Elora Gorge: Jewel of the Grand River Valley by Hillary Hornung a Pure Ontario contributor

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Elora Gorge Address:

The tiny town of Elora, Ontario hosts a hidden jewel. It’s a jewel that I recently visited for the first time, even though I live 40mins away. I was not only taken with the towns charm but the Gorge as well. There are multiple points of access down to the Gorge, and the access point we used was through the actual town of Elora. If you’ve ever been to Elora, than you are one step up on me – it was my first visit and before even heading to the Gorge, we headed straight to the Elora Brewing Company for a warm lunch to keep us going through the cold, damp day.  During the short walk along the path, plaques are set up recounting the history of the town and of the Gorge, which helps set the scene for those who are interested in the history of the area – geographically or culturally. What amazed me to learn was that during the time of expansion, the Gorge actually became a dumping ground for many of those living in Elora or nearby settlements. Trees were ripped out of the ground, plants burned off, erosion occurring at a quick pace and it wasn’t until the late 1800s – early 1900s when the natural historical society was developed to help instigate growth and well being to this beautiful spot along the Grand River. While on your journey down to the bottom of the Gorge, you’ll notice that the rock has that limestone kind of feel and look to it – that’s because it is. During the middle of the 1800s the Elora Quarry was opened and many homes and buildings in the area were built out of the local limestone that was mined. Surprisingly enough, many of these buildings are still in great standing condition today!

The Elora Gorge is a place unlike any other in South Central Ontario – it brings together what is great about small towns and the beauty that is a natural wonder: instensely charming and welcoming. If you’ve never been to Elora Gorge, I would definitely say GO! It’s worth the drive!

To access the Gorge from the town centre, find yourself to Metcalfe St and when you stumble upon Mill St W, find a spot to park the car, walk up the hill and take the first left (it will look like you’re going to trespass onto someone’s property, but I promise, you won’t!). Look for the white markers indicating the Bruce Trail and those markers will lead you to the stairs that take you down to the Gorge!


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