Victoria Park, Elora, Ontario
Elora is a community in the township of Centre Wellington, Wellington County, Ontario, Canada. It is well known for its 19th-century limestone architecture, its artistic community and the geographically significant Elora Gorge.
Elora was founded in 1832 by Captain William Gilkison, a British officer recently returned from India. Originally called Irvine Settlement, the village was renamed Elora when the post office was established in 1839. Gilikson named the community after his brother's ship, which was itself inspired by the Ellora Caves near Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India.
Originally part of Nichol Township, Elora was incorporated as a village in 1858 and remained as such until it was amalgamated with Fergus and portions of Eramosa, Nichol, Pilkington and West Garafraxa Townships to form Centre Wellington in 1999. Elora had a population of 4,546 according to the 2001 Census, the last to record the village's population as a separate entity.
The Elora Gorge is at the western edge of the village, adjacent to the Elora Gorge Conservation Area. At the eastern end of the village is the Elora Quarry Conservation Area, a scenic former limestone quarry, which is now a popular swimming area. The Elora Quarry was used to film a couple of scenes in the movie Angel Eyes. Both of these conservation areas are under the authority of the Grand River Conservation Authority.
Elora is also a noted tourist attraction, with a waterfall and small islet called the "Tooth of Time", overlooked by an old mill, numerous small shops and art galleries. The Gorge Cinema is Canada's oldest continuously running repertory theatre. The Elora Mill is Ontario's only remaining five-story mill and has been renovated as a prestigious inn and restaurant. The village is a terminus to Ontario's scenic 47-km Elora Cataract Trailway to its east, and is just 10 km from the Trans Canada Trail to its southwest. Elora is also known for its unique shops and its quaint cafés and restaurants, which lie along the river's edge. The Victoria Street Walking Bridge, a steel bridge first built in 1899, was removed in 2005.
The township of Centre Wellington has a community museum and an active historical society.