Halton Hills

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Halton Hills
Town of Halton Hills
Main Street, Georgetown
Main Street, Georgetown
Coat of arms of Halton Hills
Coat of arms
Official logo of Halton Hills
Hereditas Integritas Veritas (Latin: Heritage, integrity, truth)
Location of Halton Hills in Halton Region
Location of Halton Hills in Halton Region
Halton Hills is located in Southern Ontario
Halton Hills
Halton Hills
Location of Halton Hills in Ontario
Coordinates: 43°38′N 79°57′W / 43.63°N 79.95°W / 43.63; -79.95Coordinates: 43°38′N 79°57′W / 43.63°N 79.95°W / 43.63; -79.95
 • MayorRick Bonnette
 • Federal ridingWellington—Halton Hills
 • Prov. ridingWellington—Halton Hills
 • Land276.26 km2 (106.66 sq mi)
 • Urban
39.52 km2 (15.26 sq mi)
 • Rural
236.74 km2 (91.41 sq mi)
Highest elevation411 m (1,348 ft)
Lowest elevation197 m (646 ft)
 • Town (lower-tier)61,161
 • Density221.4/km2 (573/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Urban density1,300/km2 (3,300/sq mi)
 • Rural
 • Rural density39/km2 (100/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Area code(s)905, 289 and 365
NTS Map030M12

Halton Hills is a town in the Regional Municipality of Halton, located in the northwestern end of the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada with a population of 61,161 (2016).

There are also natural features within these bounds, including the Niagara Escarpment, and the Bruce Trail. Many of these local features are protected by the Conservation Halton, Credit Valley Conservation & Grand River Conservation Authority.


The primary population centres are Georgetown and Acton. Additionally, there are a number of hamlets and rural clusters within the town, including Ashgrove, Ballinafad (straddling the boundary with Erin), Bannockburn, Crewsons Corners (straddling the boundary with Erin, Guelph-Eramosa and Milton), Glen Williams, Henderson's Corners, Hornby, Limehouse, Mansewood, Norval, Scotch Block, Silver Creek, Speyside, Stewarttown, Terra Cotta (straddling the boundary with Caledon), and Wildwood. The area was first settled in the 1820s.


Natural and environmental features in Halton Hills
Black Creek
Main Street Georgetown Ontario 2010 2.jpg
Physical characteristics
Basin size79.28 km2 (30.61 sq mi)
 ⁃ location43°37′45″N 80°0′37″W / 43.62917°N 80.01028°W / 43.62917; -80.01028
 ⁃ average0.231 m3/s (8.2 cu ft/s)
 ⁃ minimum0.142 m3/s (5.0 cu ft/s)
 ⁃ maximum0.353 m3/s (12.5 cu ft/s)
Credit River, West Branch
Main Street Georgetown Ontario 2010 2.jpg
Physical characteristics
Basin size127.00 km2 (49.03 sq mi)
 ⁃ location43°38′47″N 79°51′58″W / 43.64639°N 79.86611°W / 43.64639; -79.86611
 ⁃ average1.33 m3/s (47 cu ft/s)
 ⁃ minimum0.683 m3/s (24.1 cu ft/s)
 ⁃ maximum2.06 m3/s (73 cu ft/s)

Esquesing Township, of which the greatest part went to form Halton Hills, was favourably described in 1846:

This is a fine township, containing excellent land, and many good farms, which are generally well cultivated. Wheat of superior quality is grown in this and adjoining townships. The land is mostly rolling.[4]

The town is bisected by the Niagara Escarpment from southwest to northeast, and a significant portion of the rural area is located within the provincial Greenbelt. Above the Escarpment, a large proportion of the rural area is classified as environmentally sensitive wetlands, and there are several sites that are licensed for aggregate extraction, for which expansion requires detailed environmental assessment.[5] Below the Escarpment, the rural area is mainly agricultural, with the exception of an industrial area currently being developed between Highway 401 and Steeles Avenue.

The town also forms part of three watersheds:

The Water Survey of Canada operates two hydrometric monitoring stations in the town, on the Black Creek below Acton,[9] and at Norval on the Credit River.[10]


Halton Hills is located in the transition zone between the Huron-Ontario Forest Section of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence forest zone to the north and the Niagara Section of the Carolinian forest zone to the south. Both forest zones are part of the Mixedwood Plains Ecozone. The natural vegetation in the Huron-Ontario Section is dominated by mixed wood forests. It is a transitional type between the southern deciduous forests and the northern coniferous forests. The forest communities of the Niagara Section are dominated by broad-leaved trees. Overall, Halton Hills consists predominantly of agricultural lands with scattered woodlands and wetlands. The woodlands are mainly deciduous forest and the wetlands are either cedar swamp or cattail marsh.[11]

Endangered and threatened species[edit]

American ginseng exists in the town, and is protected under the Endangered Species Act, 2007. Butternut trees are also threatened by the butternut canker. The hooded warbler and the Jefferson salamander are also designated as threatened species.

Brook trout had been eliminated from the Black Creek watershed for many years, following an environmental disaster south of Acton in March 1946. The trout have since returned, and anglers report that fishing is excellent.[12]


The physiography[13] and distribution of surface material[14] in the Town of Halton Hills are the result of glacial activity which took place in the Late Wisconsinan Substage of the Pleistocene Epoch. This period of time, which lasted from approximately 23,000 to 10,000 years ago, was marked by the repeated advance and melting back of massive, continental ice sheets.

The Niagara Escarpment dominates the physiography of the town and greatly influenced the pattern of glaciation in the region. The Escarpment, formed by erosion over millions of years, is a high relief bedrock scarp which trends to the north through the central part of the town. To the west, on the upper surface of the Escarpment, hummocky morainic ridges deposited by glacial ice form part of the Horseshoe Moraines physiographic region. To the southeast below the Escarpment, is a smooth glacial till plain partially bevelled by lacustrine action, which forms part of the South Slope and Peel Plain physiographic regions.

The Town of Halton Hills is underlain by Ordovician shales of the Queenston Formation east of the Niagara Escarpment, and by Silurian dolomites of the Amabel Formation west of the Escarpment. The escarpment face exposes a complex succession of shales, sandstones, limestones and dolomites of the Clinton and Cataract Groups. Red shales of the Queenston Formation underlie the eastern half of the town and are generally covered by more than 15 m of glacial sediments, predominantly the Halton Till. There are several areas of thin drift cover south of Georgetown.

The quarrying of limestone has been undertaken since the 19th century, and the lime industry was once quite prevalent. In 1886, the Toronto Lime Company had operations in Limehouse and Acton, employing a total of four draw kilns and eleven set kilns, producing common lime and water lime.[15] At Limehouse, rock from the Clinton formation yielded green and brown shales and blue marl, which were used in the manufacture of mineral paints.[15]

Small oil and gas deposits have been discovered northwest and south of Acton, and around Hornby. While exploration had occurred as early as 1908,[16] with oil being discovered in 1912,[17] significant strikes did not occur until 1954.[18]

The town is located in an area that is considered to be of low seismic potential, and the largest recent earthquake to take place within its limits was of magnitude 3 on 29 June 1955.[19] There is a POLARIS seismic monitoring station located just west of Acton.[20][21]


Halton Hills has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb).

The Town has two distinct climate zones:[22]

  • Zone 5a - north of the Niagara Escarpment
  • Zone 5b - south of the Escarpment

Environment Canada operates one climate monitoring station at Georgetown.


Both Georgetown, Ontario and Acton, Ontario, as well as the smaller communities in the town of Halton Hills, have histories which go back nearly 200 years. The settlement of the area now known as Halton Hills began in the 1820s.[24]

Halton Hills was established in 1974 through the amalgamation of the former Towns of Georgetown and Acton, together with much of the former Esquesing Township, and a small portion of the Town of Oakville lying north of Ontario Highway 401.

On August 1, 2013, Toronto Premium Outlets, the first Premium Outlets Centre in Canada, opened for business on Steeles Avenue at the south end of Halton Hills near the border of Milton, Ontario.[25][26]


Halton Hills
Canada census – Halton Hills, ON community profile
2016 2011 2006
Population: 61,161 (3.6% from 2011) 59,008 (6.7% from 2006) 55,289 (14.7% from 2001)
Land area: 276.27 km2 (106.67 sq mi) 276.25 km2 (106.66 sq mi) 276.26 km2 (106.66 sq mi)
Population density: 221.4/km2 (573/sq mi) 213.6/km2 (553/sq mi) 200.1/km2 (518/sq mi)
Median age: 41.3 (M: 40.5, F: 42.0) 39.9 (M: 39.3, F: 40.4) 37.9 (M: 37.5, F: 38.2)
Total private dwellings: 21,080 20,548 19,265
Median household income: $106,349 $94,190 $85,520
References: 2016[27] 2011[28] 2006[29] earlier[30]
Citizenship and immigration status
Group 2016 Census 2011 Census 2006 Census
Population % of total Population % of Total Population % of Total
Canadian citizen By birth 50,310 83.6 No data 46,380 84.3
By naturalization 8,120 13.5 6,845 12.4
Permanent resident 1,630 2.7 1,515 2.8
Non-permanent resident 140 0.2 280 0.5
Total 60,200 100.0 55,020 100.0
Visible Minorities and Aboriginals
Group 2016 Census 2011 Census 2006 Census 2001 Census 1996 Census
Population % of total Population % of Total Population % of Total Population % of Total Population % of Total
Aboriginal 1,025 1.7 1,645 2.8 480 0.9 205 0.4 140 0.3
Visible Minority 4,475 7.4 2,980 5.2 2,235 4.1 1,625 3.4 1,195 2.8
All other 54,700 90.9 53,325 92.0 52,305 95.0 46,155 96.2 40,910 96.9
Total 60,200 100.0 57,950 100.0 55,020 100.0 47,985 100.0 42,245 100.0
Population by mother tongue
Group 2016 Census 2011 Census 2006 Census 2001 Census 1996 Census
Population % of total Population % of Total Population % of Total Population % of Total Population % of Total
English 51,110 84.1 50,525 86.0 47,765 86.8 42,305 88.2 37,425 88.6
French 1,135 1.9 1,270 2.2 1,025 1.9 1,035 2.2 750 1.8
English and French 175 0.3 170 0.3 75 0.1 45 - 90 0.2
All other 8,345 13.7 6,305 10.7 6,155 11.2 4,590 9.6 3,980 9.4
Total 60,765 100.0 58,725 100.0 55,020 100.0 47,985 100.0 42,245 100.0

(Other languages, 2016: Polish 1.7%, Portuguese 1.5%, Italian 1.1%, German 0.8%)

Mobility over previous five years
Group 2016 Census 2011 Census 2006 Census 2001 Census 1996 Census
Population % of total Population % of Total Population % of Total Population % of Total Population % of Total
At the same address 38,745 67.8 37,510 68.6 30,270 58.9 25,135 56.4 22,370 57.4
In the same municipality 8,125 14.2 7,460 13.6 8,480 16.5 17,540 39.3 7,175 18.4
In the same province 9,190 16.1 8,625 15.8 11,180 21.7 8,285 21.2
From another province 435 0.8 520 1.0 765 1.5 1,920 4.3 735 1.9
From another country 655 1.1 525 1.0 720 1.4 430 1.1
Total aged 5 or over 57,150 100.0 54,640 100.0 51,420 100.0 44,595 100.0 39,000 100.0

Local government[edit]

The town is divided into four wards, each of which elects two local councillors. Two regional councillors are also elected - one from Wards 1 and 2 (i.e., the area that was in the former Town of Acton and the former Township of Esquesing), and one from Wards 3 and 4 (i.e., the area in the former Town of Georgetown). The mayor is elected at large. The mayor and two regional councillors (who also serve on Halton Hills council) represent the town at the council meetings of the Regional Municipality of Halton.[31]

The current (2018-2022) membership of the town council is as follows:[32]

Position Ward 1 Ward 2 Ward 3 Ward 4
Mayor Rick Bonnette
Regional Councillor Clark Somerville Jane Fogal
Local Councillor Jon Hurst Ted Brown Moya Johnson Bob Inglis
Mike Albano Bryan Lewis Wendy Farrow-Reed Ann Lawlor

Halton Hills has its own fire department but policing is provided by the Halton Regional Police Services.[33] The Town has its own official plan which came into force in March 2008 and was consolidated in 2017 with the Region's plan.[34] The libraries in the Town are managed by the Halton Hills Public Library Board.


In 1975, the Lord Lyon King of Arms awarded arms to the town, followed by the grant of a badge in 1984. Both were subsequently registered with the Canadian Heraldic Authority in 2005. They are specifically described as follows:[35]

  • Arms: Per pale, dexter Or two bendlets wavy Sable, sinister Azure two escarpes wavy Argent, a chief per fess dancetty Azure and Argent, overall a white pine tree (Pinus strobus) proper;
  • Motto: Hereditas Integritas Veritas (Latin: Heritage, integrity, truth)
  • Badge: On an oval Azure a white pine tree Argent within a wreath of five oak leaves alternating with five papyrus leaves Or.


The town has four main roads:

Stewarttown,  Regional Road 3 (Trafalgar Road)



Bus service is provided by GO Transit along Highway 7 on its Georgetown line corridor. Via Rail and GO Train service are provided at Georgetown GO Station.

The Grand Trunk Railway brought train service to the area in 1856, with stations at Acton and Georgetown. Passenger service to Acton ceased in the 1990s, but GO Train service is planned to be revived there in 2013.[36]

Rail freight service is also provided by Canadian National on its Halton Subdivision from Georgetown southwest through Milton to Burlington.[37] CN's Guelph Subdivision between Georgetown and London is currently managed by Goderich–Exeter Railway.

From 1917 to 1931, Norval, Georgetown and Acton were also served by the Toronto Suburban Railway.[38]


Type Halton District School Board Halton Catholic District School Board Independent
Secondary school
Primary school
  • Centennial Public School
  • Gardiner Public School
  • George Kennedy Public School
  • Glen Williams Public School
  • Harrison Public School
  • Joseph Gibbons Public School
  • Limehouse Public School
  • McKenzie-Smith Bennett Public School
  • Park Public School
  • Pineview Public School
  • Robert Little Public School
  • Silver Creek Public School
  • Stewarttown Middle School
  • Holy Cross
  • St. Brigid
  • St. Catherine of Alexandria
  • St. Francis of Assisi
  • St. Joseph


Halton Hills is covered by the following local newspapers and online media:

  • Georgetown Independent
  • Acton Free Press
  • The Acton New Tanner
  • The Halton Compass
  • Halton Herald
  • In Georgetown Community Website

In addition, the transmitter for clear channel radio station CFZM is located in Hornby. This facility had long been used by CBC Radio One flagship CBL.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 43°39′25.49″N 80°3′17.98″W / 43.6570806°N 80.0549944°W / 43.6570806; -80.0549944, as per Google Earth
  2. ^ along Highway 401, as per Google Earth
  3. ^ "Census Profile, 2016 Census: Halton Hills, Town". Statistics Canada. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  4. ^ Smith, Wm. H. (1846). Smith's Canadian Gazetteer: Statistical and General Information respecting all parts of the Upper Province, or Canada West. Toronto: H.&W. Rowsell. p. 56.
  5. ^ "Level I and II Natural Environment Technical Report - Acton Quarry Extension, Town of Halton Hills, Ontario". 2008-12-22. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  6. ^ "Background Report - Black Creek Subwatershed Study" (PDF). Credit Valley Conservation. February 2009. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  7. ^ "Silver Creek Subwatershed Study Background Report" (PDF). Credit Valley Conservation. September 2001. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  8. ^ "Sixteen Mile Creek, Grindstone Creek and Supplemental Monitoring" (PDF). Conservation Halton. October 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-11-11. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  9. ^ "Black Creek Below Acton (02HB024)". Archived from the original on 2012-09-18. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  10. ^ "CREDIT RIVER WEST BRANCH AT NORVAL (02HB008)". Archived from the original on 2012-09-19. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  11. ^ "Appendix E - Halton Hills Local Refinement Area Natural Environment Setting" (PDF). Hydro One. Retrieved 2012-02-20.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Hartley Coles (2009-05-14). "Black Creek has much influence" (PDF). The New Tanner. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  13. ^ "Aggregate Resources Inventory of the Town of Halton Hills" (PDF). Ontario Geological Survey. 1983. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  14. ^ J.E. Gillespie; R.E. Wicklund; M.H. Miller. "Soils of Halton County - Report No. 43 of the Ontario Soil Survey" (PDF). Soil Research Institute, Canada Department of Agriculture, and Ontario Agricultural College. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
  15. ^ a b Annual Report of the Bureau of Industries for the Province of Ontario. Toronto: Warwick & Sons. 1886. p. 385.
  16. ^ "News of local import: Halton Oil and Gas". Acton Free Press. September 17, 1908. p. 3.
  17. ^ "Oil has been struck at Milton". Acton Free Press. March 7, 1912. p. 2.
  18. ^ Gord Murray (February 20, 1980). "Gas riches may await the gambler". Acton Free Press. p. 1.
  19. ^ "Could the next big earthquake happen here?". 2011-03-21. Archived from the original on 2011-03-25. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  20. ^ "POLARIS monitoring station ACTO". Archived from the original on 2007-07-11. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  21. ^ located at 43°36′31″N 80°03′45″W / 43.6087°N 80.0624°W / 43.6087; -80.0624
  22. ^ "Plant Hardiness Zones of Canada". Archived from the original on 2009-07-17. Retrieved 2014-05-07.
  23. ^ "Georgetown WWTP". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved 2015-02-17.
  24. ^ "A community rich in history". Archived from the original on June 12, 2018.
  25. ^ "Opening day for Toronto Premium Outlets | Toronto & GTA | News". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
  26. ^ "Toronto Premium Outlets". mapquest.com.
  27. ^ "2016 Community Profiles". 2016 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 21, 2017. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  28. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". 2011 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
  29. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". 2006 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
  30. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012.
  31. ^ "Halton Regional Council". Halton Region. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  32. ^ "Halton Hills 2018 Municipal Election Results" (PDF). Town of Halton Hills. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  33. ^ "About Us". Halton Regional Police Service. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  34. ^ "Official Plan" (PDF). Town of Halton Hills. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  35. ^ Canadian Heraldic Authority - Halton Hills, Ontario - Registration of Arms and Badge, March 15, 2005, Vol. IV, p. 454
  36. ^ "GO trains coming to Kitchener Dec. 19". Waterloo Region Record. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  37. ^ "CN Halton Subdivision". Retrieved 2012-02-26.
  38. ^ "Toronto Suburban Railway - Guelph Radial Line". Retrieved 2012-02-26.

External links[edit]