North Dundas is a growing municipality located just 30 minutes south of the City of Ottawa and is home to a population of approximately 12,000 people who enjoy a mix of rural and urban lifestyles, excellent health care facilities, essential municipal services, positive population growth, natural heritage and much more.
North Dundas has a diversified rural economy and prides itself on having some of Eastern Ontario’s finest agricultural land. Major centres include Winchester, a full service community, and the scenic Village of Chesterville and several rural hamlets and settlements.
Please click on the convenient links below to access information on the History of the Township or view the Maps and Our Area.
Maps of the Township and Villages
History of the Township of North Dundas
The Township of North Dundas was established in 1998, with the amalgamation of the former Townships of Winchester and Mountain and the Villages of Chesterville and Winchester.
In 1798, Mountain Township was named by Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe after Rev. Jacob Mountain, the first Anglican Bishop of Quebec, of whom he was a personal friend. The Township of Mountain began to develop between 1868 and 1872 when two saw mills were erected by John Smirle and James Hyndman. The township had three post offices – one in South Mountain (1851), Hallville (1873), and Mountain (1888). The first railroad track was opened in September 1887 and Mountain became a shipping station for cheese, livestock, milk, eggs and other farm produce.
The Village of Winchester was originally settled by Ben Bates in 1835 and was first called “Bates Corners.” During the early years, residents traveled to Winchester (Chesterville) for supplies and to Matilda (Iroquois) to pick up their mail. The Morewood area drew Irish and Scottish settlers and early Irish settlers in the Ormond area used the Castor River as means of transportation. Business started to evolve and by 1855 Winchester had a general store, blacksmith shop, a carriage maker and a farm produce business. Also in 1855, the first post office was opened and the name “Bates Corners” was changed to “West Winchester.” In 1884, with the establishment of the CPR, “West Winchester” became “Winchester.” Winchester enjoyed years of growth and in January 1888 was incorporated as a Village and an independent township.
In 1848, the Province of Ontario was divided up in to townships, and in 1850 the first Chamber of Council was established in Chesterville. Originally called Winchester, Chesterville was well situated on the Nation River, a major transportation route at the time. Two men by the name of Merkley built a mill in 1825, but were killed in an accident. In the early 1830s, Thomas Armstrong and his son John, both of Edwardsburg, erected a saw mill on the same site. Thomas soon also had a grist mill in operation, and these two mills attracted many settlers to the area. In 1875 the name “Winchester” was changed to Chesterville and in 1890 Chesterville was incorporated as a Village.