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Coldwater, Ontario

Coldwater is a village located in Simcoe County, Ontario and located  just south of GErogian Bay. Colwater is the point where highway 12 from Lindsay (in the Kawartha Lakes) and Oshawa and Whitby (along Highway 401 and Lake Ontario) connects to Highway 400 between Toronto, Barrie, and Parry Sound. Highway 12 here is is part of the Ontario Southern Route of the Trans-Canada

Coldwater History

The area was originally inhabited by the Anishinaabe people, who had a village here named “Ka-be-wa-nung”, meaning “where the stream widens”. In the early 1800s, European settlers arrived in the area and established a sawmill and gristmill. The settlement was first called “Coldwater Mills” and later changed to simply “Coldwater”.

This community has oldest portion of Highway 12, originally known as the Coldwater Portage and later the Coldwater Road, connecting the modern sites of Orillia and Coldwater by a 23 km (14 mi) trail. John Colborne (later the Governor of Upper Canada) surveyed the portage in 1830 and had it widened for wagon use. As the area was settled, the need for a road connection with the south grew and by 1844  the Sturgeon Bay Road was built from Coldwater to Sturgeon Bay, bia the Atherley Narrows, which separates Lake Simcoe from Lake Couchiching. The portion of the route between Whitby and Orillia until the second half of the 1840s.

In 1858, the arrival of the railway helped the village grow faster, not only boosting the local economy, but bringing tourists. Coldwater became a popular destination for fishing and hunting.

During the late 1800s and early 1900s, Coldwater experienced significant growth and development. Many businesses and industries were established in the village, including manufacturing, lumbering, and agriculture.

Coldwater Attractions

Coldwater Canadiana Heritage Museum

1474 Woodrow Rd, Coldwater, ON L0K 1E0

This museum offers visitors a look at the history of Coldwater and the surrounding area, with exhibits on local industries, transportation, and daily life.

St. John’s Anglican Church

12 Horseshoe Valley Rd W, Coldwater, ON L0K 1E0

This historic church was built in 1867 and is a beautiful example of Gothic Revival architecture.

Coldwater Mill National Historic Site

2 Coldwater Rd, Coldwater, ON L0K 1E0

This 19th-century mill is a National Historic Site of Canada and offers visitors a look at the history of milling in the area.

Coldwater Ontario Area Map