Situated on the edge of the stunning Elora gorge between the banks of the Grand & Irvine Rivers lies Elora, Ontario. The town is most known for the cliffs which give it its name and the river running through the centre of the community. Elora offers plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreation, community involvement, and a quiet life outside of the city. It’s a quiet community with a welcoming population and vibrant activity in the summer months.
Elora is a small town located in Wellington County, Ontario. The town has a population of just over 3000 people and is situated about an hour and a half drive from Toronto. Elora is most known for its picturesque cliffs, which line the Grand River running through the centre of the community.
Elora was first settled in the early 1800s by Scottish and Irish immigrants. The town was named after a town in Scotland with a similar geological formation. Elora became an industrial town in the late 1800s with the establishment of several mills along the Grand River.
Captain William Gilkison came to the area in 1832, planning on purchasing the land to create a settlement. Harvesting the waters of the rivers and the gorge inspired the captain, and the dream would outlast his lifetime. Elora Mill stands in the town centre to this day, though it hasn’t been an operational mill in years.
Over the course of the 1800’s Elora became a popular rest stop for other settlers moving upstream. A transient population led to the formation of a market, both for travelers and the nearby farmers seeking to sell their wares.
Later Development in Elora
Gilkison’s son continued his father’s dream developing land, surveying and planning for the future growth of the city. Most settlement occurred by the Grist Mill and Mill St., though it later moved up the hill to its location today.
Like many burgeoning towns in Canada, Elora’s residents were keen to be connected to a railway. Because Elora is not as centrally located much of the economic growth brought by the railway ended up in Toronto. The village grew and shrank over the years as it developed into the charming bedroom community it has become today.
Elora’s economy is largely based on tourism and the service industry. Despite industrial and agricultural roots, shifts in the economy has left Elora to adapt to the times by drawing attention for its historic buildings and unique natural setting.
Many businesses in the town cater to visitors, including bed and breakfasts, restaurants, and shops. The town is also home to several art galleries and studios. Many of these businesses are located in historic buildings which have been refurbished, transforming the village into a modern place to live that’s still filled with charm and references to the past.
As a Village of around 3,000 residents, not many people move to Elora with the hopes of great employment opportunities from Major Companies. Still, visitors to the Elora Gorge and Quarry often stroll the charming streets of the town and patronize the business line them.
Elora offers plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreation. The Elora Gorge Conservation Area and Elora Quarry are popular spot for hiking, swimming, picnicking, and even zip lining. In the winter months, the Elora Gorge is a popular spot for ice climbing and other outdoor winter recreation. There are also several golf courses in the area as well as canoe and kayak rentals.
The Bissell Park Boardwalk is another popular place to stroll which is not as demanding as the gorge.
Of course, no description of the Elora area is complete without mentioning the popular Elora Gorge tubing. Visitors come from all over the Greater Toronto Area for tubing, but if you plan to go check the water level before you leave.
Outside of outdoor recreation Elora doesn’t offer much in the way of organized leagues, clubs, or classes, although there is a community centre and a community theatre.
Elora has a thriving arts community with several events taking place throughout the year. The Elora Plein Air Festival is an annual event that takes place in May and features music, theatre, and dance performances.
If art is your thing, be sure to check out the Elora Centre for the Arts or one of the many art galleries which line the streets of downtown.
Elora is a popular destination for retirees and families looking for a slower paced lifestyle outside of the city. The town has many older homes on large lots as well as newer developments on the outskirts of town.
Because it’s a small village the turnover of real estate here could never compare to a place like Toronto or even nearby Guelph. However, with the right real estate professional guiding you, you’ll be sure to find the property that fits all of your criteria.
Interested in buying real estate in Elora, Ontario? Now that you’ve learned a bit about what life is like in this charming Ontario town, let us know if you have any questions about real estate in the area.
Elora is located about an hour and a half drive from Toronto. The town is served by several GO Transit bus routes. Elora also has its own municipal airport, although it doesn’t service any long range or international flights.
The most convenient way to get to and from Elora is via Highway 6, which leads down to the 401.
Trust Frank Leo & Associates to help you with all of your real estate needs in Elora, Ontario and beyond. Weather you’re thinking of buying a home or selling your property, our team will put 30 years of experience in the local real estate market to work for you.
Contact us and let us know if you have any questions about real estate in the area. You can also reach one of our associates by calling (416) 917-5466.