|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|Forward sortation area||N0B 1V0|
|Area code(s)||519 and 226|
Floradale is an unincorporated rural community in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. It is part of the township of Woolwich in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo. The community is located 5 kilometres (3 miles) to the north of the town of Elmira, Ontario and 20 kilometres (12 miles) to the north of the city of Waterloo, Ontario. The Canagagigue Creek, a tributary of the Grand River, flows through the village. The community is located in an area where there is an historically large settlement of Old Order Mennonites noted for their traditional customs, dress, and use of horse and buggies.
Although the land on which Floradale is located was purchased by prospective settlers in 1808, there was no significant development until a flour mill and sawmill were built in the later part of the 1800s. In subsequent years, other businesses, including a general store, flax mill, blacksmith shop, and cider mill, served the needs of the village and the surrounding rural area. The early inhabitants of the area established Mennonite, Lutheran, and Evangelical churches.
In 1910 Daniel Bowman, the then owner of the flour mill, built a wooden dam across Canagagigue Creek to create the Floradale mill pond. Because the dam was too high, causing flooding problems upstream, it was replaced in 1914 by a crescent-shaped cement dam, one of the first. A millrace was constructed under the road to direct the water to the flour mill to operate the overshot water wheel. In 1964, the millrace was filled in when water was no longer the major source of power. Although the mill is no longer in operation, a hole in the building’s north wall allows visitors to view the working equipment of what is thought to be Ontario’s last overshot water wheel. The mill is located at 2239 Floradale Road.
Floradale was originally called Musselman after Jacob Musselman, a Pennsylvania German and one of the fIrst settlers. In 1863, the settlement was named Flora, and in 1876, 'dale' was added to avoid confusion with nearby Elora.
Floradale Public School, opened in 2010, is a Kindergarten to Grade 8 school. The majority of the students are bussed to the school from the surrounding rural areas.
The Woolwich Township Fire Department Floradale Station was built in 2008. Emergency services involve the participation of volunteer fire fighters from the community.
Houses of worship include Floradale Mennonite Church and Crystal View Mennonite Church.
Floradale Feed Mill is the largest business in Floradale.
Places of Interest
Visitors and local residents alike enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the surrounding farmlands in Woolwich Township.
Lions Lake Trail is a seven-kilometre trail around the Woolwich Reservoir in Floradale. The trail is used for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
The Floradale Community Park features a playground, picnic shelter, baseball diamond, and a view of the Floradale dam.
Bonnie Lou’s Café serves home-style meals in a building that was previously the general store belonging to the Ruggle family for four generations. Wishing to preserve the history of this late 1800s building, the owners kept the original counters, hardwood floors, shelving, spice bins, and old post office boxes. There are many antiques on display.
Thak Ironworks was established in 1989 by Robb Martin (“Thak”). With an interest in blacksmithing, medieval armour and sculpture, Martin developed a distinctive style of metalwork; his creations are sometimes traditional, sometimes contemporary, and sometimes futuristic and fantastical or a combination of all the above. Martin and his staff design and create a wide array of unique, one-of-a-kind pieces for clients worldwide.
- Allen D. Martin, "Mills At Floradale-Past and Present," Waterloo Historical Society, (1981), 94.
- Floradale at Geographical Names of Canada