Friday, May 9, 2008

Fergus, Ontario

Templin Gardens, Fergus, OntarioFergus, Ontario is located 25km north of Guelph on the Grand River. It is the largest community in the Township of Centre Wellington (2006 pop. 26,049).

Fergus was founded by Adam Fergusson (1782-1862) and named in his honour. He first visited Canada in 1831 to explore colonization possibilities for the Highland Society of Scotland. In 1833 in partnership with a fellow Scot. James Webster (1808-69) he purchased over 7,000 acres of uncleared land in Nichol Township.

Attracted by the abundant water power they laid out the town site of Fergus. Webster took up residence and supervised the settlement's early development. The first house of this predominantly Scottish community was erected in 1833, a hotel the following year and a sawmill, grist-mill, church and school in 1835. Though Fergusson lived near Waterdown, and Webster moved to Guelph in 1852, the founders continued to foster the growth of their settlement.

location of Fergus, OntarioThe river is lined by a walkway and park. Shown are the Templin Gardens, restored in the 1970s.

Fergus celebrates its Scottish heritage by hosting Highland Games on the second full weekend in August. Begun in 1946 it now attracts over 30,000 people each year.

Today, Fergus is a thriving service centre with diverse industry. With its excellent access to Toronto and the Golden Triangle it is a growing residential community.