Paris, Ontario

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Unincorporated community
Paris Ontario Grand River riverfront 1.JPG
Paris is located in Ontario
Coordinates: 43°12′00″N 80°23′00″W / 43.20000°N 80.38333°W / 43.20000; -80.38333Coordinates: 43°12′00″N 80°23′00″W / 43.20000°N 80.38333°W / 43.20000; -80.38333
Country Canada
Province Ontario
County Brant
 • Total 13 km2 (5 sq mi)
Population (2016)
 • Total 12,310
 • Density 946.8/km2 (2,452/sq mi)
Forward sortation area N3L
Corner of William and Grand River
A house in Paris
Paris Plains Church, 1845, cobblestone architecture
Turn of the century family gathering on the banks of the Grand River near Paris

Paris, Ontario (2016 population, 12,310) is a community located at the spot where the Nith River empties into the Grand River in Ontario, Canada. It was voted "the Prettiest Little Town in Canada" by Harrowsmith Magazine.[1] The town was established in 1850. In 1999, its town government was amalgamated into that of the County of Brant, thus ending 149 years as a separate incorporated municipality but Paris remained the largest population centre in the county. While Brantford is located within Brant geographically, it is a fully independent community with its own municipal government.[2]


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 12,310

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).[3] 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 May 7, 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.[4] Capron built a grist mill on the present townsite and was also involved in opening an iron foundry and in mining of gypsum.[5]

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.[6]

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.[7] By 1869, the population was about 3,200.[8]

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).[9][10]

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.[11] Two churches and ten homes, all in current use, are made of numerous such stones taken from the rivers.[12] Other architectural styles that are visible in the downtown area include Edwardian, Gothic, and Post Modern.[13]

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 1973 for CIII-TV. 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.[14] 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 features over 100,000 rural lifestyle exhibits, a midway complete with carnival games, rides, and great food. Canada's #1 demolition derby attracts drivers from across Ontario. The Fair is also host to country music nights and 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 Councilors. The Mayor for the 2014-2018 term is Ron Eddy.[15] 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.[16]

Sights and attractions[edit]

  • Barker's Bush is a historic 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 Brant County's Foremost Year Round Event Facility and home to the 5 day Labour Day Weekend Fair.
  • Paris Speedway Track There´s local Motorcycle Speedway Track in Paris, where some national Venues are held. Quite famous Riders there were John Kehoe and Kyle Legault.
  • Penman's Dam was built in 1918 by John Penman, a textile industrialist.[17] 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.[18]


In film[edit]

Notable natives and residents[edit]

(ordered by last names)

Service clubs[edit]

  • The Lions Club of Paris
  • The Kiwanis Club of Paris-Brant
  • The Optimist Club of Paris
  • Kinsmen Club of Brantford (Serving Brantford and Brant County)

Buildings and structures[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Paris". Retrieved 11 October 2017. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Smith, Donald A. At the forks of the Grand : 20 historical essays on Paris, Ontario. p. 15. 
  5. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^, page 328
  9. ^
  10. ^ 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)
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ CRTC Decision 2009-409
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Paris dam may be lit at night". Retrieved 11 October 2017. 
  18. ^ "Paris". Retrieved 11 October 2017. 
  19. ^ "Brant County School Locations" (PDF). Grand Erie District School Board. Retrieved January 27, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Montessori Children's Academy". Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  21. ^ "Home". Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  22. ^ Ashbury, Morgan. "Author". Siren Publishing. Retrieved 5 July 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  23. ^ "Brant 89".
  24. ^
  25. ^ Gretzky, Walter (2011-06-01). On Family, Hockey and Healing. Random House of Canada. ISBN 9780307369376. 
  26. ^ "Jay Wells Stats and News". (in en_US). Retrieved 2017-01-28. 

External links[edit]