Perth, Ontario



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Perth, Ontario on Wikipedia
Town (lower-tier)
Town of Perth
Perth ON 1.jpg
Motto: Pro Rege, Lege et Grege
Location of Perth
Perth is located in Southern OntarioPerthPerth
Coordinates: 44°54′N 76°15′W / 44.900°N 76.250°W / 44.900; -76.250Coordinates: 44°54′N 76°15′W / 44.900°N 76.250°W / 44.900; -76.250
Country Canada
Province Ontario
Incorporated1853 (Upper Canada Municipal Corporations Act, 1849)
 • TypeTown
 • MayorJohn Fenik
 • Federal ridingLanark—Frontenac—Kingston
 • Prov. ridingLanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington
 • Land12.25 km2 (4.73 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total5,840
 • Density476.7/km2 (1,235/sq mi)
Time zoneEST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC−4)
Postal codeK7H
Area code(s)613

Perth /ˈpɜːrθ/ is a town in Eastern Ontario, Canada. It is located on the Tay River, 83 kilometres (52 mi) southwest of Ottawa, and is the seat of Lanark County.


  • 1 History
  • 2 Sites and attractions
  • 3 Demographics
  • 4 Sports
  • 5 Schools
  • 6 Notable people from Perth
  • 7 Local media
  • 8 Sister cities
  • 9 See also
  • 10 References
  • 11 External links


The town was established as a military settlement in 1816, shortly after the War of 1812. The settlement of Lanark County began in 1815. In that year "the Settlement forming on the Rideau River" as it was officially referred to (and which soon became known as "Perth Military Settlement") began to function under Military direction. Several townships were surveyed to facilitate the location of farms for military and other settlers; and the site of the future Town of Perth, which had been chosen as the headquarters of the Military Establishment was surveyed in 1816.[2]

Many of the first settlers were military veterans on half pay, while others were military veterans from France, Germany, Poland, Italy, Scotland or Ireland who were offered land in return for their service. The Rev. William Bell, who arrived in June 1817, noted in his diaries that the settlement was more European than the Scottish settlement described to him. The first Scottish settlers came in 1816.[2] Many of the Scottish immigrants were stonemasons; their work can be seen in many area buildings and in the locks of the Rideau Canal.

The military regime lasted until 1824, when settlers were granted municipal rights, i.e., 'the right of self government'.[2] For many years Perth was the military, judicial, political and social capital, not only of the County of Lanark, but of the whole of the Ottawa Valley, north and west, until owing to the construction of the Rideau Canal, and the development of the lumber industry further north and west along the Ottawa, it finally was eclipsed by the town called "Bytown"—the present City of Ottawa, the Capital of the Dominion. But for many years the people of the town of Bytown, while it was still 'Bytown' had to come to Perth for their law and justice, for the law courts of the whole great district were located there.[2]

The first secretary/stores-keeper (and eventually postmaster and superintendent) of the settlement was Daniel Daverne, brought up from the Quarter Masters General Department in Kingston, Ontario to assume these positions.

Perth is home to Canada's oldest pioneer burial ground, St. Paul's United Church Cemetery, formerly The Old Methodist Burying Ground. This cemetery is at the south-east end of the Last Duel Park on Robinson Street.[3] The Craig Street Cemetery, sometimes referred to as the "Old Burying Grounds" also contains many historic graves and saw use from 1820–1873.

The town's motto is "Pro Rege, Lege et Grege" ("For the King, the Law and the People") which was adopted in 1980 along with a new crest. The previous motto, "Festina lente sed certo" ("Make haste slowly but surely"), and original town crest appears on the uniforms of the Perth Citizen's Band. Founded in 1850, this band continues a tradition of community music with numerous concerts each season.

Near the town is the home of world show jumping champion Ian Millar and Millar Brooke Farm where his great horse Big Ben (1976–1999) is buried. The town has erected a bronze life-sized statue of the horse and Ian Millar, in John A. Stewart Park, across from the Code's Mill building.

This town was the site of the last fatal duel in Upper Canada. Robert Lyon, a law student, was killed on June 13, 1833 after fighting over a woman (Elizabeth Hughes) with a former friend, John Wilson.

Perth is also the site of the first installation of a telephone other than Bell's experimental installations. A town dentist, Dr. J. F. Kennedy, a friend of Alexander Graham Bell, installed a direct telephone connection between his home and office. By 1887, there were 19 telephones in Perth, with a switchboard in Dr. Kennedy's office.

In 2010 Perth held the historic "Kilt Run" in which 1067 kilt-clad runners crossed the finish line. The idea to hold a kilt run in Perth, Ontario was conceived in October 2009 by Terry Stewart after the Mayor of Perth, Ontario submitted a letter to the Perth Courier requesting town residents to come up with an idea to help Perth, Scotland celebrate their 800th Anniversary. It has become an annual event. The 2016 Kilt Run attracted 5,000 runners as part of the town's 200th anniversary.[4]

In 1893 a 22,000 pound cheese known as the 'Mammoth Cheese' was produced in Perth to be exhibited in Chicago at the World's Columbian Exposition to promote Canadian cheese around the world.[5][6][7][8]

Sites and attractions

The heritage downtown core of today's Perth consists of boutiques, specialty shops and restaurants, including crafts, antiques and flea market, and summer Farmers' and Craft Markets. Most of these operate out of the century-old stone buildings in town. The Links O'Tay Golf course, walking distance from the downtown core, began its trek through golfing history in 1890 and is now Canada's oldest continuously operating golf course. The Perth Citizens Band, still giving concerts on the band stand behind City Hall, is a tradition dating back over 150 years. The band is Canada's oldest active town band. The Perth Citizens Band played "The Maple Leaf Forever" as the Mammoth Cheese departed to the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. The bandstand has been behind the Town Hall since it was moved there in 1901 and free summer concerts have taken place there ever since.

An interesting feature of the downtown core is the Crystal Palace, constructed from the discarded remnants of the glass street enclosures that used to be on Rideau Street in nearby Ottawa. This structure houses the Perth Farmers' and Craft Markets on summer Saturdays.

The Tay River splits into two main channels for much of its course through Perth. Much of downtown Perth, including the town hall, is on the island formed by the two channels. During the summer and fall of 2015, the fork in the river was modified to reduce erosion and flooding downstream in town.



  • Population in 2011: 5840
  • Population in 2006: 5907
  • Population in 2001: 6003
  • Population in 1996: 5886 (or 5902 when adjusted for 2001 boundaries)
  • Population in 1991: 5576

Mother tongue:[10]

  • English as first language: 94.1%
  • French as first language: 2.3%
  • English and French as first language: 0.2%
  • Other as first language: 3.4%

The 2016 census revealed that Perth has the lowest ratio of men to women in Canada: 80 men to 100 women.[13]


Hockey is very popular in Perth as it has been home to senior and junior teams. Currently, Perth is represented by the Blue Wings in the Eastern Ontario Junior "B" Hockey League. Perth was home to a professional baseball team for two years (1936–37) as part of the Canadian–American League.

Both high schools in Perth also offer a variety of other sports, such as basketball, football, soccer and track.


  • Queen Elizabeth Elementary School
  • Stewart Elementary School
  • Perth District Collegiate Institute
  • St. John Elementary School
  • St. John Catholic High School
  • Algonquin College Heritage Institute
  • Montessori School [1]

Notable people from Perth

  • Alexander Morris, Canadian politician and second Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba and the North-West Territories (1872–1878)
  • Herbert Taylor Reade, an assistant surgeon with the 61st Regiment, he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallantry in the siege of Delhi in 1857.
  • William Richard Motherwell, Former Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture and Federal Minister of Agriculture
  • Les Douglas, former NHL player and winner of the Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings.
  • Floyd Smith, former NHL player and coach
  • Gord Smith, former NHL player
  • Billy Smith, Hall of Fame NHL Goaltender
  • Ian Millar, prolific show-jumper; equestrian world champion and Olympic silver-medalist
  • Mike Brown, Olympian, Swimming
  • Sultana Frizell, Olympian Hammerthrower
  • Nicholas Tritton, Olympian Judo
  • Crispin Lipscomb, Olympian Snowboarding
  • Evan Starkman, Reality Television Star
  • Jared Coreau, current NHL player

Local media

  • CHLK-FM Lake 88.1 FM Radio [2]

Sister cities

  • Scotland Perth, Perth & Kinross, Scotland
  • Australia Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  • Australia Perth, Tasmania, Australia
  • United States Perth, North Dakota, United States
  • Japan Asago, Hyōgo, Japan

See also

  • Eastern Ontario portal
  • List of municipalities in Ontario


  1. ^ a b "Perth census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d
  3. ^ Neelin, James M. et al. The old Methodist burying ground in the town of Perth, Lanark County, Ontario. Ottawa Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, 1978.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ See a history of the mammoth cheese.G. M. Trout of the University of Michigan Journal of Dairy Sciences, Vol. 43, No. 12, pp1871-1877
  8. ^ "Giant Cheeses – Canadian Giants – Cool Canada – Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2011-02-06. 
  9. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". Canada 2011 Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  10. ^ a b "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  11. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". Canada 2001 Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012. 
  12. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006 census
  13. ^ "Statistics: 2016 census: Canada's seniors outnumber its children for first time in history". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 3 May 2017. 

External links

  • Official town site
  • Explore Perth – Find local events, businesses and more
  • The Perth Town Crier's Web Site – contains history, news and photos of the area

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