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  • Writer's pictureMr and Mrs N Travel Channel

Town of Elora - Prettiest Town in Ontario

We visited the pretty town of Elora two weekends in a row.

It’s our favorite town to visit in Ontario.

Elora is a community in the township of Centre Wellington, Wellington County, Ontario, Canada. It is well known for its 19th-century limestone architecture and the geographically significant Elora Gorge.

Elora is no longer an independent entity. In 1999, the Township of Centre Wellington was formed by amalgamating the Town of Fergus; the Village of Elora; and the Townships of Nichol, Pilkington, West Garafraxa, and part of Eramosa.

In 2011, the community referred to as Elora had a population of approximately 7,756.

Some highlights of the Town are:

It’s within walking distance to the Elora Gorge.

Downtown has free wifi and of course all the beautiful architecture and great restaurants.

Favorite burger restaurant

The Friendly Society

Favorite fish and chips restaurant

The Friendly Society

Favorite ice-cream spot

Scoop Ice Cream

And Sugar Skulls Ice Cream Elora

Favorite Restaurant

Handsome Devil Bistro.

Favorite Pub

This is a hard one – there are many great pubs in Elora.

We suggest if you’re there for the weekend, try a couple of them.

Places to visit:

Elora Mill

The extant five-story Elora grist mill was built in 1832, and through its history housed a sawmill, distillery, and flour mill. In the 1970s, it became a hotel called the Elora Mill Inn, which closed in 2010. Plans were submitted to convert the building to condominiums and a hotel and in 2017 a report stated "Elora Mill Inn and Spa, a $120 million project expected to bring a world-class resort and 250 jobs to the area when it opens in Spring 2018. Following a $27 million renovation, the Elora Mill Hotel and Spa, owned by Pearle Hospitality, opened in July 2018, employing 170 people and featuring 30 rooms and a restaurant. Construction of the condominium section of the property was to begin in 2019.

David Street Bridge

In 2002 the Township of Centre Wellington announced that, for safety reasons, it would be necessary to demolish the historically important David Street Bridge over Irvine Creek. The structure and its pier had been built in 1868 by Charles Lawrence, a stonemason. The structure was "the first cantilever bridge in North America". (A more modest earlier bridge had been built over the Irvine Creek in 1848.) It is described as one of the few remaining open-spandrel concrete arch bridges and is listed in the Ontario Heritage Bridge Program. Concerned about the preservation of Elora's culturally significant architecture, the group Elora Heritage was founded. They received over 1,000 names on a petition. They met with representatives from the town council as well as the provincial and federal governments.

It became apparent that the bridge was beyond preservation; however, the council agreed to preserve the pier and build a replica bridge in 2004. The project presented numerous engineering challenges but was successfully completed. The current structure is similar to the 1921 bridge; the 1867 stone pier was retained as had been planned.

Victoria Street Bridge

Is a new pedestrian bridge.

Most parts of another bridge over the river, known as the Victoria Street Pedestrian Bridge, had been demolished years ago but it was being rebuilt in 2019 as part of the downtown re-development.

The first Victoria Street Bridge over the Grand River was built in 1843, again in 1871, and lastly as a Pratt Struss bridge in 1899. The latest structure, a non-truss concrete beam pedestrian bridge with decorative railings and stone cladding mimicking the arch below, replaced the previous structure which was demolished in 2006. Named for Jack R. MacDonald, the new bridge opened in November 2019 and allows for increased pedestrian access into the core.

Badley Bridge

The new Badley Bridge has been designed to showcase the character and charm of downtown Elora. The new bridge will widen traffic lanes and sidewalks, introduce bicycle lanes, and include an observation deck with spectacular views of the Grand River.

Elora Mews

The shops and eateries in the ELORA MEWS courtyard are a favorite destination in the historic village of Elora Ontario Canada. Located at 45 West Mill Street, steps from the Elora Mill and the spectacular ELORA GORGE.

You'll love shopping year-round in the wonderful setting and atmosphere of the Elora Mews, within a lantern-lit courtyard and old limestone walls.

ELORA is a designated tourist area and a year-round destination. Our shops are open on Sundays and Holidays.

Elora Sculpture Park

A sculpture park on the corner of Mill & Metcalfe streets is an amazing selfie spot.

The sculptures are by local Elora artists. The landscaping of huge rocks and trees represents Elora’s more rugged Elora Gorge close by.

You can also stroll the streets of Elora and enjoy the different sculptures.

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