Grand River - The Grand's Canyon
Tourism powers an old mill town
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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