The Official Tourism Website for Paisley, Ontario

Paisley Heritage Tour
Full of History and Tradition

Welcome to Paisley! Founded in 1851, Paisley is full of history and tradition. From the settlers who arrived by raft and built the first houses and businesses, to the stately houses and the once hard-working mills on the river, Paisley is bursting with historical features. Take a walk around our town to get an inside glimpse of what Paisley would have looked like over 100 years ago. While on the walk, be sure to visit the Treasure Chest Museum to learn even more about Paisley's rich history. Enjoy your time in the Village of Paisley!

Founders Plaque

274 Queen Street North

This plaque is located on the front of the Centennial Library.

 

Stoddart & Sawyer Funeral Business

258 Queen Street North

This building is the only remaining frame store in the Village. For a number of years it was the base of the funeral business in the Village and later a thriving furniture store. Recent renovations have restored the storefront to its original appearance. Now Paisley Antique Shoppe.

 

Fisher Mill Property (1855)

316 Mill Street

The grist mill, the dam, and the sawmill made up the property. The powerful waterwheels still turn in the basement of the first mill. This is now a thriving woodworking business with residence on the top floors. Now Paisley Architectural Millworks.

 

Fisher Sawmill (1925)

Victoria Street North

Some of the machinery used to drive the slab saw, carriages and sawdust elevator are still visible. Now Cowan Canoe Livery.

 

David Hanna Home (1866)

376 Victoria Street North

This home is the best example of Gothic architecture in the Village and was associated with the Mill property. The bay window, date stone, steep roofs and high chimneys all give the sense of reaching upward. 

 

The Home of Dr. McLaren

232 Church Street

A french Renaissance house built shortly after the arrival of the railway in Paisley. The mansard roof is designed to give an extra storey. The mammoth structure has been the home of several doctors. 

 

The Flood Block

328 Queen Street North

This was built by Wm. Flood Sr. to fill a gap between his building to the north, and the Steele Block to the south. Flood, who owned the Grand Central Hotel, used the same cast metal surrounds above the windows of all three buildings. Now The Big Dipper Bakery.

 

The Steele Block (1890)

312 Queen Street North

This building was the early home to the Paisley Advocate. Cleaning has revealed intricate patterning and polychromy in the high standard of the period brick-work. The stained glass has been refurnished and replaced at the top of the windows.Now Elora Soap Company.  

 

The Odd Fellows Hall

302 Queen Street North

The former IOOF Hall once housed the Merchant's Bank on the main floor. The facade was badly damaged by fire, but some of the once-ornate brickwork is still visible. 

 

Treasure Chest Museum

407 Queen Street North

 

Norman Hagedorn started this as a private collection then turned it over to the Village. Take a step back in time as you view the many items on display.

 

Anchor Carpet Mills (1901)

416 Queen Street North

This factory clackety-Clacked into operation in late November 1901. When it closed in 1904, it had produced hundreds of thousands of yards of patterned and rag carpets, samples of which may still be found in old homes. 

 

The Armouries

422 Queen Street North

The building still employs the hand rolled nine panes of glass for its display window. The corbelling of the brick maintains the high standard of the period. Now Mister Beer.

 

George Grant House

465 Queen Street North

This board and batten sided house is an example of a rural style cottage adapted to an urban environment. 

 

John McKechnie House

454 Queen Street North

This was the residence of an early shoemaker. It stood in front of a tannery which backed onto Willow Creek. The house was elaborately fenced in 1889 with iron cast in the foundry a few yards north. 

 

Foundry Chimney (1860)

Queen Street North

This chimney is all that remains of an early foundry located on land that is now known as Willow Creek Park. It was a huge two story building, covering the park area and three lots to the north of Willow Creek Park. 

 

David Milne Plaque (1962)

Queen Street North Willow Creek

 

David Milne was born in 1882 in Burgoyne. In 1903 David went to New York to study art and many of his paintings hang in major Canadian galleries. David Milne passed away in 1953, at the age of 73. 

 

The Porteous Home (1880)

538 Queen Street North

This home was built by early banker Robert Porteous. This magnificent Victorian home was built to last, with a stone foundation three feet thick. ow Gar-Ham Hall Bed and Breakfast.

 

The David Milne Home

315 Orchard Street

This is the boyhood home of renowned Canadian artist David Milne. It was built by his father James Milne. The widow's walk on the roof and the small porches and porticos are appealing decorative features. 

 

The Dykes

Flooding has played a major role in Paisley's history caused by the meeting of the two rivers, the Saugeen and the Teeswater at the location of the main bridge in Paisley. Finally a dyke system (approx. 3 km) was built in phases from 1981-1986, taking clay from the hills northwest of Paisley. These dykes provide pleasant walks with views of the river and of the Village. 

 

The Baptist Church (1866)

288 Church Street

This church has been baptized by the Saugeen many times (before the dykes). Take note of the Flemish Bond bricks. 

 

Where Two Rivers Meet

The picturesque view which greeted Simon Orchard, the first settler, has changed since the dyke system was completed. 

 

The Woolen Mill (1885)

660 Queen Street South

Built by the Fisher brothers this was the last monument proclaiming the water power which made Paisley an important town site. From the bridge, view the twin arched openings in the stone foundation that allows the mill race to run under the building. 

 

Millbank House (1891)

308 Mill Street

The house beside the mill is spacious and distinctive, commanding a beautiful view and was part of the entire mill complex. 

 

The Grand Central Hotel (1852)

Queen Street

This building situated on the first piece of land cleared by Samuel Rowe. The first Methodist church service was held there in 1853 and the Presbyterians held a service in 1855 with the congregation sitting on whiskey barrels. The same tavern was the polling booth for the first township election with it's owner becoming the first Reeve at the first meeting of Council held there. 

 

The Bank Building (1906)

574 Queen Street South

Built for Ike Stanley, owner of the Grand Central Hotel, it still houses Paisley's bank. Now RBC.

 

Orchard/ Ballachey General Store (1860)

543 Queen Street

This building was important in first defining the commercial centre of the Village and was the first brick store originally built for the first merchant and Postmaster Thomas Orchard. Note the excellent stonework of the warehouse (1864) at the rear. Now Thompson Bros. Furniture.

 

Private Bank/ Post Office

This was the first private bank in Paisley and then in March 1894 the first Post Office was opened here. 

 

Porteous Bank

This building was a bank from 1879-97 and the original elaborate vault door may still be seen inside. It then housed Shoemaker's Jewelers for nearly a century. Ike Shoemaker's name is still embedded in the sidewalk. Now Tomboi IceCream.

 

Merchant's Bank (1919)

536 Queen Street South

This building was completely remodeled as the Merchant's Bank in 1919 and in 1921 was home to the Bank of Montreal until 1934 and then in 1940 became the law office of David Forrester and his son Stuart. Now Kelly & Kelly Law Office.

 

The Apothecaries Hall

526 Queen Street South

This building was built approximately 1872 by James Bain, druggist and former reeve, with U.S. capital and stands a storey above the other buildings. Now Marty's Bar and Grill.

 

F. Carter & Sons (1908)

514 Queen Street South

This building is remembered for its polished wood bins containing oatmeal, flour, rice and sugars. Note the historic plaque and its fine pressed metal ceilings. Now Paisley Pharmacy.

 

McDonald's Hardware (1887)

502 Queen Street South

Built by John McDonald and Son and did a thriving business in iron stoves and tin-smithing. The upstairs was used as a Masonic Hall for some time. Now Past-Time Gold Mine.

 

The Stark Block (1902)

496 Queen Street South

This building is a five bay, 2 storey commercial building. Now Midtown Food Mart. 

 

The Mammoth House (1865)

468 Queen Street South

H.P. Putnam's Mammoth House Store is probably the second oldest brick building on the street. An elaborate cornice ran the full length of both facades and the building to the north, giving the buildings a unified appearance. Now Definition Fitness.

 

The Golden Lion (1887)

458 Queen Street South

Once the grocery and general store of Mrs. E.J. McIntyre, Samuel Rowe's daughter, and later, of Frank Carter. Now Linda's Barbershop.

 

The McLure House Hotel

435 Queen Street South

One of Paisley's five hotels, it was brick veneered in 1890. Two wings flank the tower and the balcony. Between the two wings provides a good view of Queen Street. Now Mane Tamer Hair Salon.

 

Coleman's Meat Packing Plant

428 Queen Street South

This was first Coleman's Meat Packing Plant, and later Oltsher's Butcher Shop. The lane beside the building led to the slaughterhouse and smokehouse. 

 

Blacksmith Shop (1870)

420 Queen Street South

This shop provided early farmers with agricultural implements. The second floor briefly served as a concert hall to raise funds for a Mechanics Institute. Now Paisley Architectural Millwork Ltd.

 

The Carriage House (1893)

365 Queen Street South

This building was solidly built to resist fire. The bottom storey housed a blacksmith, and a showroom for the carriages which were assembled in the second storey. Now CMR Insurance.

 

The Coulter Block (1894)

394 Queen Street South

This two bay building built by John Coulter Sr. shows excellent woodwork and polychrome brickwork. John Coulter Jr. operated a butcher shop here. Now The Top Shoppe.

 

The Cheevis-Allen Houses (1893)

308 & 319 Queen Street South

These two houses have the same floor plan, only reversed. 

 

The Hogg Pearce Home

338 Queen Street South

William Walker Hogg spared no expense building this as a bridal home for his first born daughter, Mary Brockie Hogg, and her husband Thomas French Pearce as the turn of the last century.  Now SIlverShare Seniors Services.

 

Bake Shop(1888)

316 Queen Street

From 1888 to 1900 this was home to a bake shop. In later years it has been a shoe repair shop, a machinery shop, and a plumbing and heating business. Now Alicia's Clothing Store.

 

Balmoral Hotel

292 Queen Street South 

Little remains of the three storey Balmoral Hotel that once anchored the south end of the business district. As McClure's Garage the main floor was opened up to allow cars to drive inside; the upper storeys were later removed. Now GoCo Gas Station.

 

Westminister Presbyterian Church (1926)

260 Queen Street South

This is a site of national significance, as it was the first Canadian Home of our greatest nineteenth century poetess, Isabelle Valancy Crawford. 

 

Malloch House

234 Queen Street South

This house was built in 1870 for George Malloch, a lawyer in the Village for 28 years. It exhibits a truncated hip roof. The six light wooden sashes are original as are the functional shutters. Originally, verandas surrounded the east and south walls. 

 

Gibson House

172 Queen Street South

This red and yellow brick conglomerate of European architecture was built in 1873 for one of Paisley's predominant pioneers, J.C. Gibson, his wife and six daughters. its Georgian style entrance, quoined brick corners, and Queen Anne style keystone windows recall a time of prosperity in a thriving community. 

 

The Ballachey House

296 Inkerman Street

This house was built by Samuel Ballachey in 1908. Mr. Ballachey operated a general merchandise store. The house is significant for its bell cast mansard roof covered with metal shingling. 

 

The Church of Ascension (1864)

Inkerman Street at Albert Street

The church was completed in 1864 and opened on Christmas Day. The late Samuel T. Rowe had donated the land. During the period 1876-78 the church was enlarged and a Chancel added. Now a private residence.

 

The Rowe House

321 Inkerman Street

The first brick home in the Village, was the proud residence of Samuel T. Rove, a founding pioneer of the Village. 

 

Paisley Continuation School

Inkerman Street at Albert Street

Built in 1914 on the site of the first school, which was destroyed by fire in 1913, served as Paisley's public school until 1969 when a new school was opened at the south end of the Village. Now an apartment building.

 

Braeside

299 Albert Street

This home was built in 1880 by Samuel Rove as a wedding present to his daughter. 

 

The Fire Hall & Hose Tower

292 Water Street

Built in 1891 in a lighthouse design. Hoses were hoisted in the tower for drying after use. The louvered openings in the tower allow air to move upward, evaporating the water from the hoses. The brick portion of the building housed a steam engine that pumped water to fight fires. Restoration of the exterior of the building was completed in 1995. 

 

The Town Hall

388 Goldie Street

This building was erected in the autumn of 1876 and it demonstrate the pride the pioneers took in their newly incorporated Village. It was restored in 1978. Now the Paisley Legion Branch #295.

 

Paisley Cemetery

Paisley's oldest cemetery lies about 1km east of the Village on County Road #11. Here you will find the burial places of the first two settlers as well as many pioneers and prominent citizens. 

 

CNR Bridge

Mill Drive

The 607 foot bridge over the Teeswater has been rebuilt and strengthened many times as rail traffic changed from the lighter steam trains of the 1800's to heavy freight travelling to the Bruce Nuclear Power Development in the 1970's. 

 

The Creamery

Mill Drive

The Paisley Creamery was built by Sam Ballachey and operated by Mr. John Logie and his partner Mr. Irwin. In 1924 it became a Cider Mill. Now a residence.

 

Valentine's Mill/ Paisley City Mills (Known locally as Stark's Mill)

104 Mill Drive

John Valentine built the first saw mill in Paisley on the Teeswater River and by 1854 he has also built a grist mill. In 1873 he sold these mills to James Stark. The current mill was built in 1885 after the original grist mill burned down. Now Natures Millworks.

 

Stark Vale Cemetery

Located on rolling hills of Bruce Road #1 to the west of the village, the land for this cemetery was donated by the Stark family. A perpetual care fund provides for the upkeep of both cemeteries. 

Distance
2 km
Surface
Varied