History of Galt Ontario

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History of Galt Ontario

A long time ago in a small town called Galt....

The Beginning

In 1784 the British Crown granted to the Six Nations Indians, in perpetuity, all the land along the Grand River six miles (10 km) deep on each side of the river from its source to Lake Erie. The First Nations, led by Joseph Brant, had the land surveyed in 1791 and divided into Indian Reserve lands as well as large tracts which they intended to sell to land developers. One such developer was the Honourable William Dickson who, in 1816, came into sole possession of 90,000 acres (360 km2) of land along the Grand River that was later to make up North and South Dumfries Townships.

The Hon. William Dickson, a prominent lawyer, established the area originally known as "Shade's Mills," before it was changed to Galt. Walk or drive through the area know as Dickson Hill and you will be immediately awestruck by the majestic Victorian homes, lighted streetscapes and overarching maple trees.

Shane Luis

The beauty of this area is attributed to Florence Dickson, granddaughter of the Hon. William Dickson, a single woman in the 1800's who defied the traditional role of a woman and dedicated her life to designing and developing Dickson Hill.

Mr. Dickson decided that a new name was needed for the Post Office and consequently the settlement. He chose Galt in honour of the Scottish novelist and Commissioner of the Canada Company, John Galt.

Galt Post Office

Old Galt Post Office

The settlers resisted the introduction of the new name preferring the more familiar Shade's Mills. However, after Mr. Galt visited Mr. Dickson in the settlement in 1827 the name Galt received more widespread acceptance.

In its early days Galt was an agricultural community serving the needs of the farmers in the surrounding countryside. By the late 1830's, however, the settlement began to develop an industrial base and a reputation for quality products that, in later years, earned the town the nickname "The Manchester of Canada". Galt was the largest and most important town in the area until the beginning of the 20th century when it was finally overtaken by Kitchener. The town continued its steady if unspectacular growth and reveled in its reputation as an industrial town whose products reached around the world

In the late 1960's the provincial government began looking at ways in which municipal governments could become more effective. It was proposed that the Regional Municipality of Waterloo possessing greater powers and responsibilities would replace the County of Waterloo. As part of that process, the City of Galt would amalgamate with the towns of Preston and Hespeler to form a single city.

So it was that on January 1, 1973 the City of Galt ceased to exist as a separate political entity and became part of the new City of Cambridge. The amalgamation of the three areas to one called Cambridge has not changed the view of the people who have lived here for many years. They still refer to living in Galt, Preston or Hespeler.

Here are some beautiful photos of the area and more can be view on the link below

Link to Photos

Heritage Home in Galt Cambridge

Home on Park Hill

Church in Galt Cambridge

Church in Galt Cambridge

Downtown Galt Cambridge

Downtown Galt Cambridge

Beautiful architecture of Galt Cambridge

The Old Post Office

Queens Square

Queens Square

History of Galt

History of Galt Cambridge