1 hour’s drive north west of Toronto lies some of the most breathtakingly beautiful country in Ontario. Rolling hills, views and vistas, rivers and streams abound from Caledon to Mulmur. It’s hard to imagine that Toronto is so near.
Dufferin County is located just north west of the GTA. It has become a favourite place to move for many who need more peace and quiet and extra space, but who also need continued access to Brampton, Mississauga and the GTA, either for work or play.
The county has an area of 1,442 km2 (557 square miles) and a population of over 40,000. Orangeville, the county seat, is located about 120 km north-west of Toronto. There are two other towns: Shelburne and Grand Valley, and six rural townships: Amaranth, East Garafraxa, East Luther, Melancthon, Mono, and Mulmur. Over half of the county’s population lives in Orangeville.
Dufferin County was one of the last areas of southern Ontario to be settled. It was named after Lord Dufferin, who was Governor-General of Canada from 1872 to 1878.
In the past, the economy was based on agriculture. In 1986, there were 1,079 farms in Dufferin County covering an area of 85,360 hectares. And although a portion of Dufferin’s economy still depends on agriculture, the economy is diversifying. The commercial retail and service sector is centred in Orangeville and Shelburne and is growing rapidly. Industries related to residential and commercial construction have grown. Manufacturing is becoming an important sector of the economy. And tourism is becoming significant, as the County takes a more proactive role in attracting visitors to the area through groups such as the Headwaters Country Tourism Association.
The physical features of the County vary widely, with the Niagara Escarpment forming a dividing line through the County. The western part of the County is covered by gently undulating till plains, which makes the Townships of Amaranth, East Garafraxa, East Luther, and Melancthon ideally suited for agriculture.
In Mono and Mulmur Townships much reforestation has taken place over the last 70 years. This part of the county is dominated by the Nottawasaga river system, which has its headwaters in Melancthon. Two of the Nottawasaga’s tributaries, the Pine River and the Boyne River, rise west of the Niagara Escarpment and flow in an easterly direction. This area is call “Headwaters Country” with good reason. The Credit, Humber, and Saugeen also have their headwaters in Dufferin.
The Hockley Valley and the Hills of Mulmur are dramatic natural features, particularly during the time of the fall colours.
- Headwaters Country Tourism Association
- The Niagara Escarpment
- The Nottawasaga River System
- Dufferin Board of Trade
- Greater Dufferin Area Chamber of Commerce
- Dufferin County Museum & Archives
- Community Living Dufferin