Last updated on 31/07/2015
In our series of “Brussels around the world”, BrusselsLife is proud to present the quaint, and very charming, Brussels, Ontario, a Canadian town that celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2012.
Brussels, Ontario : an industrial legacy
Brussels, Ontario, originally known as Ainleyville, was founded in 1855 on the Maitland River by an English enterprising Settler called William Ainlay. The change of the name occurred in 1873 after the Great Western Railway opened a station called Brussels at the north edge of the town.
In its heyday, the Brussels had mills of every sort powered by water and steam. The last one to survive, the Logan Mill, ceased production in 1967, leaving behind the town's millpond as a reminder of an industry that had once flourished. One of the most spectacular examples of the town's industrial past is Dunedin House. This old mansion, built in 1887, is supposedly a replica of Dunedin Castle in Scotland and survives to this day.
Brussels, Ontario now
Today, the town has around 1000 inhabitants but no longer has a large industrial base. It does, however, have a thriving agricultural sector and is famed for the Brussels Livestock, a one-kilometer market of cattle and sheep!
Whilst strolling round Brussels’ 20 streets, you can admire some architectural gems that date back to the 1880’s. There is the Brussels Post Office, the Brussels Public Library but also a modern Brussels Business & Cultural Centre. Discover all the landmarks in the historic walking trails brochure published by the Municipality of Huron East.
Last but not least, there is even a Brussels airport on the outskirts of the town. So be careful next time you book a flight!