The Town of Caledon
Located in the southern reaches of the Headwaters region and less than an hour's drive northwest of Toronto, the Town of Caledon offers a distinctive urban/rural setting to its visitors. Major natural features such as the Oak Ridges Moraine and the Niagara Escarpment, as well as the Humber and Credit river valleys, green spaces and productive agricultural land of the Peel Plain create some of the most beautiful scenery in the Greater Toronto Area. Caledon is peppered with historic villages such as Terra Cotta, Inglewood, Cheltenham, Bolton, Belfountain and more, making it a day-trippers paradise.
The Town of Erin
Located in the southwest corner of the Headwaters region, the town of Erin consists of 10,000 plus residents in an area of 360 square kilometres (140 square miles). The village of Erin and Hillsburgh offer interesting opportunities for shopping and dining as well as the annual Thanksgiving Fall Fair in the village of Erin. The Hamlets of Ballinifad, Crewson's Corners, Ospringe, Cedar Valley and Orton are residential communities, each with their own personalities. All are close to the trails and streams that make the trip 'back to nature' so convenient. Throughout the year, the Erin Arts Foundation presents professional live theatre, choirs and comedy. In between, the Erin Cinema brings the Erin Film Festival and firm run movies to town.
The Town of Orangeville
At the heart of the Hills of headwaters and boasting a population of 28,000, Orangeville has kept its vibrant downtown thriving. Come to broadway and the window of unique shops and pubs glitter day and night. Look above the storefronts for a glimpse of a century past in Orangeville's Heritage District. Its Town Hall glows as it did back then and the Opera House Theatre is warm again with the laughter and applause year round. Beside the Town Hall, from Mother's Day to Thanksgiving Weekend, Saturday mornings come alive with the Farmer's Market. Aromas wafting from the many restaurants promise unique dining experiences, and the whole street jumps fo the annual Busker Streetfest. Off Broadway, trees shade grand and cozy heritage houses and the County seat. Its high-ceilinged courtroom with spectacular gallery has heard many a cogent argument over the years. Not far away Island Lake churns with the paddles of Dragon Boats and pike fisherman.
Dufferin County takes in the central and northern most reaches of Headwaters. The County consists of three towns: Mono, Orangeville and Shelburne, and five rural townships: Amaranth, East Garafraxa, East Luther-Grand Valley, Melancthon and Mulmur. Over half of the County's population lives in Orangeville, the heart of Headwaters. The beautiful Niagara Escarpment forms a dividing ridge through the County. It is easily accessed via the Bruce Trail or the Mono Cliffs Provincial Park. Other highlights of the County's natural heritage are the Grand River, a Canadian Heritage River, Luther Lake and Marsh and the Nottowasaga river system.
Town of Shelburne
Shelburne usually boasts the phrase “A People Place– A Change of Pace”, truer words were never spoken. Shelburne transports you back to a time when all food was home cooked and music was a celebration to share with everyone. This charming town lights up during August for the Old Time Fiddle Contest and parade, where locals and visitors tap, stomp, and hum along to the sounds of fiddlers from all across North America. In Shelburne you can take a step back in history with the old Town Hall, which has been restored and contains Grace Tipling Hall a wonderfully entertaining antique theatre. Also, just around the corner is the old Shelburne Post Office (which is now a fabulous antique store), the restored original library, and also Jelly House, where entrepreneurs, hotel owners, and brothers William and John Jelly resided. Shelburne also contains spectacular natural areas as well. Shelburne is a great stop for snowmobilers looking for a place to get gas and a hot meal, or fishermen looking for a place to meet friends after a day of fishing at the rivers and ponds in the area. Shelburne is also near Boyne Valley Provincial Park which hosts a section of the Bruce Trail.
Town of Mono
Hills, trees, streams and meadows… these are the words that one uses to describe the Town of Mono. The must see sight in the town is the astounding Mono Cliffs Provincial Park with 1,300 acres to explore. Here the Bruce Trail runs right through the park but there are also many other trails to explore. Bike, hike or horseback ride through this beautiful scene in summer, spring, winter or fall; see the geological wonders of dolomite crevices by taking the staircase the park features right through the Niagara Escarpment. Mono is the perfect place for a wedding with the town having several gorgeous locations for your special day. These locations are Monora Park and picturesque Mono Community Centre. Monora Park boasts a beautiful Pavilion and gazebo, and 150 acres of wooded scenery to take wedding pictures worth remembering. Mono Community Centre is situated in a 7 acre park and contains a banquet hall with capacity for up to 260 people, a stage and bar. Weary wedding guests can enjoy a wide selection of accommodations at one of Mono’s bed and breakfasts. If you have a large number of guests try Hockley Valley Resort which is located on 3rd line Mono.
Township of East Luther – Grand Valley
East Luther Grand Valley is considered a naturalists playground with the astounding 13,000 acre Luther Marsh. This progressive township is serious about the environment and is in the process of planning an Eco-Development Strategy to make sure future generations get to enjoy Luther Marsh and the Grand River as much as we do. The Grand River itself lends a peaceful atmosphere to the township as it flows through farm land and fields. Although the aura in the area is one of peace and tranquility, the annual “Polar Dip” held on January 1st brings out the daredevil in everyone as young and old take the plunge into the freezing water. The area is also home to some wonderful bed and breakfasts who boast grand slam breakfasts and hosts who strive for perfection. During your stay in the township make sure to check out the pretty downtown area of Grand Valley.
Township of East Garafraxa
East Garafraxa is located to the west of Orangeville and to the east of Fergus. It is a peaceful, quiet, and rural, it has a large sense of community, and small quaint hamlets like Marsville and Orton. Much of our regions produce comes from this township and you won’t forgive yourself if you leave without sampling some farm-fresh veggies or meat. East Garafraxa is also home to some wonderful artists so keep your eyes peeled for the studios in the township. If you’re looking for recreation, East Garafraxa is the place for you. The famous 47 km long Elora-Cataract trailway runs right through the township. The trailway is perfect for cycling and hiking, and in some sections horseback riding, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing are also permitted. The Elora-Cataract trailway also boosts having a flat, fairly hard surface and therefore children and those in wheelchairs can also enjoy the beauty of the township.
Milton’s poem “Paradise Lost” and the words “immortal Amaranth”. I do not think that Milton could be speaking of our Amaranth, because ours is a paradise found. Meadows, rivers, wetlands, wildlife, fields, farms, and forests cover this township to create a myriad of geographical features to explore. The highlight of this area is the 47 km section of the former Canadian Pacific Railway which is now used as a trailway for hikers, bikers, and most of all snowmobilers. The trail is kept in excellent condition and is a favorite for local and visiting sledders. Pick one of the twenty or so access points to get onto the trailway. A favorite point of access is on the corner of 15th sideroad and 3rd line Amaranth near the hamlet of Crombie. Step back into the age of rail travel at Crombie’s train-flagging station. The station was originally located at the corner of 3rd line and 20th sideroad Amaranth, and is now located within the Dufferin County Museum and Archives.
Township of Mulmur
Mulmur contains the most diverse landscape of Dufferin County. The township of Mulmur features: rivers, steep hills, plunging valleys, and some of the best farm land in the area. Due to the varied landscape Mulmur offers a large array of outdoor activities for tourists and locals year round. These activities include: cross country and downhill skiing, horseback riding, fishing, hiking, biking, snowmobiling, and farm experiences. Most visitors who explore Mulmur are shocked to find it has vistas that rival any in Ontario. To experience these vistas book an adventure with one of Mulmur’s many horseback riding facilities. If adrenaline is what you crave, then come in the winter for the fabulous downhill skiing. If history and education is your cup of tea, stop in at the Dufferin County Museum and Archives, and learn about the history of Dufferin. The Museum is located at the corner of Hwy 89 and Airport Road. Finally, if all you want is a little relaxation; Mulmur offers that as well with peaceful fishing spots located on the Boyne and Pine Rivers which were once used to power the mills in the region.
Township of Melancthon
Potato farming is the central industry in Melancthon with secondary farming of beef, dairy, sheep and horse as well. But before the farmers came to Melancthon, the area was just being settled and much myth and lore were created. It all started in 1854 when George McPhillips, who was a strong Roman Catholic, surveyed the areas now known as West Luther and Melancthon. While he worked he decided that they were the worst areas he had ever surveyed, and so they were to be named Luther (after Martin Luther), and Melancthon (after Philip Melancthon), two leaders of the Protestant Reformation. This, of course, is only speculation. The Hamlet of Hornings Mills is the largest community in Melancthon. Settled by a small number of families around 1830 as a milling centre, it has remained quite untouched. Most of the buildings in the hamlet are in fantastic condition and date back between 1850-1880. Stop in Hornings Mills and have a glance around, you’ll notice how amazing it is that the hamlet has not changed drastically in the time that has passed. Melancthon gives us a unique and spectacular glimpse into the world as it was when this region was first being settled.