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Halton Hills

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Halton Hills

Halton Hills
Town (lower-tier)
Town of Halton Hills
Coat of arms of Halton Hills
Coat of arms
Official logo of Halton Hills
Motto: Hereditas Integritas Veritas (Latin: Heritage, integrity, truth)
Halton Hills is located in Southern Ontario
Halton Hills
Location of Halton Hills in Ontario
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
Region Halton
Incorporated 1974
 • Mayor Rick Bonnette
 • Federal riding Wellington—Halton Hills
 • Prov. riding Wellington—Halton Hills
 • Land 276.26 km2 (106.66 sq mi)
 • Urban 39.52 km2 (15.26 sq mi)
 • Rural 236.74 km2 (91.41 sq mi)
Highest elevation[1] 411 m (1,348 ft)
Lowest elevation[2] 197 m (646 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Town (lower-tier) 59,008
 • Density 213.60/km2 (553.2/sq mi)
 • Urban 49,854
 • Urban density 1,300/km2 (3,300/sq mi)
 • Rural 9,154
 • Rural density 39/km2 (100/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 905, 289 and 365
NTS Map 030M12

Halton Hills is a town in the Regional Municipality of Halton, located in the northwestern end of the Greater Toronto Area.

Halton Hills was established in 1974 through the amalgamation of the former Towns of Acton, together with much of the former Township of Esquesing, and a small portion of the Town of Oakville lying north of Highway 401. There are a number of hamlets and rural clusters within the Town, including Ashgrove, Ballinafad (straddling the boundary with Erin), Bannockburn, Crewsons Corners (straddling the boundary with Erin, Guelph-Eramosa and Milton), Glen Williams, Henderson's Corners, Hornby, Limehouse, Mansewood, Norval, Scotch Block, Silver Creek, Speyside, Stewarttown, Terra Cotta (straddling the boundary with Caledon), and Wildwood.

There are also natural features within these bounds, including the Niagara Escarpment, and the Bruce Trail. Many of these local features are protected by the Conservation Halton, Credit Valley Conservation & Grand River Conservation Authority.


  • Government 1
  • Schools 2
  • Symbols 3
  • Media 4
  • Geography 5
    • Vegetation 5.1
    • Endangered and threatened species 5.2
    • Geology 5.3
    • Climate 5.4
  • Transportation 6
  • History 7
  • Demographics 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10


The Town is divided into four wards, each of which elects two local councillors. Two regional councillors are also elected - one from Wards 1 and 2 (i.e., the area that was in the former Town of Acton and the former Township of Esquesing), and one from Wards 3 and 4 (i.e., the area in the former Town of Georgetown). The Mayor is elected at large. The Mayor and the regional councillors represent the Town at the council meetings of the Regional Municipality of Halton.

The current membership of the Town council is as follows:[3]

Position Ward 1 Ward 2 Ward 3 Ward 4
Mayor Rick Bonnette
Regional Councillor Clark Somerville Jane Fogal
Local Councillor Jon Hurst Ted Brown Moya Johnson Bob Inglis
Mike Albano Bryan Lewis David Kentner Ann Lawlor

The libraries in the Town are managed by the Halton Hills Public Library Board.


Type Halton District School Board Halton Catholic District School Board Independent
Secondary school
Primary school
  • Centennial Public School
  • Gardiner Public School
  • George Kennedy Public School
  • Glen Williams Public School
  • Harrison Public School
  • Joseph Gibbons Public School
  • Limehouse Public School
  • McKenzie-Smith Bennett Public School
  • Park Public School
  • Pineview Public School
  • Robert Little Public School
  • Silver Creek Public School
  • Stewarttown Middle School
  • Holy Cross
  • St. Brigid
  • St. Catherine of Alexandria
  • St. Francis of Assisi
  • St. Joseph


In 1975, the Lord Lyon King of Arms awarded arms to the Town, followed by the grant of a badge in 1984. Both were subsequently registered with the Canadian Heraldic Authority in 2005. They are specifically described as follows:[4]

  • Arms: Per pale, dexter Or two bendlets wavy Sable, sinister Azure two escarpes wavy Argent, a chief per fess dancetty Azure and Argent, overall a white pine tree (Pinus strobus) proper;
  • Motto: Hereditas Integritas Veritas (Latin: Heritage, integrity, truth)
  • Badge: On an oval Azure a white pine tree Argent within a wreath of five oak leaves alternating with five papyrus leaves Or.


Halton Hills is covered by the following local newspapers and online media:

  • Georgetown Independent
  • Acton Free Press
  • The Acton New Tanner
  • The Halton Compass
  • Halton Herald
  • In Georgetown Community Website

In addition, the transmitter for clear channel radio station CFZM is located in Hornby. This facility had long been used by CBC Radio One flagship CBL.


Natural and environmental features in Halton Hills
Black Creek
Basin 79.28 km2 (31 sq mi)
Discharge for
 - average 0.231 m3/s (8 cu ft/s)
 - max 0.353 m3/s (12 cu ft/s)
 - min 0.142 m3/s (5 cu ft/s)
Credit River, West Branch
Basin 127.00 km2 (49 sq mi)
Discharge for
 - average 1.33 m3/s (47 cu ft/s)
 - max 2.06 m3/s (73 cu ft/s)
 - min 0.683 m3/s (24 cu ft/s)

The Town is bisected by the Niagara Escarpment from southwest to northeast, and a significant portion of the rural area is located within the provincial Greenbelt. Above the Escarpment, a large proportion of the rural area is classified as environmentally sensitive wetlands, and there are several sites that are licensed for aggregate extraction, for which expansion requires detailed environmental assessment.[5] Below the Escarpment, the rural area is mainly agricultural, with the exception of an industrial area currently being development between Highway 401 and Steeles Avenue.

The Town also forms part of three watersheds:

  • to the west of Acton, a small area flows toward the Grand River
  • the northern half flows into the Credit River, including the Black Creek[6] and Silver Creek[7] tributaries
  • the southern half flows into the Sixteen Mile Creek[8]

The Water Survey of Canada operates two hydrometric monitoring stations in the Town, on the Black Creek below Acton,[9] and at Norval on the Credit River.[10]


Halton Hills is located in the transition zone between the Huron-Ontario Forest Section of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence forest zone to the north and the Niagara Section of the Carolinian forest zone to the south. Both forest zones are part of the Mixedwood Plains Ecozone. The natural vegetation in the Huron-Ontario Section is dominated by mixed wood forests. It is a transitional type between the southern deciduous forests and the northern coniferous forests. The forest communities of the Niagara Section are dominated by broad-leaved trees. Overall, Halton Hills consists predominantly of agricultural lands with scattered woodlands and wetlands. The woodlands are mainly deciduous forest and the wetlands are either cedar swamp or cattail marsh.[11]

Endangered and threatened species

American ginseng exists in the Town, and is protected under the Endangered Species Act, 2007. Butternut trees are also threatened by the butternut canker. The Hooded Warbler and the Jefferson salamander are also designated as threatened species.

Brook trout had been eliminated from the Black Creek watershed for many years, following an environmental disaster south of Acton in March 1946. The trout have sinced returned, and anglers report that fishing is good.[12]


The physiography[13] and distribution of surface material[14] in the Town of Halton Hills are the result of glacial activity which took place in the Late Wisconsinan Substage of the Pleistocene Epoch. This period of time, which lasted from approximately 23,000 to 10,000 years ago, was marked by the repeated advance and melting back of massive, continental ice sheets.

The Niagara Escarpment dominates the physiography of the town and greatly influenced the pattern of glaciation in the region. The Escarpment, formed by erosion over millions of years, is a high relief bedrock scarp which trends to the north through the central part of the town. To the west, on the upper surface of the Escarpment, hummocky morainic ridges deposited by glacial ice form part of the Horseshoe Moraines physiographic region. To the southeast below the Escarpment, is a smooth glacial till plain partially bevelled by lacustrine action, which forms part of the South Slope and Peel Plain physiographic regions.

The Town of Halton Hills is underlain by Ordovician shales of the Queenston Formation east of the Niagara Escarpment, and by Silurian dolostones of the Amabel Formation west of the Escarpment. The Escarpment face exposes a complex succession of shales, sandstones, limestones and dolostones of the Clinton and Cataract Groups. Red shales of the Queenston Formation underlie the eastern half of the town and are generally covered by more than 15 m of glacial sediments, predominantly the Halton Till. There are several areas of thin drift cover south of Georgetown.

The quarrying of limestone has been undertaken since the 19th Century, and the lime industry was once quite prevalent. In 1886, the Toronto Lime Company had operations in Limehouse and Acton, employing a total of four draw kilns and eleven set kilns, producing common lime and water lime.[15] At Limehouse, rock from the Clinton formation yielded green and brown shales and blue marl, which were used in the manufacture of mineral paints.[15]

Small oil and gas deposits have been discovered northwest and south of Acton, and around Hornby. While exploration had occurred as early as 1908,[16] with oil being discovered in 1912,[17] significant strikes did not occur until 1954.[18]

The Town is located in an area that is considered to be of low seismic potential, and the largest recent earthquake to take place within its limits was of magnitude 3 on 29 June 1955.[19] There is a POLARIS seismic monitoring station located just west of Acton.[20][21]


Halton Hills has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb).

The Town has two distinct climate zones:[22]

  • Zone 5a - north of the Niagara Escarpment
  • Zone 5b - south of the Escarpment

Environment Canada operates one climate monitoring station in the Town at Georgetown.


The town has four main roads:



Georgetown railway station

Bus service is provided by Georgetown GO Station.

The GO Train service is planned to be revived there in 2013.[24]

Rail freight service is also provided by Goderich–Exeter Railway.

From 1917 to 1931, Norval, Georgetown and Acton were also served by the Toronto Suburban Railway.[26]


On August 1, 2013, Toronto Premium Outlets, the first Premium Outlets Center in Canada, opened for business.[27]


According to the 2011 Canadian Census,[28] the population of Halton Hills is 59,008, a 6.7% increase from 2006. The population density is 213.6 people per square km. The median age is 39.9 years old, almost on par with the national median at 40.6 years old. There are 20,548 private dwellings with an occupancy rate of 98.6%. According to the 2011 National Household Survey, the median value of a dwelling in Halton Hills is $400,491 which is significantly higher than the national average at $280,552. The median household income (after-taxes) in Halton Hills is $80,266, a lot higher than the national average at $54,089.

Halton Hills is mostly made up of European descents. The racial make up of Halton Hills is:

Most of Halton Hills is either a Christian (72.1%), or affiliates with no religion (26.3%). The remaining 1.6% affiliate with another religion.

Visible Minorities and Aboriginals
Group 2011 Census 2006 Census 2001 Census 1996 Census
Population % of total Population % of Total Population % of Total Population % of Total
Aboriginal 1,645 2.8 480 0.9 205 0.4 140 0.3
Visible Minority 2,980 5.2 2,235 4.1 1,625 3.4 1,195 2.8
All other 53,325 92.0 52,305 95.0 46,155 96.2 40,910 96.9
Total 57,950 100.0 55,020 100.0 47,985 100.0 42,245 100.0
Population by mother tongue
Group 2011 Census 2006 Census 2001 Census 1996 Census
Population % of total Population % of Total Population % of Total Population % of Total
English 50,525 86.0 47,765 86.8 42,305 88.2 37,425 88.6
French 1,270 2.2 1,025 1.9 1,035 2.2 750 1.8
English and French 170 0.3 75 0.1 45 - 90 0.2
All other 6,305 10.7 6,155 11.2 4,590 9.6 3,980 9.4
Total 58,725 100.0 55,020 100.0 47,985 100.0 42,245 100.0

(Other languages, 2011: Polish 1.4%, Portuguese 1.3%, Italian 1.1%, German 1.0%)

Mobility over previous five years
Group 2011 Census 2006 Census 2001 Census 1996 Census
Population % of total Population % of Total Population % of Total Population % of Total
At the same address 37,510 68.6 30,270 58.9 25,135 56.4 22,370 57.4
In the same municipality 7,460 13.6 8,480 16.5 17,540 39.3 7,175 18.4
In the same province 8,625 15.8 11,180 21.7 8,285 21.2
From another province 520 1.0 765 1.5 1,920 4.3 735 1.9
From another country 525 1.0 720 1.4 430 1.1
Total aged 5 or over 54,640 100.0 51,420 100.0 44,595 100.0 39,000 100.0

See also


  1. ^ , as per Google Earth
  2. ^ along Highway 401, as per Google Earth
  3. ^ "Halton Hills 2014 Municipal Election Results". Town of Halton Hills. 
  4. ^ Canadian Heraldic Authority - Halton Hills, Ontario - Registration of Arms and Badge, March 15, 2005, Vol. IV, p. 454
  5. ^ "Level I and II Natural Environment Technical Report - Acton Quarry Extension, Town of Halton Hills, Ontario". 2008-12-22. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  6. ^ "Background Report - Black Creek Subwatershed Study" (PDF).  
  7. ^ "Silver Creek Subwatershed Study Background Report" (PDF).  
  8. ^ "Sixteen Mile Creek, Grindstone Creek and Supplemental Monitoring" (PDF).  
  9. ^ "BLACK CREEK BELOW ACTON (02HB024)". Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  10. ^ "CREDIT RIVER WEST BRANCH AT NORVAL (02HB008)". Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  11. ^ "Appendix E - Halton Hills Local Refinement Area Natural Environment Setting" (PDF).  
  12. ^ Hartley Coles (2009-05-14). "Black Creek has much influence" (PDF). The New Tanner. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  13. ^ "Aggregate Resources Inventory of the Town of Halton Hills" (PDF).  
  14. ^ J.E. Gillespie, R.E. Wicklund, M.H. Miller. "Soils of Halton County - Report No. 43 of the Ontario Soil Survey" (PDF). Soil Research Institute, Canada Department of Agriculture, and  
  15. ^ a b Annual Report of the Bureau of Industries for the Province of Ontario. Toronto: Warwick & Sons. 1886. p. 385. 
  16. ^ "News of local import: Halton Oil and Gas". Acton Free Press. September 17, 1908. p. 3. 
  17. ^ "Oil has been struck at Milton". Acton Free Press. March 7, 1912. p. 2. 
  18. ^ Gord Murray (February 20, 1980). "Gas riches may await the gambler". Acton Free Press. p. 1. 
  19. ^ "Could the next big earthquake happen here?". 2011-03-21. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  20. ^ POLARIS monitoring station ACTO
  21. ^ located at
  22. ^ Plant Hardiness Zones of Canada
  23. ^ "Georgetown WWTP, Ontario". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010.  
  24. ^ "GO trains coming to Kitchener Dec. 19".  
  25. ^ "CN Halton Subdivision". Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  26. ^ "Toronto Suburban Railway - Guelph Radial Line". Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  27. ^ "Opening day for Toronto Premium Outlets | Toronto & GTA | News". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2013-08-27. 
  28. ^ 2011 NHS/Census Profile of Halton Hills:
  29. ^ "2011 Community Profiles".  
  30. ^ "2006 Community Profiles".  
  31. ^ "2001 Community Profiles".  
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