Discover Paris, Ontario: The Prettiest Little Town in Canada

Paris, Ontario, a charming community located in the County of Brant, is home to a population of 14,956 (as of 2021). Nestled just northwest of the city of Brantford, Paris is situated where the Nith River empties into the Grand River. Harrowsmith Magazine once voted Paris as "the Prettiest Little Town in Canada". Established in 1850, Paris has a rich history and is the largest population centre in the county.

The Historical Journey of Paris, Ontario

Paris, Ontario, was named after the nearby deposits of gypsum, a material used to make plaster of Paris. The discovery of this material dates back to 1793 during a survey for the British Home Department. By the end of 1794, a road, now known as Dundas St., was built from Dundas, Ontario, to the east bank of the Grand River in Paris. This town is also referred to as "the cobblestone capital of Canada" due to its numerous aged cobblestone houses.

The town was first settled on May 7, 1829, by its founder, Hiram Capron, who bought the land at the Forks of the Grand for $10,000. Capron, originally from Vermont, divided some land into town lots, built a grist mill on the present townsite, and was involved in opening an iron foundry and mining of gypsum.

By 1846, the settlement, located in a hilly area called Oak Plains, was divided into the upper town and the lower town. The community of 1,000 people, including Americans, Scottish, English, and Irish, was thriving. Manufacturing had begun, with industries powered by the river. A great deal of plaster was being exported, and there were three mills, a tannery, a woolen factory, a foundry, and numerous tradesmen. Five churches had been built, and the post office was receiving mail three times a week.

Paris was incorporated as a village in 1850 with Hiram "Boss" Capron as the first Reeve. It was later incorporated as a town in 1856 with H. Finlayson as the first mayor. By 1869, the population had grown to about 3,200.

Paris, Ontario: A Hub of Broadcast Radio and TV Stations

Paris, Ontario, is the transmitter site for several broadcast radio and TV stations serving the Brantford and Kitchener-Waterloo areas. The actual tower site is located at 475 Ayr Road, just south of the town of Ayr. Erected and owned by Global Television Network in 1974 for CIII-TV, it was the main transmitter for the southern Ontario Global network until 2009.

Annual Events in Paris, Ontario

Paris, Ontario, hosts an annual Fall Fair over the Labour Day weekend. The Fair features rural lifestyle exhibits, a midway with carnival games, rides, and a demolition derby. It also hosts country music nights with big-name acts such as Montgomery Gentry, Gord Bamford, Emerson Drive, Chad Brownlee, Deric Ruttan, Kira Isabella, and James Barker Band.

Paris, Ontario: A Participant in Southern Ontario's Green Energy Hub

Paris, Ontario, is the northernmost community participating in Southern Ontario's Green Energy Hub. Since the late 1990s, Paris has experienced population growth, which may be attributed to the rising popularity of rural communities among GTA bound commuters and the completion of Highway 403 between Hamilton and Woodstock.

Sights and Attractions in Paris, Ontario

Paris, Ontario, offers a variety of attractions. Barker's Bush is a network of community walking/biking trails, rare Carolinian forest, thriving ecosystem, and natural corridors. Paris Fairgrounds is home to the five-day Labour Day Weekend Fair. Paris Speedway Track is a motorcycle track that has held some national-level races. Penman's Dam, built in 1918 by John Penman, is lit up each evening and can be viewed crossing the William Street Bridge or at one of the riverside restaurants or coffee shops.

Paris, Ontario in Film

Paris, Ontario, has been a popular location for film shoots. Some notable films shot in Paris include "Let It Snow" (2019), "Away from Her" (2006), "Silent Hill" (2006), "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio" (2005), and "Phil the Alien" (2004).

Iconic Buildings and Structures in Paris, Ontario

Paris, Ontario, is home to several iconic buildings and structures. These include the CIII Television Tower, Paris Old Town Hall, The Historic Arlington Hotel, The Canadian Tavern, Hamilton Place (a key example of Cobblestone building in Canada), and the Paris Branch of the County of Brant Public Library (a Carnegie Library).