Discover Orono, Ontario: A Blend of History and Rural Charm

Orono, Ontario, a community nestled in the Municipality of Clarington, is a hidden gem located on the southern stretch of Highway 35/115, approximately 87 km east of Toronto. This quaint village, with a population of approximately 1800, offers a quiet, rural lifestyle that is attractive to both residents and visitors.

The Rich History of Orono, Ontario

Founded in 1832, Orono was named after Orono, Maine due to the similar landscapes. The name was suggested by a visitor from Maine in 1852, the same year the post office was opened. The village was declared a police village in 1854 and has remained small but vibrant ever since.

The arrival of the Canadian Northern Railway in 1911 significantly contributed to the village's growth in the early 20th century. Farming has always been an important economic activity in the area, and many motorists used to stop in the town on their way from Lindsay to Newcastle before the 35/115 was built.

Orono was historically the seat of government for Clarke Township, which later united with the Townships of Darlington to form the Municipality of Clarington. Today, Orono is Clarington's fourth largest urban community.

Education and Sports in Orono, Ontario

Orono's youth residents who attend public school typically move onto The Pines and Clarke High School, located just off Highway 115 on the border of Newcastle. These schools are among the oldest active Middle and Secondary schools in the area.

The local high school hockey team, the Clarke Raiders, is one of the best in the district, boasting AAA players and players from the local clubs of Newcastle and Orono. The Orono Leafs, the local CC hockey club, began in the late 1990s and continues to run a popular and successful program.

Tourism in Orono, Ontario

Orono hosts several yearly events, including the Orono Fair, which draws nearly 30,000 visitors annually. The fair celebrates the area's agricultural roots with equestrian events, livestock shows, school and children's exhibits, agricultural education, art show competition, pie and cake auction, woodworking, cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, truck and tractor pulls, horse pulls, demolition derby, and much more.

Orono was once an antiquing Mecca, with four antique stores in the downtown core drawing people from far and wide to shop for antique and vintage treasures. Notable landmarks include the Orono Country Cafe, Jungle Cat World, Orono Fairgrounds, Orono Masonic Lodge, The Apple Blossom Shop, The Trillium Morgan Horse Farm, Ray's Barber Shop, Orono Community Centre, Mosque Masjid Alwadood, Terrens Wellness Centre, and Orono Antique Market.

The Orono Forestry Station, founded in 1922 and closed in 1996, was a prominent feature in the town, producing millions of evergreen seedlings annually for restoring Ontario's forests. The trails throughout the station are still walked daily by residents and geocachers.

At the centre of the village, the Sydney B. Rutherford Woods Walk Park offers a peaceful retreat for residents and tourists. Orono is surrounded by several pastoral hamlets, such as Kirby, Kendal, Newtonville, Leskard, Starkville, and larger towns like Newcastle and Bowmanville.

Despite its size, Orono boasts a popular zoo called Jungle Cat World, located on the north side of Orono, as well as the Orono Fair which draw people from miles around.

The nearby Brimacombe (Oshawa Ski Club), locally known as the Kirby ski hill, is a popular winter attraction, and has a dramatic landscape view of the Oak Ridges Moraine's rolling hills and farmlands at the top of the hill in the Summer season. The ski hill boasts 4 chairs, and one T-Bar. The club also provides 22 trails and two terrain parks for the paying public to use.

Orono, Ontario in Film

Orono has been a popular filming location for many years. Films and series shot in Orono include "Deranged" (1974), "Dead Zone" (1983), "Wind at My Back" (1996), "...First Do No Harm" (1997), "Patrick Lussier's Dracula 2000", "11.22.63" (2015), "Anne with an E" (2017), "American Gods" (2017), and "Polar" (2019).