THE HISTORY OF
Dunnville has a rich history that gives this community the small-town character that it holds! Whether you're shopping in one of the classic downtown stores or exploring one of the century-old homes and estates, the rich culture of days passed can be easily noted throughout this beautiful little town.
Explore our Roots.
Located on the lower Grand River near where it meets Lake Erie, the original Dunnville was initiated in 1829 when a dam was built across the Grand River to supply water for the Welland Canal. As this dam served also as a bridge, the first upstream from Lake Erie, Dunnville (with Byng on the opposite bank) grew as a focal point in the evolving road network. A milling district developed between the feeder canal and the river, and Dunnville expanded as a port on both the Grand River and the Welland Canal.
Incorporated as a village in 1860 and as a town in 1900, Dunnville attracted textile industries but remains a service centre for a rural mixed farming and lakeside summer cottaging. During World War II, No. 6 Service Flying Training School operated nearby and involved, in one way or another, half of the town's population.
Dunnville was established in 1974 as a town in the Regional Municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk from the former townships of Canborough, Dunn, Moulton and Sherbrooke and the town of Dunnville. A number of small communities existed within the town's boundaries including Attercliffe Station, Canborough, Moulton Station, Byng, Lowbanks, Stromness and Port Maitland.
In 2001, the regional municipality was abolished, and the local municipalities of Dunnville, Haldimand and part of Nanticoke were amalgamated into the single-tier authority of the town of Haldimand, now known as Haldimand County.
Today, Dunnville plays host to families, business owners, young couples and tourists to the area. Through annual events such as the Dunnville Mudcat Festival and the Canada Day celebration, thousands are attracted to the area to enjoy the experience that this small community on the Grand has to offer! Learn more about the history of Dunnville at www.dunnvilleheritage.org.