New Hamburg, Ontario Canada

Discover New Hamburg, Ontario: A Blend of History and Modernity

New Hamburg, Ontario, is a charming community nestled in the township of Wilmot, Canada. With a population of approximately 11,953 (as per 2011 stats), it lies in the far western part of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, near the regional border with Perth County. Adjacent to the community of Baden, New Hamburg is conveniently located near the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo, and Stratford.

The Nith River meanders through the town, flowing through the downtown core, which is home to a 50-foot waterwheel built in 1990. The community is served by the weekly newspapers, the Wilmot-Tavistock Gazette and the New Hamburg Independent. The downtown area has been designated a Heritage Conservation District, preserving its historical charm.

The History of New Hamburg, Ontario

Located on the Nith River, just over 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Berlin (now Kitchener), New Hamburg was established in an area with rich soil. The settlement was laid out in 1832 and was primarily settled by Germans, including Mennonites and others, direct from Germany. A historical plaque honours Josiah Cushman, an Amish Mennonite from Germany, who is likely to have been the first settler, arriving in the early 1830s.

The community was initially named Cassel, then Hamburgh, and by 1840, it was renamed New Hamburg. William Scott, also known as Lord Campfield in Scotland, arrived in 1838 and made significant contributions to the community. He renamed Smith's Creek the Nith River, built a new dam, and constructed a new lumber sawmill. Scott's career included work as a Justice of the Peace, Community School Commissioner, New Hamburg's first Postmaster, Wilmot Town Councillor, Reeve, and the Lt. Colonel of the 5th Battalion of the Waterloo Infantry.

The New Hamburg post office was established by William Scott in 1851. At that time, the population was 500, and there was a pottery, a carriage works, and a foundry. The arrival of the Grand Trunk Railway in 1856 helped the village establish milling and farm machinery manufacturing. By 1858, the population had doubled, and the settlement included many mills and factories, several general stores, and eight taverns. New Hamburg was incorporated as a Village in 1857, and it became a town in 1966.

Notable Landmarks in New Hamburg, Ontario

New Hamburg hosts the largest Mopar Festival in Canada, which takes place in July or August. The town is also home to the largest working wooden waterwheel in North America, a testament to its rich history and industrial heritage.

Notable Businesses in New Hamburg, Ontario

New Hamburg is home to several notable businesses. Argo, a company that manufactures Argos, is based in New Hamburg. Maple Leaf Foods operates a hatchery in the town. "Is This Chair Taken," a small business on Peel Street, and "Rudy Held," a performance shop, are also part of the vibrant local business scene.