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The Nith river cuts right through the centre of it, filling the city with gorgeous trees, just as it does in Ayr, Scotland. The way Nith wraps around the town makes it look like it’s built in the centre of a forest.
In the heart of south central Ontario, it sits on the 401 and main rail line of CN rail, and that’s about it. The rest of the region is rolling country hills, rivers and trails. Both Ayr and North Dumfries are named after places in Scotland, where the original settlers came from.
Is Ayr Ontario a Good Place to Live?
Villages are special places that are the stuff of dreams; idealised places where we look for community and serenity. For the people of Ayr, this village is a place called home. Ayr is a beautiful place, abundant in natural sites.
You will find unique pioneer architecture in the older homes, and a Scottish vernacular style around its core. As in most small towns, life slows down enough to have neighbourly chat. There is a broad community spirit here.
Are there jobs in Ayr, Ontario?
Because Ayr is located between several urban centres, there’s almost 10,00 jobs available in the region. That’s as many jobs as there are people in North Dumfries. There’s definitely a labour shortage in southern Ontario.
Some of the major employers include Toyota in Cambridge, which employs almost 10,000 people. Other big companies nearby include Amazon, which has a base in the nearby Brantford, and chocolate company Ferraro.
For more local employment, Ayr traditionally has been a base for processed agricultural products. However, recently many newer Ayr residents are those looking for serenity while working from home.
PC Magazine voted it the best work from my home town in Ontario. However, it may be a little expensive for that title, because most centrally located towns quickly become homes to business executives and entrepreneurs who are taking advantage of the easy access to the 401 to travel between the GTA, USA, or K-W.
What’s there to do for fun in Ayr, Ontario?
Many new entrepreneurs have found success here, there are breweries in Ayr, one of the most popular being Willibald Farm brewery and distillery.
Willibald is also a popular restaurant. It is a first generation farm, the land is an unbroken link from one generation to another. They’re definity unique, even setting up a community fund that the family uses to reinvest into the region.
North Dumfries community complex.
A more recently built structure, from 2011, and its huge. It has a hockey arena, a staple in Canadian village life. Built around the arena is a 200 metre walking track, complete with a post workout cafe and snackbar.
There are several rentable halls with a kitchen, mostly being used to run fitness programs.
Rare for a community centre, inside is also a health clinic, with physicians and nurse practitioners available. Next to this health centre is an off leash dog park.
Outside is a playground and splash pad. There are also soccer fields, and the Eby trail nearby.
In 2020, the complex opened a 1000 square foot skate park.
A large community garden is also onsite, there are 10 x 10 and 10 x 20 lots available where residents grow vegetables and flowers.
There are many trails available to explore the wilderness and woodlands of North Dumfries, these are managed by the Grand River conservation authority.
One of the more interesting trails is the Rail Trail; it follows the old roadbed of the Northern Railway which connects Paris to Cambridge, one of the first trails to be opened based on an abandoned rail line, it’s something like 18 km long.
The ninth is a great place to portage, kayak, and enjoy. There are several ponds in the area too, lovely lake views and smaller trails within Ayr.
History of Ayr
The iroquois grew corn on these lands. It’s barely been 200 years since the first Europeans began raising crops here. The hockey stick was invented here, I heard from the residents, the hockey stick was inspired by the plow. You take a plow handle, flip it around and you got yourself a hockey stick.
The story goes, from the Waterloo historical society, in the 1800’s, a Mr. Hilborn of Hilborn company bought Ayr agricultural works and started a factory that made farming equipment, Ayr American Plow Co. Including hand pushed plows.
However, demand for mechanical plows meant that no one wanted to buy traditional plows, and then Mr. Hillborn had an idea: use the machines that shaped plow handles to make hockey sticks.
By 1900, 1000’s of hockey sticks were flowing out of Ayr, there was so much demand that workers were on 10 hour shifts, 6 days a week. Unfortunately, the great depression caused the hockey stick craze to settle down, and the factory closed, a small plaque stands were it used to be, in Greenwood park. Ayr news sits on part of where the factory used to be.
Before the era of hockey, the land that would become North Dumfries belonged to Mohawk war chief and Canadian Hero, Joseph Brant.
He was awarded the land, which became the Hamiland tract, for his effort on the side of the Crown during the American revolution. Later, in an effort to raise fund to develop 6 nations communities, Brant sold these lands to Scottish immigrants, who would promote its settlement in Scotland. John Watson, an entrepreneur who was essential to the early economy, would later sell one of his factories to Mr. Hillborn.
Schools in Ayr
Yes, there are three public schools, and no highschools. The nearby Cambridge is where most highschool age kids go. There are several colleges and universities in the nearby Kitchener – Waterloo
For more information on the Ayr housing market, or to check a place out, give us a call.