Home | About Us | Township of North Dumfries

Getting to Know the Township of North Dumfries

The picturesque Township of North Dumfries is a thriving area of working farms, historic villages and small businesses. Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario, the township wraps around the City of Cambridge and has easy access to Hwy 401.

The Township of North Dumfries was settled in the late 18th century. William Dickson of Dumfries, Scotland, enlisted the help of Absalom Shade to find land where they could develop a new town. They chose an area at the junction of the Grand River and Mill Creek, and called it Dumfries after Dickson’s home town. In 1820, John Telfer was sent to Scotland by Dickson to enlist people to buy land and to come live in Canada, which resulted in a large Scottish population settling in the township.

With the rolling hills of the countryside and its scenic waterways, North Dumfries is a go-to destination for recreation and relaxation. Whether cycling, walking, paddling or driving, enjoy the township’s beautiful natural landscapes. North Dumfries offers numerous recreation opportunities, trails, community parks and the multi-use Community Complex located in Ayr, the township’s largest village.


rare Charitable Research Reserve

rare Charitable Research Reserve

rare Charitable Research Reserve is a 900+ acre nature reserve dedicated to conservation, research, and environmental education.

The reserve is home to an incredible array of flora and fauna, some of which are ranked significant regionally, provincially, nationally, even globally. Larger than Central Park in New York, but found in the heart of Waterloo Region, the reserve is not only a beautiful and culturally significant landscape, it also includes trees that are more than 240 years old and provides a diversity of habitats that support rich biodiversity. Although rare exists to protect these important landscapes, they also want to make them open to the public for appropriate recreation and independent learning. Their trail systems can be accessed for free, and are open to the public much of the year.

North Dumfries Heritage Walking Tours

Heritage walking tours through the township take you by many of its 20 designated historical landmarks including stately stone houses, log homes, one-room schoolhouses and barns that are recognized and protected under the Ontario Heritage Act. Choose from walking tours of Ayr, the Waterloo Region Countryside Driving Tour of North Dumfries Township ,  and the Greenfield Heritage Walking Tour – a small historic 19th century mill settlement that was founded by the Goldie Family.

Snyder’s Family Farm and Fear Farm

Each fall, Snyder’s Family Farm opens its gates to the public, and provides a day of fun on the farm. It features over 16 different attractions, ‘farmtastic’ shows, and lots of farm fresh food including apple fritters! Search for the perfect pumpkin in the Pumpkin Patch, and decorate your home for fall with items from the fall décor store. For those who enjoy a good scare, Snyder’s Family Farm features the Fear Farm with several scary adventures to choose from. Their fantastic 2500 sq ft. haunted house is definitely not for the faint of heart! The Fear Farm is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in September and October.

Scroll to Top