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Ontario, Canada
17th June 2004

Set off for an historic tour of Guelph and was delighted to have Gilbert A. Stelter with us to tell us all about the founding. Gilbert is a University Professor Emeritus at UoG.

He started off by drawing us a diagram on the paper napkin to show us how Guelph was laid out in a radial form and told us that 7% of the city was reserved for the religious houses, so much for government land, a section for commerce, etc.  He also explained how the founding of a town before agriculture came from Scotland where the clan chiefs and land lords wanted to retain workers in their area instead of losing them to emigration. By building a town it then created a mill, which led to other small industries and also a market to trade goods made in the area and thus work for a portion of the population. It was this laying out of a town to attract farmers to the area that meant it was not cheap to settle here and thus only emigrants with some means would come here. On the other hand it was not seen as a place for the very rich and so developed a very good middle class population. Beyond the town bounderies land was parceled out for farms. He told me that the first Scottish settlers were very influencial in the area althoug the English and Dutch had higher populations locally.

And so we can still see the origional radial design

And just fifty yards away we can see the remains of the very first mill

And this is a picture of Gil standing beside the origonal water course

And so we completed the wee tour at McRae's House

See Gil's web page at

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