Welcome to Almonte Ontario, a cheerful former mill town located less than an hour from downtown Ottawa. Part of the greater Mississippi Mills area, this charming, friendly town is a popular destination for those living in Ottawa.
Almonte’s first European settler, David Shepard, arrived in 1818 and laid the groundwork for the town’s future. His sawmill was the first of many mills to grace the area over the next century and a half.
Turning from sawmills to textiles, the area saw rapid growth and by 1870 was a prosperous and bustling village. The woollen cloth mills that dotted the landscape became an integral part of the town’s character. Generations of mill workers formed a strong sense of community that is still a hallmark of Almonte.
Are you wondering how this Canadian town came to be named for a Mexican general? Almonte had many names in its early years. First named for its Scottish and Irish settlers, the town went by at least five different names in its early years.
By 1855 the small town had settled on Waterford. The Canadian post office put an end to that, noting another town of the same name, and it was time to change yet again. This time the citizens chose to honor General Juan Almonte, a Mexican diplomat who fought in the border skirmishes against the United States in the 1840s and went on to become the Mexican ambassador to the United States.
There are lots of theories about this name choice, but it was unique enough to satisfy the federal post office and Almonte ended the game of revolving names for the town.
Almonte has transformed since 1980 from a mill town to a charming locale rich in history. Its relaxed feel is punctuated by fun festivals throughout the year and it is a popular tourist spot for those looking to get away from the bustle of the big city.
Walkable and friendly, Almonte’s village centre offers everything from beautiful views to unique boutique shopping. History lovers will find architectural gems from the town’s golden era including the old post office and a historic mill.
Antique shops and eateries dot the main village, providing plenty of interesting places to visit as you stroll this quaint downtown area.
If you’re looking for lovely places to spend a sunny day, look no further. Almonte has a beautiful Riverwalk and a small tranquil waterfall. Residents and tourists enjoy picnics in the scenic area.
Mississippi Village Textile Museum
Celebrate Almonte’s history with a trip to the Mississippi Village Textile Museum. The museum not only preserves a historic building but also offers a look at how the woollen industry shaped the culture and development of Almonte and the surrounding communities.
The museum, located in an annex to the former Rosamond Woolen Company, preserves the mill working culture of the area and displays contemporary textiles and textile art. This inclusive space offers textile craft activities and rentable venues in its historic building.
You can spend a day browsing the museum offerings and return for special events and activities.
Filled with great restaurants, the village is not about to leave its residents and visitors thirsty! Living in Almonte means ready access to a great selection of micro-breweries.
Crooked Mile Brewing offers tours and tastings of its British Isles-inspired ales. With a snack menu and a gift shop, this is a place to linger and enjoy.
If beer isn’t your drink of choice, visit Dairy Distillery. This micro-distillery is situated in a stunning glass-fronted building and offers a truly unique beverage. Dairy Distillery’s Vodkow (pun entirely intended) is vodka made from unused milk sugar.
Almonte Ontario Real Estate
Almonte’s dedication to history continues with its historic homes. Grand mansions built by textile mill titans grace the area. As the town transformed from an industrial center to a relaxing small town, some of its historical buildings incorporated modern housing.
As an increasingly popular location for people wanting to live outside the big city, new developments have a lot to offer new residents.
Almonte has something for everyone, from homes dating back to its textile heyday to beautiful condominium complexes and newly constructed homes. If you’re relocating to Ottawa or moving to Almonte, you’re sure to find a home that fits your needs and your style.
ALmonte Ontario Arts Community
Almonte has a vibrant arts scene, with galleries, studios, and resident artists creating original work. Pottery, glass, and jewelry are joined by artisan blacksmithing and work inspired by local history and traditions.
You’ll find crafter’s and artisan’s markets regularly featuring the area’s talented artists. A stroll through Almonte Village provides even a casual visitor with ample evidence of the thriving art community supported by the small town and its residents.
Almonte is particularly fond of one of its famous former residents—James Naismith, the man widely credited with the invention of basketball. Born in Almonte in 1861, his Victorian childhood home remains a private residence to this day.
You’ll find small tributes to Naismith throughout Almonte, and a museum with a collection of his items in the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area. Any basketball fan moving to Ottawa will enjoy the Naismith appreciation evident in Almonte.