Toronto Neighbourhood Guide

Halton Hills

History of Halton Hills

Halton Hills was first settled in the early 1800s, by immigrants from the British Isles. By the mid 1800s, numerous villages had been established in Halton. The two largest of these were Georgetown, which was incorporated as a village in 1865, and Acton which achieved village status in 1874.

Georgetown was founded by George Kennedy, a United Empire Loyalist. George Kennedy and his four brothers engaged in farming and operated prosperous mills on the Credit River. Many streets in this town are named after members of the Kennedy family.

The history of the village of Acton is also dominated by one family. Acton’s founding patriarch was Reverend Ezra Adams, a Methodist preacher. Adams three brothers and parents would later join him in Acton. The Adams flour mill was situated at Prospect Park, which is now a town park and fairgrounds. Many of Acton’s oldest streets are named after members of the Adams family.

From 1842, until 1896, Acton’s Beardmore Tannery was said to be among the largest in the British Empire. Acton’s rich tanning heritage is carried on today by its best known retailer ‘The Olde Hide House’, who have popularized the slogan, “Its worth the drive to Acton”.

The rural Village of Norval, situated at Winston Churchill Boulevard and 10th sideroad, is situated in the Credit River Valley. The natural beauty of this village inspired former resident Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables, to write: “Norval is one of the prettiest villages in all Ontario”. The equally charming Glen Williams hamlet, located east of the 9th Line, at the 20th Sideroad, revolves around a historic mill site that attracts visitors from far and wide.

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