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Grand River - The Grand's Canyon

Tourism powers an old mill town

More on the Grand River:
Grand River:
Ontario’s historic heartland

Bloom Town:
The flowering of an old-style Ontario town

The Grand’s Canyon:
Tourism powers an old mill town

Grinding Along the Grand:
Stone mills lined the riverbanks

High-Rise Herons:
Big swamp birds thrive in a wetland haven

Home and Native Land:
Homestead of the Six Nations

Old Order:
Mennonites set their own pace of change

Plaster of Paris:
A town arises from gypsum and cobblestones

Raising Rainbows:
Rehabilitating a tired industrial river

Sausages to Software:
The Industrial Evolution

Grand Stand:
Survival of a river valley forest

Elora, a well-preserved village of stone houses, sits at the head of the Elora Gorge, an unusual limestone canyon with caves, rapids, and waterfalls. On hot summer days, the gorge echoes with the shrieks and laughter of young people shooting rapids in inner tubes and plastic kayaks.

Islet Rock, also known as the Tooth of Time, is a lone island of rocks and trees amidst the falls of Elora. In 1902, a mill owner wanted the rock removed because it was deflecting water against the walls of his mill. Instead, the town reinforced the rock with steel and cement in the hope that it would last forever.

Tourism is now Elora's most important industry. The Elora Mill itself has been converted to a country inn. Many of the town's stone homes and industrial buildings have been transformed into tourist shops and restaurants. Mennonite farmers sell crafts and farm products from tables set up on sidewalks.

Most of Elora's buildings are of stone, built from local quarries adjacent to the Grand River. The quaint charm of the village, coupled with the beauty of the Gorge, make Elora one of the favourite tourist destinations in southern Ontario.

Elora and its gorge are the visual jewels of the Grand River valley.

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