Erin, Ontario

Coordinates: 43°46′N 80°04′W / 43.767°N 80.067°W / 43.767; -80.067
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Town of Erin
Erin Community Centre & Arena
Erin Community Centre & Arena
Official seal of Erin
Erin is located in Wellington County
Location of Erin within southern Ontario
Erin is located in Southern Ontario
Erin (Southern Ontario)
Coordinates: 43°46′N 80°04′W / 43.767°N 80.067°W / 43.767; -80.067
Country Canada
Province Ontario
 • MayorMichael Dehn
 • Governing BodyTown of Erin Council
 • MPMike Chong (Con)
 • MPPTed Arnott (PC)
 • Town (lower-tier)297.76 km2 (114.97 sq mi)
 • Urban
4.03 km2 (1.56 sq mi)
 • Town (lower-tier)11,439
 • Density38.4/km2 (99/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Urban density656.1/km2 (1,699/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Postal Code FSA
Area code519

Erin (local historical pronunciation: /ˈiːɹːɪn/) is a town in Wellington County, approximately 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Erin is bordered by the Town of Caledon, Ontario to the east, the Town of Halton Hills to the south, the Township of Guelph/Eramosa to the west and the Township of East Garafraxa to the north.[3]

The amalgamated town is composed of the former Villages of Erin and Hillsburgh, both urban centres now, as well as the former Township of Erin (which contained the hamlets of Ballinafad, Brisbane, Cedar Valley, Crewson's Corners, Ospringe and Orton). Erin's Town Council includes a Mayor and four councillors. Its upper tier government is provided by Wellington County.

Erin is primarily a rural community but, while farming is still an important activity in the town, most of its population works in the nearby cities of Brampton, Mississauga, Guelph, and even Toronto. The town's new industrial park is attracting a number of new industries, due to its cheaper tax rate, accessibility to transportation, and its location within the "Technology Triangle," a series of high-tech driven cities including nearby Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge.

The community not for profit organization is East Wellington Community Services.


In addition to the primary settlement of Erin, the town also includes the smaller communities of Ballinafad, Brisbane, Cedar Valley, Crewson's Corners, Orton and Ospringe as well as Hillsburgh, an urban centre. The population in 2016 was 12,400.[4] The town also includes rural cluster areas such as Binkham, Churchill (partially), Coningsby and Mimosa.


The first settlers of European descent in the area then known as Erin Township were George and Nathaniel Roszel from Pennsylvania who arrived in November 1820; Nathanial acquired land in what is now Ballinafad. (Most of the settlers during the township's development were Scottish.) In 1821, William How and his family arrived from England and built a home in what is now Hillsburgh; he started the first general store in that community. The first Township Meeting was held on January 5, 1824; Henry Trout Sr. was appointed Town Clerk. The township halls have always been in or near Hillsburgh. The township population grew over the years from 1,368 in 1841, to 3,055 in 1850 when 15,400 acres were under cultivation.[5][6]

The urban community now called Erin developed after mills were built on the Credit River between 1826 and 1829. The first settlers included Daniel MacMillan and the Trout family. The settlement was established as "MacMillan's Mills" although most sources indicate that the Trout family built the first sawmill. Even so, Daniel MacMillan and his brothers are acknowledged as significant contributors to the growth of the village.[7]

By 1839 a post-office had opened. Records from 1841 indicate that the entire Township of Erin had a population of just 1,368. By 1846, the small settlement in the south-west of the township, then called McMillen's Mills, had a grist and saw mill, a tavern and blacksmith's shop but only 40 to 50 residents.[8]

In 1849, the first place of worship, the Union Church was being used by several denominations. Previously, services had been held in homes and in other available buildings. By 1851, the population increased to 300; the name of the settlement was Erinsville at the time but was later shortened to Erin. Businesses in the area included a distillery, a tannery, and carding, oatmeal and grist-mills. The river provided the power for mills, helping to boost agriculture, milling and wood products manufacturing. By 1869 the population was 600 and the post office was receiving mail daily.[9]

The Credit Valley Railway reached Erin in 1879 and the same year, Erin was incorporated as a village. At the time the population was 750.[10]

Electricity from small private providers became available before 1890 and a formal power company was established in 1900, Cataract Light & Power. Hydro power was generated at Cataract, in Caledon, an area that is now in the Forks of the Credit Provincial Park. That facility was sold to Ontario Hydro in 1944 and continued to operate until 1947.[7]


Population history of the Town of Erin (post-amalgamation)
1996 10,657—    
2001 10,657+0.0%
2006 11,052+3.7%
2011 11,148+0.9%
2016 11,439+2.6%
Population history of the Village of Erin (pre-amalgamation)
1996 2,633+5.8%

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Erin had a population of 11,981 living in 4,220 of its 4,396 total private dwellings, a change of 4.7% from its 2016 population of 11,439. With a land area of 298.81 km2 (115.37 sq mi), it had a population density of 40.1/km2 (103.8/sq mi) in 2021.[13]

Mother tongue (2006):[14]

  • English as first language: 91.4%
  • French as first language: 1.1%
  • English and French as first language: 0.4%
  • Other as first language: 7.1%


Erin revolves around its community centre, called Centre 2000. The building was added to the existing community centre. The facility now includes Erin District High School, 300-seat theatre, large double gym, arena, 6 vending machines, many community rooms, dentist, physiotherapist, Erin Branch of the Wellington Library, daycare, and many other features. Erin Village Alliance Church meets at 155 Main St. Within the walls of Centre 2000 is Erin Cinema, located in the 300-seat theatre. It showed first run movies and Toronto Film Festival Circuit films on weekends and some weekdays before it was shut down in 2015.


The County of Wellington is Erin's upper tier government; as of early 2019, Pierre Brianceau was County Councillor, Wellington County. The Mayor of Erin is Michael Dehn.[15] The town is located within the provincial riding of Waterloo-Wellington, and the Member of Provincial Parliament at the time was Ted Arnott. The federal riding is Wellington Halton Hills, and the Member of Parliament was Mike Chong.[16]

Health care[edit]

There are no hospitals located within Erin; services for residents are provided by Groves Memorial Community Hospital in Fergus, Ontario and by Guelph General Hospital. The East Wellington Family Health Team operates a clinic in the urban area of Erin and also in nearby Rockwood, Ontario. Some Erin residents are not far from the Headwaters Health Care Centre in Orangeville, Ontario.[16]


Public schools in the County are operated by the Upper Grand District School Board while Catholic schools are operated by the Wellington Catholic District School Board. Schools within Erin include Ross R. MacKay Public School, Brisbane Public School, Erin Public School and Erin District High School. The only Catholic school is St. John Brebeuf Catholic School.[16]


The town of Erin has their community radio station CHES-FM broadcasting at 91.7 FM. Their local newspaper The Erin Advocate has a weekly paid-circulation of 2,500 and is published by Metroland Media Group Ltd. The Erin Advocate also publishes the monthly Country Routes paper distributed to surrounding areas. Newspapers that cover Erin news and events and are distributed door to door for free include the Wellington Advertiser and the Orangeville Banner. Erin District High School has its own closed circuit TV station, primarily used for announcements, EDHS TV. Two other newspapers also cover Erin to some extent, The Independent (Georgetown) and The Halton Herald.[16]

Notable residents[edit]

Erin is home to many notable residents, including Ex-NHL player Jeff Shevalier, musician Stompin' Tom Connors, NHL Referee Terry Gregson, and Franco-Ontarian poet Robert Dickson.


Coat of arms of Erin, Ontario
Granted 15 November 2021.[17]
A demi-horse Proper its shoulder charged with a sun in splendour issuant from a mural crown Or charged with four shamrocks Vert.
Vert a water wheel and in chief a stone lintel Or.
Two great blue herons each holding in the beak a fish and standing on ploughed fields Proper set on barry wavy Argent and Azure.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Census Profile, 2016 Census: Erin, Town". Statistics Canada. 8 February 2017. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Census Profile, 2016 Census: Erin [Population centre]". Statcan. 3 November 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Living Here". Corporation of the Town of Erin. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  4. ^ "Community Profile". Corporation of the Town of Erin. 3 November 2018. Retrieved February 22, 2019. We have two urban centres, Erin and Hillsburgh, surrounded by a natural rural area which includes six hamlets: Ballinafad, Brisbane, Cedar Valley, Crewson's Corners, Orton and Ospringe and bordered by the Town of Caledon to the east, the Town of Halton Hills to the south, the Township of Guelph/Eramosa to the west and the Township of East Garafraxa to the north.
  5. ^ "History of Erin". Corporation of the Town of Erin. 1 March 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2019. Erin Township is said to have been so named by the surveyors, because it was surveyed immediately after the Townships of Albion and Caledon. Albion suggested England, Caledon suggested Scotland, and it was thought fitting that the third should suggest Ireland; so they called it Erin, the poetic name for Ireland.
  6. ^ "History of Erin Township". Corporation of the Town of Erin. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  7. ^ a b "History of Erin Village" (PDF). Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  8. ^ Smith, Wm. H. (1846). Smith's Canadian Gazetteer - Statistical and General Information Respecting all parts of The Upper Province, or Canada West. Toronto: H. & W. Rowsell. p. 55.
  9. ^ McEvoy, Henry (1869). The Province of Ontario Gazetteer and Directory. Robertson & Cook. p. 150. ISBN 9780665094125.
  10. ^ "The Founding of Erin". Alan L. Brown. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006 census
  12. ^ a b "Erin, Ontario (Code 3523017) census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  13. ^ "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, census divisions and census subdivisions (municipalities), Ontario". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
  14. ^ "Erin community profile". 2006 Census data. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2011-01-17.
  15. ^ "Council members". Town of Erin.
  16. ^ "The Corporation of the Town of Erin". Canadian Heraldic Authority. Retrieved 8 August 2022.

External links[edit]