Acton, Ontario

Acton, Ontario

Acton (population 8,481) is a community located in the Town of Halton Hills, in Halton Region, Ontario, Canada.

Acton is located on Highway 7 (running between Brampton and Guelph) and the former Highway 25. Acton is served by GO Transit bus service on the Georgetown line corridor.


Acton was first named Danville when Settler Wheeler Green opened a dry-goods store in 1828. It was later called Adamsville, after three settlers from a family of that name. In 1846, the postmaster named the community after the area of Acton in West London, England. Originally part of Esquesing Township, Acton was incorporated as a town in 1874.

On January 1, 1974, Acton became part of the Town of Halton Hills when it amalgamated with the Town of Georgetown and most of the Township of Esquesing. Together with the Town of Milton, the Town of Oakville and the City of Burlington, the Regional Municipality of Halton was formed, replacing Halton County.


The town's location was chosen because of the good source of waterpower from the Black Creek, and the flour mill established at the beginning is still in operation today, although its source of power has changed. It is also near the watershed between the Credit River and the Grand River which is just west of the urban area, where the Blue Springs Creek begins.


The population began to increase significantly in the 1990s. Previously, growth was limited for almost thirty years due to limitations in the water and sewer systems. Current construction in the north and east ends of town will allow the population to rise to almost 10,000. Fact|date=March 2007


Acton is covered by local newspapers and television through the following services:
* [ Acton Free Press]
* [ TVCogeco]
* The Acton New Tanner
* [ SNAP Halton Hills]
* [ The Halton Compass]


The [ Halton Hills Public Library] is a two-branch library system. Both branches reflect the historic character of the community. The Georgetown Branch (9 Church Street) is co-located with the Halton Hills Cultural Centre, anchored by the former Methodist Church (now the Art Gallery) and The John Elliott Theatre. The Acton Branch (17 River Street) was built as the community's centennial project in a park setting, across a foot bridge over a creek.

Library Highlights [Halton Hills Public Library Annual Reprot 2007] in 2007 include:
*Town council approved the Georgetown Branch Renovation/Expansion Project in principal.
*Popular material was made more accessible through the "Rapid Reads" collection and the "Hot Off The Press" service.
*A record breaking donation of $79,291 was received from the Georgetown Homecoming Committee for the Georgetown Branch Renovation/Expansion Project.
* Convenience was increased through the installation of wireless Internet access and debit service.
*Business collections were expanded to offer more programming for small business operators.
*General interest programs were reintroduced for adults.
*Profile was raised through media coverage partnerships and greater participation in community events.


Acton had train service to the town in 1856 when the Grand Truck Railway stopped at their station at Mill Street East and Eastern Avenue next the Beardmore leather store (now Olde Hide House). The train station disappeared, but the stop served both VIA Rail and GO Transit train service until the 1990s.


The town is nicknamed Leathertown because of the extensive tanning industry that was located in the area during the 19th Century and early 20th Century. During this time, Acton was the main urban community of Esquesing Township, much larger than nearby Georgetown, Ontario which now has four times the population. The area was attractive to the leather industry because of the large numbers of trees in the area. The nickname is still reflected today by the Olde Hide House, a large leather goods store in an old warehouse, and Beardmore Leather downtown. The town also features Fairy Lake, a manmade lake accessible from many locations within the town, but most often from Prospect Park.

Actonite or Actonian

It is interesting to note in older books and papers of the area that not one, but two designations have existed for residents of the area at the same time. "Actonite" was used to identify people who moved to the area, and "Actonian" referred to people who grew up there. The first designation now predominates, due to the last influx of new residents in the 1960s, but older residents still remember it.

Notable Actonians

*George Elliott - novelist
*Judy Fong Bates [] - writer
*Donald Mann - industrialist
*Jeff McEnery [] - comic
*Jamie Taras - former professional Canadian football player
*Lar deSouza [] [] [] [] - artist


"Acton's Early Days" (1939); privately published by "The Acton Free Press", last reprint 1978

External links

* [ Halton Hills Public Library]
* [ A street map of Acton]
* [ Esquesing Historical Society's history of Acton]
* [ Acton Business Improvement Area]
* [ The Olde Hide House]
* [ Current Weather Conditions in Acton]
* [ Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce] Serving Halton Hills (Acton, Georgetown and surrounding area)
* [] Information on Halton Hills (Acton) Municipal Election
* [ Acton, Ontario Urban Area Profile]

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