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Smiths Falls

Trip Planner Canada  /  Ontario  /  Smiths Falls
(3.9/5 based on 110+ reviews for 9 attractions)
Things to do: museums, shopping, zoos & aquariums
Smiths Falls is a town in Eastern Ontario, Canada, with a population of 8,978 according to the 2011 census. It is in the Census Division for Lanark County, but is separated from the county. The Rideau Canal waterway passes through the town, with four separate locks in three locations and a combined lift of over 15m. Population is approximately 9000.The town's name was sometimes alternatively spelled "Smith's Falls" or "Smith Falls", but "Smiths Falls" is now considered correct.HistoryEarly historyThe city is named after Thomas Smyth, a United Empire Loyalist who in 1786 was granted 400acre in what is present-day Smiths Falls. The Heritage House Museum (c. 1862), also known as the Ward House, was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1977.Building of the Rideau CanalAt the time of construction of the Rideau Canal a small settlement had been established around a mill operated by Abel Russell Ward, who had bought Smyth's land. Colonel By ordered the removal of Ward's mill to make way for the canal. He settled with Ward for £1,500, one of the largest claims made by mill owners on the canal.The disruption of industry caused by the building of the canal was only temporary, and Smiths Falls grew rapidly following construction. An article in Smith's Gazetteer in 1846 described the town as a "flourishing little village pleasantly situated on the Rideau River and on the Canal, fourteen miles (21 km) from Perth. It contains about 700 inhabitants. There are fifty dwellings, two grist mills (one with four run of stones), two sawmills, one carding and fulling mill, seven stores, six groceries, one axe factory, six blacksmiths, two wheelwrights, one cabinet maker, one chair-maker, three carpenters, one gunsmith, eleven shoemakers, seven tailors, one tinsmith and two taverns."
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