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Dufferin County

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Dufferin County

Dufferin County
County (upper-tier)
County of Dufferin
Location of Dufferin County
Location of Dufferin County
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
County seat Orangeville
 • Land 1,486.31 km2 (573.87 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 56,881
 • Density 38.3/km2 (99/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)

Dufferin County is a county and census division of the Canadian province of Ontario. The county seat is Orangeville, and the current Warden is Warren Maycock. The Current Chief Administrative Officer is Sonya Pritchard [1]. Dufferin covers an area of 1,486.31 square kilometres (573.87 sq mi), and its population is 56,881 (2011).


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Subdivisions 3
  • Demographics 4
  • Education 5
  • Historical townships 6
  • Travel Region 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


It was originally organized as the "Provisional County of Dufferin", with preparatory work authorized by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in 1875[2] and the actual formation taking effect in 1881,[3] being created from parts of the counties of Grey and Simcoe, on the north and east, and from the County of Wellington on the south and west.

Initial municipalities of Dufferin County
From Municipality
Grey County
  • Township of Melancthon
  • Village of Shelburne
Simcoe County
  • Township of Mono
  • Township of Mulmur
Wellington County
  • Township of Amaranth
  • Township of East Garafraxa
  • Town of Orangeville

In 1883. the Township of East Luther was withdrawn from Wellington County and annexed to Dufferin County.[4] The Village of Grand Valley was erected from East Luther in 1897, and the two municipalities amalgamated in 1995 to form the Township of East Luther Grand Valley, which was erected into the Town of Grand Valley in 2012.[5][6]

The county gets its name from the Marquess of Dufferin, who was Governor General of Canada between 1872-1878. Originally an agriculturally based economy, Dufferin's economy has diversified to include commercial and retail businesses, industries related to residential and commercial construction (building, supplies, aggregates, real estate) and manufacturing. A portion of Dufferin’s economy still depends on agriculture but tourism is becoming more important as the county takes a more positive role in attracting visitors.


Dufferin County is the highest plateau immediately west of Huron, Erie, Ontario and Simcoe. Four rivers — Saugeen, Grand, Credit and Nottawasaga — take their rise in Dufferin or in adjacent townships and drain through the county.

The county is a lofty table-land that is about 1,700 feet (518 m) above sea-level and about 1,400 feet (427 m) above the level of downtown Toronto. A continuation of the Caledon Mountains skirts the eastern side of the county. The highest peaks, however, are no match for the Blue Mountains north of Dufferin or the Caledon Mountains on the south.

The County of Dufferin, sits on the fringe of the Greater Toronto Area, about 100 kilometres northwest of Toronto. It is largely a rural county with three urban settlement areas, namely Grand Valley, Orangeville and Shelburne. The Town of Orangeville, the county seat, is situated on the southern border of the county and is the largest urban centre, with just over half the population. Although Orangeville dominates in terms of population, in area it is very small and geographically compact.


Dufferin County consists of the following municipalities:


Historic populations:[8]

  • Population in 2001: 51,013 (or 51,003 when adjusted to 2006 boundaries)
  • Population in 1996: 45,657


Upper Grand District School Board operates secular Anglophone public schools. The Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board operates Anglophone Catholic public schools. The Conseil scolaire Viamonde operates secular Francophone schools serving the area. The Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud (CSDCCS) operates Catholic Francophone schools serving the area.

Historical townships

  • Amaranth Township, area: 63,471 acres (99 sq mi; 257 km2). Opened in 1821 and named from a common weed-plant (Amaranth) with green or purplish flowers, or it might be named after the "un-fading flower" of the classic poets. Settled mainly between 1840 and 1873. Communities were Orangeville, Laurel, Shelburne, Waldemar, Bowling Green
  • Township of East Garafraxa, area: 40,835 acres (64 sq mi; 165 km2). Opened in 1821. Settled mostly between 1833 and 1850. (community centre, Marsville)
  • Township of East Luther, area: 38,599 acres (60 sq mi; 156 km2). Settled mainly between 1860 and 1875. Community centres: Grand Valley, Monticello and Colbeck.
  • Township of Mono, now replaced by the Town of Mono.
  • Township of Melancthon, area: 74,705 acres (117 sq mi; 302 km2). Opened in 1821 and named after one of the leaders of the German Reformation (Philipp Melanchthon). A swampy township like East Luther so it was slow to be settled. Not generally settled until after 1850. Community centres: Melancthon, Corbetton, Riverview, Hornings Mills.
  • Township of Mulmur, area: 70,291 acres (110 sq mi; 284 km2). Opened in 1822. Origin of the name is forgotten, possibly a corruption of an Indian word or name. Settled mainly after 1867. Community centres: Mansfield, Honeywood, Terra Nova, Primrose.

Source: Province of Ontario -- A History 1615 to 1927 by Jesse Edgar Middleton & Fred Landon, copyright 1927, Dominion Publishing Company, Toronto

Travel Region

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

See also


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ S.O. 1874-75, c. 31
  3. ^ An Act to confirm certain preliminary proceedings, and make further provision for the formation of the County of Dufferin, S.O. 1880, c. 37
  4. ^ An Act to separate the Township of East Luther from the County of Wellington, and to annex the same to the County of Dufferin, S.O. 1882, c. 38
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b

External links

  • Dufferin County
  • The Changing Shape of Ontario: Map of Dufferin County in 1951
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