Living In Aylmer Ontario

Since its incorporation 132 years ago, Aylmer has been a town with a strong connection to its heritage. Historically, the town was home to manufacturing plants and farmland. Now, much of that past is preserved in county museums. Aylmer’s agriculture has evolved into a thriving agri-tourism industry.

Between bees, dairy museums, fruit farms, and farmers markets, Aylmer can not only provide delicious produce but also an exciting and educational afternoon experiencing the town. 

Where is Aylmer, Ontario? How Big is Aylmer?

Where is Aylmer Ontario

Aylmer is a southern Ontario town in Elgin County 16.5km East of St. Thomas, making it a 40-minute drive from London, Ontario. Aylmer is centrally located South of the 401 Highway and 26km North of access to Lake Erie. At almost 7,500 people, the population of Aylmer makes up 8% of the population of Elgin County

Aylmer Real Estate: Living in Aylmer, Ontario 

That being said, Aylmer’s growth has been slow and steady. Since 2011, Aylmer’s population has increased by 5%. Over that period, the shape of the real estate market in Elgin County has been changing too. In the Summer of 2019, the average home in the county sells for around $350,000, a 13% increase from 2018. However, the market in the region is slowing down after a high in 2016. In Aylmer, the majority of houses for sale are single-family homes featuring at least 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom built between the 1960s and 1980s. 

Aylmer Ontario Real Estate     

As for education in Aylmer, the town is serviced by the Thames Valley District School Board, London District Catholic School Board, and privately funded institutions. There are a total of 6 schools in Aylmer. Students in the Public Board can attend Davenport Public School from Kindergarten to Grade 8 or McGregor Public School from Kindergarten to Grade 4, finishing up the remaining grades at Davenport. In the Catholic Board, students go from Kindergarten to Grade 8 at Assumption Separate School. East Elgin Secondary school is the only Grade 9-12 option in Aylmer and it services the nearby county as well. 

The first of the two privately funded schools is Immanuel Christian School, established in 1954. The second is Old Colony School, founded in 1989 by the Old County Mennonite Order for Kindergarten to Grade 12.  

Find Your Dream Home In Aylmer, Ontario

History of Aylmer, Ontario

The area was first settled by John Van Patter, formerly of New York State. He arrived in 1817 and a hamlet called Troy began building around his original 200 acre grant.

History of Aylmer

In 1835, Troy was renamed to Aylmer to honour the Governor-in-Chief- of British North America, Matthew Whitworth-Aylmer who would be replaced that same year. Aylmer would be formally incorporated as a town in 1887. 

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Aylmer would be home to a number of different manufacturing plants. The first plant in the area was established in 1879 as Aylmer Canners, a factory which packed pickled fruits and vegetables into cans for exportation.

The cannery would remain operational until 1959, with the building being demolished nearly a decade later. 1893 would see the opening of a condensed milk plant which would eventually be bought by Carnation Milk in 1916. Between 1945 and 2005, Imperial Tobacco Canada would operate a tobacco processing plant in Aylmer. For 50 years, the tobacco plant would be a major employer for the region until Imperial Tobacco ultimately decided to downsize and relocate their facility out of Canada. 

History of Aylmer

In 1941, after the outbreak of the Second World War, the Royal Canadian Air Force would establish a training facility in Aylmer. The school, known as No. 14 Service Flying Training School was built as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, a cooperative plan to train pilots for WWII.

This Flight School consisted of hangars, runways, and other training grounds to prepare pilots to meet wartime demands. The facility would be used for a variety of purposes over the years until 1962, when the building would become the Ontario Police College. The college now serves all of Ontario, providing training and courses to recruits and senior members of the police force.

Things to do In and Around Aylmer: Festivals, Attractions, Restaurants, and More!

The first thing to check out in Aylmer is any seasonal festivities.

Springwater Conservation Area Aylmer

In Spring, Springwater Conservation Area turns into a sugar shack for a week, hosting the annual Maple Syrup Festival. Guests can see how maple syrup is made while enjoying a variety of maple-themed products and a pancake house.

Summer means it’s time for the Aylmer Fair and the Sweet Corn Fest, both of which take place in August. The Fair takes place every second weekend in August, offering rides, a petting zoo, exhibits, contests, and shows for the entire community.

The Sweet Corn Fest takes place at the end of August and it is the best opportunity to experience local dining and shopping. Downtown features sidewalk sales while many of the parks throughout Aylmer have markets, events, and activities for everyone to enjoy. Outside of festivals, Aylmer has things to do for heritage-enthusiasts, foodies, and nature-lovers, too. 

Find Your Dream Home In Aylmer, Ontario

Museums

Aylmer’s history is still apparent in the heritage homes and buildings all over town.

What better way to get acquainted with that history than to visit a museum? Aylmer offers 2 great museums for those looking to explore the town and area’s past.

Aylmer Museums

Gay Lea Dairy Museum boasts a 19,000-strong collection of artifacts related to the agricultural history of Ontario. They are open for walk-in visits between the months of May to September. During the other months of the year, they remain operational for educational school visits where students can participate in special activities including outdoor games, cartooning, and ice cream and butter making.

If town history is more of a curiosity, then consider a visit to the Aylmer-Malahide Museum and Archives. This small museum is open to the public from March to November and houses an archival collection which is viewable by appointment year-round. It features rotating exhibits dedicated to preserving the area’s heritage and give visitors a glimpse into early Ontario life.

Farms and Markets

Aylmer is now famous for its agri-tourism - activities which promote and celebrate agriculture in the region. Some farms in the area are even open to public visits and participation.

Aylmer Farmer Market

Visitors can stop by the Aylmer Sales Arena for a Farmer’s Market and Flea Market - a chance to get fresh, local produce, meats, cheese as well as other local creations. The Arena has an ATM, free admission, and free parking. Need even more produce opportunities?

Try Berry Hill Fruit Farm. Between Summer and Fall, they sell fresh, hand-picked fruits and veggies. In addition to the berries in their name, they also sell peaches, pumpkins, and delicious sweet corn.

Finally, stop by Clovermead, an “Adventure Farm” and bee farm for an afternoon of family fun. They have tours, animals, corn mazes, wagon rides, and a splash pad for the enjoyment of guests of all ages. As an active bee farm home to 24 million bees, they also sell local honey, beeswax products, and cosmetics.

Parks and Conservation

Outdoor green-space is another fantastic element of living in Aylmer. Whether you prefer family parks, walking trails, or wildlife sanctuaries, Aylmer has something to please everyone.

Aylmer Park

Aylmer has 12 public parks, many of which have paved or unpaved walking options, tree arboretum, and gardens.

For families, Balmoral Park has a public swimming pool for the Summer and Centennial Park has a toboggan hill in the Winter.

Located next to the Police Academy is Aylmer’s Wildlife Management Area. This spot is unique because it falls in the migration pattern of the Tundra Swan. 10-60 thousand swans use the area as a rest-stop on their journey to Alaska and their arrival is anticipated by local businesses and residents alike.

Another popular spot is the Springwater Conservation Area. This space is great for camping, picnics, and birdwatching against a beautifully forested backdrop.  

Must-Try Restaurants in Aylmer

Aylmer Restaurant

With a local market as strong as Aylmer’s, the restaurants in the area makes use of fresh, local ingredients to spice up their menus in exciting ways. Here is a list of some of the best restaurants to try in Aylmer:

1. Pinecroft -

Located between Aylmer and Port Bruce in a 54-acre pine forest, Pinecroft is a heritage experience in itself. It houses a B&B, an art gallery, and a pottery gift shop, but it doesn’t end there. In an original log cabin from 1934, guests can enjoy a pleasant lunch at the Green Frog Tea Room. They specialize in home-baked pastries and country lunches with evening meals offered on special holidays.

https://pinecroft.ca/home/   

2. Dan’s Taco Wagon - 

This spot is simply the best Mexican Fusion option in Aylmer. They have operated out of a food truck, serving delicious tacos, burritos, burgers, and sides since 2012. Perfect for people on-the-go, Dan’s Taco menu features a signature Hawaiian Bacon Burger and Double Decker Taco. If you’re just looking for a snack, they serve Poutine, Jalapeno Poppers, and Deep-fried Mars bars too!

https://www.facebook.com/danstacos/ 

3. Ruby’s Cookhouse - 

Casual family dining with top-notch variety and flexibility in their menu. Ruby’s Cookhouse has an extensive breakfast menu featuring plates, omelettes, and skillets. Later in the day, they offer an equally massive lunch and dinner menu. Their dinner portions are huge, but especially when it comes to their famous ribs which can come in a quarter, half, or full-rack size. Vegetarian and Gluten-free options are abundant and clearly marked on the menu as well. 

http://rubyscookhouse.com/ 

4. Johnny’s Restaurant - 

Johnny’s is a cozy, hometown delight loved by adults and kids alike. With sweet breakfast offerings like Cinnabun pancakes and Nutella wraps, they are bound to be popular. Their lunch and dinner menu has a nice, affordable selection that covers all the appetizer and main course staples for a night out - or a night in: they offer a take-out menu!

http://johnnysaylmer.com/ 

Port Bruce

Being about 25 minutes North of Lake Erie, residents of Aylmer can also enjoy convenient access to Port Bruce. The main attraction in this coastal hamlet is the Port Bruce Beach. It features freshwater swimming, picnic space, and designated fishing areas. Visitors can also enjoy the convenience of a restaurant and washrooms nearby the beach area. To make it even better… Admission to this natural Lake Erie beach is totally free!

Aylmer has the idyllic scenery and steady pace of a historic Southern Ontario town. Even with its rich nature and heritage, Aylmer is a convenient drive away from amenities and attractions in both St. Thomas and London while preserving its own, unique small-town experience. Whether you like heritage, nature, wildlife, arts, farming, or food, participate in Aylmer’s community and see its charm for yourself. 

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