12-04.


  1. ^ a b "Census Profile, 2016 Census: Exeter, Ontario". Statistics Canada. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  2. ^ Wooden, Joseph L. (1973). A History of Exeter, Ontario. Exeter, Ontario: Exeter Times Advocate. p. 2.
  3. ^ "Owen Sound-London Schedule". Aboutown Northlink. Archived from the original on 2010-09-17. Retrieved 2011-07-11.
  4. ^ Nixon, Scott (2017-05-10). "Cultural Collective plans weekly events at MacNaughton Park". SouthWesternOntario.ca. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  5. ^ "New Exeter BIA manager settles into job". SouthWesternOntario.ca. 2013-02-27. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  6. ^ "Experience Exeter - About the Exeter BIA". Experience Exeter. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  7. ^ "Exeter Lions Club". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  8. ^ February 1, William Proulx Published on; February 1, 2019 | Last Updated; Est, 2019 2:19 Pm (2019-02-01). "Bach Music Festival rebranded to Huron Waves Music Festival". Exeter Lakeshore Times-Advance. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  9. ^ "South Huron Hospital unveils five-year plan". SouthWesternOntario.ca. 2015-03-11. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  10. ^ "Welcome to South Huron Hospital Foundation | Huron County, Ontario". South Huron Hospital Foundation. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  11. ^ "Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority". Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  12. ^ "Exeter Lakeshore Times-Advance". Exeter Lakeshore Times-Advance. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  13. ^ "About the Examiner". Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  14. ^ "90.5 Exeter Today". 90.5 Exeter Today. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  15. ^ "Information on Charles Trick Currelly". Retrieved 2007-10-08.
  16. ^ Teotonio, Isabel; Hauch, Valerie (February 17, 2013). "Canadian investment banker and visionary John MacNaughton dies at 67". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  17. ^ "Exeter native John A. MacNaughton remembered". SouthWesternOntario.ca. 2013-03-06. Retrieved 2019-10-19.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°21′N 81°29′W / 43.350°N 81.483°W / 43.350; -81.483