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Paris, Ontario

Coordinates: 43°12′00″N 80°23′00″W / 43.20000°N 80.38333°W / 43.20000; -80.38333
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Unincorporated community
Grand River riverfront in Paris, Ontario
Grand River riverfront in Paris, Ontario
Paris is located in County of Brant
Paris is located in Southern Ontario
Coordinates: 43°12′00″N 80°23′00″W / 43.20000°N 80.38333°W / 43.20000; -80.38333
 • Total13.55 km2 (5.23 sq mi)
 • Total14,956
 • Density1,103.6/km2 (2,858/sq mi)
Forward sortation area

Paris (2021 population, 14,956[1]) is a community located in the County of Brant, Ontario, Canada. It lies just northwest from the city of Brantford at the spot where the Nith River empties into the Grand River. Paris was voted "the Prettiest Little Town in Canada" by Harrowsmith Magazine.[2] The town was established in 1850. In 1999, its town government was amalgamated into that of the County of Brant, ending 149 years as a separate incorporated municipality, with Paris as the largest population centre in the county.


Census Population
1841 1,000
1871 2,640
1881 3,173
1891 3,094
1901 3,229
1911 4,098
1921 4,368
1931 4,137
1941 4,637
1951 5,249
1961 5,820
1971 6,483
1981 7,485
1991 8,600
2001 9,881
2006 11,177
2011 11,763
2016 12,389
2021 14,956
Turn of the century family gathering on the banks of the Grand River near Paris

Paris was named for the nearby deposits of gypsum, used to make plaster of Paris. This material was discovered in 1793 while the area was being surveyed for the British Home Department. By late 1794 a road had been built from what is now Dundas, Ontario, to the east bank of the Grand River in what became Paris, called The Governor's Road (now Dundas St. in Paris). The town has been referred to as "the cobblestone capital of Canada" (in reference to a number of aged cobblestone houses).

The town was first settled on 7 May 1829, when its founder, Hiram Capron, originally from Vermont, bought the land at the Forks of the Grand in 1829 for $10,000 and divided some land into town lots.[3] Capron built a grist mill on the present townsite and was also involved in opening an iron foundry and in mining of gypsum

Records from 1846 indicate that the settlement, in a hilly area called Oak Plains, was divided into the upper town and the lower town. In addition to successful farmers in the area, the community of 1000 people (Americans, Scottish, English, and Irish) was thriving. Manufacturing had already begun, with industries powered by the river. A great deal of plaster was being exported and there were three mills, a tannery, a woolen factory, a foundry, and numerous tradesmen. Five churches had been built; the post office was receiving mail three times a week.[4]

The village was incorporated in 1850 with Hiram "Boss" Capron as the first Reeve. It was incorporated as a town in 1856 with H. Finlayson as the first mayor. By 1869, the population was about 3,200.[5]

While the telephone was invented at Brantford, Ontario, in 1874, Alexander Graham Bell reminded people in the area about a Paris connection. "Brantford is right in claiming the invention of the telephone" and "the first transmission to a distance was made between Brantford and Paris" (on 3 August 1876).[6][7]

The use of cobblestones to construct buildings had been introduced to the area by Levi Boughton when he erected St. James Church in 1839; this was the first cobblestone structure in Paris. Two churches and ten homes, all in current use, are made of numerous such stones taken from the rivers.[8] Other architectural styles that are visible in the downtown area include Edwardian, Gothic, and Post Modern.[9]

Paris is also the transmitter site for a number of broadcast radio and TV stations serving the Brantford and Kitchener-Waterloo areas. The actual tower site is 475 Ayr Road, just south of the town of Ayr, and it was erected and owned by Global Television Network in 1974 for CIII-TV.[10] It was officially the main transmitter for the southern Ontario Global network until 2009, when its Toronto rebroadcaster (which had been the de facto main transmitter, given that the station was and still is based in Toronto) was redesignated as the main transmitter.[11] Global leases space on the Ayr tower for broadcast clients including Conestoga College's campus radio station CJIQ-FM as well as local rebroadcasters of the CBC's Toronto-based outlets.

The town hosts an annual Fall Fair which takes place over the Labour Day weekend. The Fair has rural lifestyle exhibits, a midway complete with carnival games, rides, and a demolition derby. The Fair is also host to country music nights which have included big-name acts such as Montgomery Gentry, Gord Bamford, Emerson Drive, Chad Brownlee, Deric Ruttan, Kira Isabella, and James Barker Band.

Paris is also the northernmost community to participate in Southern Ontario's Green Energy Hub.

Since the late 1990s, Paris has experienced population growth, which may be in part attributed to the rising popularity of rural communities among GTA bound commuters (see bedroom community) and the completion of Highway 403 between Hamilton and Woodstock.

Municipal government[edit]

The County is divided into five wards, each with two elected Councillors. The Mayor from 1999 to 2018 was Ron Eddy. David Bailey became the new mayor in October 2018.[12] The County provides fire and ambulance services but contracts with the Ontario Provincial Police to provide police services, overseen by the Police Services Board. The administrative offices are located in Burford, Ontario.[13]

Sights and attractions[edit]

Overlook of downtown Paris
  • Barker's Bush is a network of community walking/biking trails, rare Carolinian forest, thriving ecosystem, and natural corridors. Its main access is through Lion's Park.
  • Paris Fairgrounds is home to the five-day Labour Day Weekend Fair.
  • Paris Speedway Track is a motorcycle track which has held some national-level races. Notable riders include John Kehoe and Kyle Legault.
  • Penman's Dam was built in 1918 by John Penman, a textile industrialist.[14] A partnership project led by the Paris Firefighter's Club sees the dam lit up each evening and can be viewed crossing the William Street Bridge or at one of the riverside restaurants or coffee shops.[2]


In film[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Buildings and structures[edit]

Photo gallery[edit]


Media related to Paris, Ontario at Wikimedia Commons

  1. ^ a b "Profile table, Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population - Paris [population centre], Ontario". Statistics Canada. 9 February 2022. Archived from the original on 22 February 2022. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Paris". Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  3. ^ Smith, Donald A. At the forks of the Grand : 20 historical essays on Paris, Ontario. p. 15.
  4. ^ Smith, Wm. H. (1846). Smith's Canadian gazetteer - statistical and general information respecting all parts of the upper province, or Canada Wes. Toronto: H. & W. ROWSELL. p. 142.
  5. ^ McEvoy, Henry (1869). The Province of Ontario Gazetteer and Directory: Containing Concise Descriptions of Cities, Towns and Villages in the Province, with the Names of Professional and Business Men and Principal Inhabitants, Together with a Full List of Members of the Executive Governments, Senators, Members of the Commons and Local Legislatures, and Officials of the Dominion, and a Large Amount of Other General, Varied and Useful Information, Carefully Compiled from the Most Recent and Authentic Data. Robertson & Cook. p. 328.
  6. ^ "The unveiling of the Bell Memorial at Brantford, Ontario" (PDF). brantford.library.on.ca. 24 October 1917. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  7. ^ Reville, F. Douglas. History of the County of Brant Vol. 1. Brantford, ON: Brant Historical Society, Hurley Printing, 1920/. PDF pp. 187–197, or document pp. 308–322. (PDF)
  8. ^ "Cobblestone houses in Brant Something to Treasure" Archived 22 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine Brantford Expositor, 2013-08-30
  9. ^ "Paris". www.brant.ca.
  10. ^ "Global Television Network", History of Canadian Broadcasting.
  11. ^ Government of Canada. "Archived - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2009-409". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.
  12. ^ "Council". www.brant.ca.
  13. ^ "County Government". www.brant.ca.
  14. ^ "Paris dam may be lit at night". Brant News. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  15. ^ "Brant County School Locations" (PDF). Grand Erie District School Board. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  16. ^ "Montessori Children's Academy". mcaparis.com. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  17. ^ "Home". www.granderie.ca. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  18. ^ Gretzky, Walter (1 June 2011). On Family, Hockey and Healing. Random House of Canada. ISBN 9780307369376.
  19. ^ "Ontario Hockey Annual Meeting". Star-Phoenix. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. 21 November 1910. p. 5.Free access icon
  20. ^ "Jay Wells Stats and News". NHL.com. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  21. ^ "HistoricPlaces.ca - HistoricPlaces.ca". www.historicplaces.ca.