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History of Aylmer

Through the years Aylmer has had several names, first called Hodgkinson's Corners because of the location of a business belonging to Philip Hodgkinson. The settlement remained Hodgkinson's Corners until settlers from the state of New York renamed it Troy after a settlement on the Hudson River. The name Troy was not liked because of the American connection. In 1835 the community was named Aylmer after Lord Aylmer, the Governor General of Canada. The north end of Aylmer was for a time, named Walkerton after George Walker.

Information from Sims' History of Elgin County by Hugh Joffre Sims

Starting out as a cross roads settlement (Hodgkinson's Corners), Aylmer rapidly assumed the role of a local centre serving the rich farmlands about and developed it's complement of essential service industries. The coming of the railway, the Great Western Air Line, in 1873 consolidated that position and encouraged manufacturing on a larger scale, with mills, foundry, pork-packing house, a milk-evaporating plant, and shoe factory among the main establishments subsequently. Prosperity continued into the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. An Airfield for training was established nearby in World War 2: this became the nucleus of the Ontario Police College. After the war Imperial Tobacco located here and the whiff of curing tobacco used to pervade parts of the town.

Information from Acorn Spring 1989

Aylmer in 1887

Aylmer had been a village since 1872. By 1887 its population was now sufficient to be incorporated as a town - there were 2000 inhabitants - and it became official on January 1st . Aylmer actually grew to 2300 persons within two years - the largest it would be until the 1940s. Just a year earlier, It had received telephone service and electricity and a new high school was built on its present site. The major building addition was the Aylmer Iron Works on Water Street. Major businesses included: the Aylmer Canners, Rowe Organs, Bingham Dry Goods, Three Farthings Dry Goods, Moses Leeson Carriages, Walker Brothers Hardware and Shoes; Builder Thomas Wooster, and the new Aylmer Sun (to compete with the Express). It even had seven hotels. Doctors included Kingston, Clark, McLay, and Sinclair. Thomas Nairn of Aylmer, co-founder of the Canners, was MPP for East Elgin. The Mayor was Samuel Clutton and Reeve was Dr. Sinclair.

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Aylmer, Ontario N5H 1J7
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