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Durham

Posted by Laura Murakami on August 10, 2016
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Durham, Ontario is located at the intersection of Highway 6 and Grey Road 4 in the Municipality of West Grey, approximately 44 kms south of Owen Sound and 89 kms north of Guelph.

Durham was built around the Saugeen River and has three man-made dams.  The founding of the town is noted on a historical plaque that can be found in a parkette:  “In 1842 Archibald Hunter, a Scottish immigrant, led a party northward on the Garafraxa “colonization road” to the banks of the Saugeen River. The resulting settlement was first called Bentinck and later Durham, probably to honour the English birthplace of George Jackson, the first local Crown Land Agent. The establishment of flour and grist-mills in 1847 made the town the major agricultural centre of the district. The Durham Road, another settlement route, was constructed through the town in 1849. Further growth followed, churches were founded, a school organized, and a newspaper, the Chronicle, was established in 1857. By an Act passed in 1872, the Ontario legislature incorporated Durham as a town.”

Durham has its own elementary public and catholic and schools, with graduating students then generally attending either Grey Highlands Secondary School in Flesherton or John Diefenbaker Secondary School in Hanover. Durham has an arena with a capacity of 3000 (often packed through the busy recreational hockey season), a public library, a vibrant and busy main street, a variety of active churches, a vet clinic, gym and an art gallery, and hosts annual Fall Fair and Homecoming celebrations that attract many visitors.  McGowan Falls is a popular spot for a swim on a hot summer day, as is the Conservation Area, both inside the town itself.  Public service clubs abound in the small town and groups such as Girl Guides and Boy Scouts, the Rotary, Kinsmen and Kinettes, the Royal Canadian Legion and the Optimists date back as early as 1912.

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