Located directly south of the City of Guelph and east of the City of Cambridge, the Township of Puslinch’s close proximity to major cities offers convenient access to amenities.
Defining the Township are many individual communities. Each one has its own unique landmarks, landscape and personality. The abundance of sites to explore make the Township of Puslinch a rich and refreshing place to visit.
We invite you to discover the Township of Puslinch.
The communities that make up the Township of Puslinch:
Aberfoyle is considered the administrative centre of the Township of Puslinch and is home to the Township’s Administrative Office, Fire Station, Puslinch Community Centre, and the Optimist Recreation Centre.
This charming community is located at the headwaters of Mill Creek, approximately ten kilometres south of the City of Guelph. The community was first settled in the 1840s and was named after the village of Aberfoyle in Scotland.
Beginning with its name, Aikensville’s history has a deep-founded connection with its past and present residents. A fact that may be unknown to many is that Aikensville received its name from the Aikens family, members of which still live in Aikensville.
A noteworthy landmark in Arkell is the Arkell Spring Grounds, which run north-east of the village and produce several fresh water springs along the Eramosa River. Arkell is also praised by cyclists and hikers as a stunning place to take a break for those touring the country-side roads. Many tourists, such as those hiking the popular trails of Starkey Hill loop or the Arkell Springs trail, keep coming back for the beautiful landscapes, forestry, and picturesque settings.
The first house in Badenoch was built in 1834, which was the home of Donald Martin, John Kennedy, and Mr. and Mrs. McBain. John Linderman, the first settler in Badenoch, bought 600 acres of land – lots 32, 33, 34, 35, and 36, west halves (front) of Concession 10, and 34. Along the creeks behind these properties, Linderman built saw mills which were known around the area as “Linderman’s Saw Mills”. One of the reasons Linderman’s saw mills were so well-known was because they were the first of their kind in this part of the country. Linderman went on to operate these mills until he died in 1853.
In recent years, Barber’s Beach has been transformed in to a residential area.
However, in the late 1800s, Barber’s Beach was known as the summer playground where residents of Wellington and Waterloo counties travelled to enjoy the beautiful weather and fine white sand. During this time, Barber’s Beach was the place of all places where there was never a shortage of families picnicking on the sand, children riding the miniature train through the bush, or visitors of all ages enjoying the famously delicious French fries and gravy at the lunch bar. Barber’s Beach was just as lively at night as it was during the heat of the day thanks to the beach party dances that were hosted in the pavilion.
At one point before 1900, there were five summer hotels on the north shore that visitors took buggy rides in to visit from local communities. In 1928, the Toronto Star reported that on Canada Day weekend 6,000 people came to Puslinch Lake to see the Sunday swimming race involving George Young, a swimming champion from Toronto. Barber’s Beach continued to be a popular summer destination for decades. In 2000, Barber’s Beach was bought by investors who built the gated community of luxury homes known as Irish Creek Estates.
To learn more about the history of Barber’s Beach, a great source of information is the book Puslinch Lake and Its Past by Anna Jackson, published by the Puslinch Historical Society.
In the Corwhin community, when the settlement began the area was separated from the west because of the swamps connected to Mill Creek. Since there was a large disconnect between the west, the community looked east to the nearby border of Puslinch and Halton. Until about 1887, the hamlet was located at the Townline. However, after 1887 the Guelph Junction Railway came through and had a significant impact on the community. The regular train was steam powered, but a separate battery operated car was provided for local use. When this new battery car was introduced, locals were quick to give it the name “Sparkey”. For 25 cents an hour, anyone who wished could travel between Guelph and Guelph Junction on any of “Sparkey’s” daily runs. Humourously, one account of a ride on the line suggests that the passenger had never been as scared in his life as when he rode from Corwhin to Guelph for the first time.
Outside the Station House store at Corwhin was a sign that announced the entrance into “Corwin”. Over the years, many have wondered whether this was a spelling mistake or if the “h” was added to its name in later years.
It can be seen by Corwhin’s past that it is a community that is continuously growing and advancing. Although this may be true, Corwhin is still very connected to its community and roots in the past.
The village of Crieff was formerly known as Fraserville. Crieff was given its original name by the family whose farm the village essentially originated from. By 1871, the village’s population had reached 50. Crieff became a thriving community with two blacksmith workshops, two stores, a hotel licensed to sell liquor, a shoemaker, a church with a minister, and various dwellings. Around 1882, The Kerracher Hotel, the popular local hotspot, caught fire and was destroyed. To add to the hardship of losing The Kerracher Hotel, during the fire that destroyed the hotel, the blaze carried over and also burned down the Temperance Hall. Although it was difficult for Crieff to thrive after losing two buildings that were essential to the village’s vitality, over time the village recovered. Today, Crieff is a beautiful and thriving community.
The discovery of Killean took place in 1831 when David Gibson was surveying the western part of Puslinch. David Gibson and his emigrant crew member, Peter Blue, took an immediate interest in the intersection of Concession 1 and Mill Creek because of its interesting landscape and environment. Once the first settlers had established their own houses to live in, they began to build a school and church. The first church in Killean was built in 1840 and was made out of log. Every fourth Sunday, the minister and congregation from the East Presbyterian Church would worship. Years later, the first school was built out of stone along with the first store in Killean, which marked the beginning of Killean as a community.
Another important piece of Killean’s history was the Killean Cemetery. The first burials at the cemetery were in 1834. The cemetery is still maintained by volunteers and burials continue to be performed today. Allowing easy access to the outside world was the Credit Valley Railways, which was built in 1879-1880 just 0.6 km south of the hamlet. The station was mistakenly named Leslie, but was commonly known as Killean station until it became official around 1915.
Puslinch Lake is a kettle lake in Wellington County. It has been deemed the largest kettle lake in all of North America. Connecting the channel to Puslinch Lake is Little Lake, which is located to the northeast. The lake provides recreational activities such as swimming, fishing, sailing, boating, and waterskiing. As you can tell by the name, Little Lake is not large in size. However, a variety of fish and species can be found living in and around Little Lake, which makes it an interesting and exciting lake to explore.
Morriston is a pretty village south of the Highway 401 interchange along a narrow, two-lane section of Highway 6. As with many other villages in the Township of Puslinch, Morriston proudly exhibits its historical buildings by allowing the insides of these buildings to be used by local businesses. If you’re looking to get outside and spend some quality time with family and friends, you can rent some space at Morriston Meadows to play at the ball park or enjoy a picnic at the picnic pavilion.
The Township of Puslinch embraces nature, tradition, and heritage. If you appreciate an active outdoor lifestyle, you will enjoy the wealth of recreational opportunities in the quaint countryside of the Township of Puslinch. The Badenoch Tract, located on Watson Road just minutes north of Highway 401, is a popular destination for those who like activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The Starkey Loop Train on Starkey Hill is another rustic walking trail that winds through the forest. From the peak of the Starkey Loop Train, you can see Guelph’s famous Church of Our Lady in the distance. The Township of Puslinch offers you the chance to surround yourself with nature and appreciate the more simple things in life.