Main Births etc
—  Town  —
Motto: Pro Rege, Lege et Grege
Coordinates: 44°54′N 76°15′W / 44.9, -76.25Coordinates: 44°54′N 76°15′W / 44.9, -76.25
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
County Lanark
Settled 1816
Incorporated 1853 (Upper Canada Municipal Corporations Act, 1849)
 • Type Town
 • Mayor John Fenik
 • Federal riding Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington
 • Prov. riding Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington
 • Land 12.25 km2 (4.73 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 5,840
 • Density 476.7/km2 (1,235/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal Code K7H
Area code(s) 613

Perth is a town in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario, Canada. It is located on the Tay River, 83 kilometres (52 mi) southwest of Ottawa, and is the seat of Lanark County.


The town was established as a military settlement in 1816, shortly after the War of 1812. Many of the first settlers were military veterans on half pay, while others were military veterans from France, Germany, Poland, Italy, Scotland or Ireland who were offered land in return for their service. The Rev. William Bell, who arrived in June 1817, noted in his diaries that the settlement was more European than the Scottish settlement described to him. A wave of Scottish and Irish immigrants quickly followed. Many of the Scottish immigrants were stonemasons; their work can be seen in many area buildings and in the locks of the Rideau Canal.

The first secretary/stores-keeper (and eventually postmaster and superintendent) of the settlement was Daniel Daverne, brought up from the Quarter Masters General Department in Kingston, Ontario to assume these positions.

Perth is home to Canada's oldest pioneer burial ground, St. Paul's United Church Cemetery, formerly The Old Methodist Burying Ground. This cemetery is at the south-east end of the Last Duel Park on Robinson Street.[2] The Craig Street Cemetery, sometimes referred to as the "Old Burying Grounds" also contains many historic graves and saw use from 1820-1873.

The Town's motto is "Pro Rege, Lege et Grege" ("For the King, the Law and the People") which was adopted in 1980 along with a new crest. The previous motto, "Festina lente sed certo" ("Make haste slowly but surely"), and original town crest appears on the uniforms of the Perth Citizen's Band [1]. Founded in 1850, this band continues a tradition of community music with numerous concerts each season.

Near the town is the home of world show jumping champion Ian Millar and Millar Brooke Farm where his great horse Big Ben (1976–1999) is buried. The town has erected a bronze life-sized statue of the horse and Ian Millar, in John A. Stewart Park, across from the Code's Mill building.

This town was the site of the last fatal duel in Upper Canada. Robert Lyon, a law student, was killed on June 13, 1833 after fighting over a woman (Elizabeth Hughes) with a former friend, John Wilson.

Perth is also the site of the first installation of a telephone other than Bell's experimental installations. A town dentist, Dr. J. F. Kennedy, a friend of Alexander Graham Bell, installed a direct telephone connection between his home and office. By 1887, there were 19 telephones in Perth, with a switchboard in Dr. Kennedy's office.

In 2010 Perth held the historic "Kilt Run" in which 1067 kilt-clad runners crossed the finish line. Recently the race was recognized by the Guinness World Records as the "largest run while runners are wearing kilts". Another race was run July 2, 2011 with 1094 entrants.[3]

In 1893 a 22,000 pound cheese known as the 'Mammoth Cheese' was produced in Perth to be exhibited in Chicago at the World's Columbian Exposition to promote Canadian Cheese around the world.[2][3].[4] [5]

Sites and attractions[]

Historic downtown Perth

The heritage downtown core of today's Perth consists of boutiques, specialty shops and restaurants, including crafts, antiques and flea market, and summer Farmers' and Craft Markets. Most of these operate out of the century old stone buildings in town. The drugstore on Foster Street in the downtown core (now called Perth Pharmasave, formerly Girdwood's Drug Store) is the oldest continually operating pharmacy in Canada. The Perth Courier is the second-oldest weekly newspaper in Canada. It was independently owned for 155 years until sold in 2006 to a larger publisher. The Links O'Tay Golf course, walking distance from the downtown core, began its trek through golfing history in 1890 and is now Canada's oldest continuously operating golf course. The Perth Citizens Band, still giving concerts on the band stand behind City Hall, is a tradition dating back over 150 years. The band is Canada's oldest active town band. The Perth Citizens Band played "The Maple Leaf Forever" as the Mammoth Cheese departed to the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. The bandstand has been behind the Town Hall since it was moved there in 1901 and free summer concerts have taken place there ever since.

An interesting feature of the downtown core is the Crystal Palace, constructed from the discarded remnants of the glass street enclosures that used to be on Rideau Street in nearby Ottawa. This structure houses the Perth Farmers' and Craft Markets on summer Saturdays.

The Tay River splits into two main channels for much of its course through Perth. Much of downtown Perth, including the town hall, are on the island formed by the two channels.


Perth Town Hall, built in 1863


  • Population in 2011: 5840
  • Population in 2006: 5907
  • Population in 2001: 6003
  • Population in 1996: 5886 (or 5902 when adjusted for 2001 boundaries)
  • Population in 1991: 5576

Mother tongue:[7]

  • English as first language: 94.1%
  • French as first language: 2.3%
  • English and French as first language: 0.2%
  • Other as first language: 3.4%


Hockey is very popular in Perth as it has been home to senior and junior teams. Currently, Perth is represented by the Blue Wings in the Eastern Ontario Junior "B" Hockey League. Perth was home to a professional baseball team for two years (1936–37) as part of the Canadian-American League.

Both high schools in Perth also offer a variety of other sports, such as basketball, football, soccer and track.


Notable people from Perth[]

  • Herbert Taylor Reade, an assistant surgeon with the 61st Regiment, he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallantry in the siege of Delhi in 1850.
  • William Richard Motherwell, Former Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture and Federal Minister of Agriculture
  • Les Douglas, former NHL player and winner of the Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings.
  • Floyd Smith, former NHL player and coach
  • Gord Smith, former NHL player
  • Billy Smith, Hall of Fame NHL Goaltender
  • Ian Millar, prolific show-jumper; equestrian world champion and Olympic silver-medalist
  • Mike Brown, Olympian, Swimming
  • Sultana Frizell, Olympian Hammerthrower
  • Nicholas Tritton, Olympian Judo
  • Crispin Lipscomb, Olympian Snowboarding
  • Robert MacLellan, Special Olympian Snowshoeing
  • Evan Starkman, Reality Television Star

Local media[]

Sister cities[]

Portal.svg Eastern Ontario


  1. ^ a b "Perth census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  2. ^ Neelin, James M., and et al The old Methodist burying ground in the town of Perth, Lanark County, Ontario. Ottawa Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, 1978.
  3. ^ "The official website for the Kilt Run". Retrieved 2011-07-16. 
  4. ^ See a history of the mammoth cheese.G. M. Trout of the University of Michigan Journal of Dairy Sciences, Vol. 43, No. 12, pp1871-1877
  5. ^ "Giant Cheeses - Canadian Giants - Cool Canada - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2011-02-06. 
  6. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". Canada 2011 Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  7. ^ a b "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  8. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". Canada 2001 Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  9. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006 census

External links[]

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This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Perth, Ontario. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.