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Tours -> Elora Self Guided


Public and Commercial Buildings TourThe early history of the settlement and growth of Elora is both extraordinary and fascinating. The visual beauty, hidden secrets and music of its falls and gorge attracted and inspired many newcomers. Creative artists, photographers, musicians, builders, architects and writes chronicled its emergence from a backwoods settlement to a natural and cultural destination in the province.
Early Settlement of Elora (South Side)The early history of the settlement and growth of Elora is both extraordinary and fascinating. The visual beauty, hidden secrets and music of its falls and gorge attracted and inspired many newcomers. Creative artists, photographers, musicians, builders, architects and writers chronicled its emergence from a backwoods settlement to a natural and cultural destination in the province.
Historical and Heritage House TourThe first dwellings of Elora were basic, rough-cut log cabins clustered around Gilkison's store on the south bank of the Grand River. The one exception was an isolated, tiny wilderness lodge on the north bank built by Henry Wilbee in 1833. During the next ten years, Elora was at a standstill with only 48 acres under cultivation, one small sawmill, a dam, an unreliable bridge, a store  and one hewn log house constructed by Thomas Land.
Church Tour

The original Methodist, Anglican and Catholic churches were all log or wooden structures built on the south side of the Grand River during the early settlement period. The fledgling Methodist congregation first met in the large room in Gilkison's old store. When Ross and Company re-opened the store as their headquarters in 1842, services were held in Josiah Johnstons's large stable until their log church was built the following year.

Gorge Vistas and Native Sites TourThe magical riverscape just downstream from the falls is generally known as the Elora Gorge. It is really two gorges: one cut by the swift-flowing Grand and the other by its tributary the Irvine. The mystery of its formation, resulting in numerous caves, cliffs and curious rock shapes attracted newcomers to the area.
A.J. Casson TourDuring the summers of 1929 to 1931, A.J. Casson visited the Elora area and painted what would later be known as his Elora-Salem series. It was during these years that he learned to master the art of watercolour painting. "Cass", as he was known to his friends, was spent his childhood years in Guelph and as a school boy already began showing some promise as an artist.
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Self-Guided Tours
Check out our exciting self-guided tours. Learn about Fergus and Elora's past and present.