Wellington County, Ontario

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Wellington County
County (upper-tier)
County of Wellington
Coat of arms of Wellington County
Coat of arms
Motto: Vision, Valour
Location of Wellington County
Location of Wellington County
Coordinates: 43°45′N 80°24′W / 43.750°N 80.400°W / 43.750; -80.400Coordinates: 43°45′N 80°24′W / 43.750°N 80.400°W / 43.750; -80.400
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
County seat Guelph (independent)
 • Warden Dennis Lever
 • Land 2,573.26 km2 (993.54 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 86,672
 • Density 33.7/km2 (87/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Website www.county.wellington.on.ca/
Wellington County Museum in Fergus

Wellington County is a county located in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. The County, which is made up of two towns and five townships, is predominantly rural in nature. However many of its residents commute to Guelph, Kitchener, Brampton, Mississauga, and even Toronto.


The City of Guelph is part of the Wellington census division, but is separated from Wellington County.


In 1837 by Act of Parliament the new District of Wellington was formed and a court house and jail in the town of Guelph were authorized. In 1840 the county officials received their commissions. The District Council of the County of Wellington was formed and consisted of eighteen municipalities as follows: the town of Guelph, the villages of Fergus, Elora, Mount Forest and Orangeville, and the following historic townships:[2]

  • Arthur, area 64,494 acres (261 km²). Opened in 1835, it was named after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. Community centres: Arthur, Kenilworth and Mount Forest.
  • Eramosa, area 44,482 acres (180 km²). Opened in 1821. The name is an attempt to render in English the Indian "un-ne-mo-sa", which means dog. Community centres: Eden Mills and Rockwood.
  • Erin, area 70,557 acres (286 km²), opened in 1820, Community centres: Erin, Hillsburgh, Mimosa
  • West Garafraxa, area 46,950 acres (190 km²), Opened in 1821. Name is believed to be from an Indian word meaning "the place of panthers." Community centres: Fergus (only partially in the township), Reading, Metz and Garafraxa
  • Guelph Township, area 35,543 acres (144 km²). Opened on April 23, 1827 by John Galt on behalf of the Canada Company.
  • West Luther, area 49,830 acres (202 km²). Opened in 1821 and named after the leader of the Reformation in Germany, Martin Luther. It was said that the surveyor, a Roman Catholic, having been embarrassed by the endless swamps he had encountered declared that this was "the meanest piece of country he had seen" and named it Luther for that reason. Community centres: Monck, Stonywood, Damascus and Arthur.
  • Maryborough, area 56,728 acres (230 km²). Opened in 1840 and named after a brother of the Duke of Wellington, Baron Maryborough. Community centres: Drayton, Moorefield and Rothsay.
  • Minto, area 69,927 acres (283 km²) Opened in 1840 and named after the Earl of Minto, a famous pro-consul in India. Settled mainly between 1861 and 1875. Comummnity centres: Harriston, Palmerston, and Clifford.
  • Nichol, area 26,996 acres (109 km²) One of the townships leased by Joseph Brant under power of attorney for the Indians of the Grand River region. The Township was granted to Hon. Thomas Clark on a lease of 999 years for 3,564, but the contract was modified by the Crown. The Township was opened for settlement in 1822. Named in honour of Col Robert Nichol of Norfolk who distinguished himself in the War of 1812 and latter in political battles. Community centres: Elora, Fergus, Salem and Barnet.
  • Peel, area 74,525 acres (302 km²), Opened in 1835 and named in honour of Sir Robert Peel. Settled mainly between 1850 and 1853. Community centres: Drayton, Glenallan, Goldstone and Alma.
  • Pilkington, area 28,983 acres (117 km²) named in honour of Lieutenant Robert Pilkington (later General Pilkington) who accompanied John Graves Simcoe to Upper Canada. Pilkington acquired 20,000 acres (80 km²) of land. Community Centre: Elora in Nichol Township.
  • Puslinch: area 58,291 acres (236 km²) Named from Pushlinch in Devonshire, Lady Colborne's home before her marriage. .


Historic population:

  • 2011: 86,672 (5-year population growth: 1.4%)
  • 2006: 85,482 (5-year population growth: 5.3%)
  • 2001: 81,143 (5-year population growth: 7.3%)
  • 1996: 75,585

Figures below are for the Wellington census division, which combines Wellington County and the City of Guelph.

Canada census – Wellington County, Ontario community profile
2011 2006
Population: 208,360 (4.0% from 2006) 200,425 (7.0% from 2001)
Land area: 2,660.46 km2 (1,027.21 sq mi) 2,656.66 km2 (1,025.74 sq mi)
Population density: 78.3/km2 (203/sq mi) 75.4/km2 (195/sq mi)
Median age: 39.5 (M: 38.6, F: 40.4) 37.8 (M: 36.9, F: 38.8)
Total private dwellings: 85,510 79,864
Median household income:
References: 2011[3] 2006[4]

Community involvement and awards[edit]

In October 2008, the County of Wellington was named one of Canada's Top 100 Employers by Mediacorp Canada Inc. and featured in Maclean's newsmagazine.[5] Later that month, the County was recognized as one of Waterloo Area's Top Employers and featured in the Guelph Mercury newspaper.[6]

The County of Wellington proudly received the 2015 Employer of Distinction Award at an Award Ceremony presented by the Guelph and District Human Resources Professionals Association in Guelph.

See also[edit]

Travel Region[edit]

Wellington County is part of the Hills of Headwaters Tourism Association and Central Counties of Ontario, two tourism related associations.


  1. ^ a b "Wellington, Ontario (Code 3523) and Ontario (Code 35) (table)". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-03-26. 
  2. ^ The Orangeville Banner, March 8, 1951 and, Source: Province of Ontario -- A History 1615 to 1927 by Jesse Edgar Middleton & Fred Landon, copyright 1927, Dominion Publishing Company, Toronto Page 1235
  3. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". Canada 2011 Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013. Retrieved 2012-03-26. 
  4. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-26. 
  5. ^ "Reasons for Selection, 2009 Canada's Top 100 Employers Competition". 
  6. ^ "Guelph Mercury, "Wellington County recognized as top employer", October 18, 2008". 

External links[edit]