Discover Perth, Ontario: A Rich Blend of History and Tourism

The Historical Roots of Perth, Ontario

Perth, a town in Eastern Ontario, Canada, is nestled on the Tay River, 83 kilometres southwest of Ottawa. It serves as the seat of Lanark County. Established as a military settlement in 1816, shortly after the War of 1812, Perth was named in honour of acting Governor-General Sir Gordon Drummond, whose ancestral home was in Perthshire.

The settlement, originally known as "Perth Military Settlement," began to function under military direction. The first settlers were military veterans on half pay, and others were military veterans from various European countries who were offered land in return for their service. The military regime lasted until 1824, when settlers were granted municipal rights, i.e., 'the right of self-government'.

Perth was the site of the last fatal duel in Upper Canada. Robert Lyon, a law student, was killed on June 13, 1833, after fighting over a woman (Elizabeth Hughes) with a former friend, John Wilson. A local park is named "Last Duel Park" to commemorate the event.

Attractions in Perth, Ontario

The Tay River splits into two main channels for much of its course through Perth. The heritage downtown core of Perth consists of boutiques, specialty shops, cafés, and restaurants, most of which operate out of the century-old stone buildings in town.

The Perth Museum, situated downtown at the Matheson House, is a historic house constructed in 1840 and is designated as a National Historic Site of Canada. Erected in 1863, the Perth Town Hall stands out as one of the most impressive municipal buildings in Eastern Ontario.

Stewart Park, located behind Town Hall, features gardens, bridges, walking paths, and treed picnic areas along the Tay River. An interesting feature of the downtown core is the Crystal Palace, constructed from the discarded remnants of the glass street bus enclosures that used to be on Rideau Street in nearby Ottawa.

Festivals and Events in Perth, Ontario

Each summer in July, the Stewart Park Music Festival takes place in Stewart Park. It is a popular free festival featuring live music as well as artisan and food vendors. The Perth Lions Garlic Festival has been celebrating garlic grown in the area each August since 1997.

The Perth Fair, a regional agricultural fair, takes place over the Labour Day weekend; it has been running annually since 1845, one of the oldest in Ontario. The Festival of Maples is held annually every spring since 1974 and marks the end of the maple syrup harvest.

The Perth Kilt Run normally takes place at the end of June but the 10th anniversary of the Kilt Run was held on August 17, 2019. It holds the Guinness World Record for the world's largest kilted run. The Perth Polar Bear Plunge, held annually on New Years Day since 1994, raises funds for local charities.

Demographics of Perth, Ontario

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Perth had a population of 6,469 living in 3,271 of its 3,395 total private dwellings, a change of 9.1% from its 2016 population of 5,930. With a land area of 12.21 km2 (4.71 sq mi), it had a population density of 529.8/km2 (1,372.2/sq mi) in 2021.

Sports and Recreation in Perth, Ontario

Hockey is very popular in Perth as it has been home to senior and junior teams. Currently, Perth is represented by the Blue Wings in the Eastern Ontario Junior "B" Hockey League. Minor hockey combines Perth and Lanark children with practices and games shared between the Perth and Lanark arenas.

The Perth & District Indoor Pool is home to the Perth Stingrays Aquatic Club which offers a masters program as well. The Perth United Soccer Club also provides recreational and competitive soccer programs for all ages.

Conlon Farm Recreation Complex is a 54-acre recreation hub comprising several soccer fields and baseball diamonds and as well tennis courts, basketball courts, beach volleyball courts, skateboard park, pump track, play structures and a splash pad.

Sister Cities of Perth, Ontario

Perth, Ontario has two sister cities: Perth, Perth & Kinross, Scotland and Asago, Hyōgo, Japan.