Almonte is a picturesque village located 40 minutes west of downtown Ottawa and only 25 minutes west of Kanata. Almonte has the nickname of “The Friendly Town” by its residents due to the welcoming people who reside here.
When you visit this small town, you will most likely notice all of the historic buildings along the water. In the early 1900s, Almonte was in its prime with seven wool mills operating at full capacity. For decades to come, these mills provided job security and modest prosperity for the town’s people. By the 1950s, competition from foreign producers sadly shut down the flow of textiles from Almonte, and the mills were forced to close or were converted into other uses. The last operating mill was Rosamond #1, which shut its doors in the early 1980s. It is now a beautiful condominium project with an absolutely stunning view of the river and waterfalls.
The downfall of the wool trade was a gradual process and Almonte was able to weather it well. The millhands found other jobs, and the town’s prosperous and cheerful nature continued to thrive. Though there is no industry left in Almonte, the boutique shops, delicious restaurants and scenic views offer up a wonderful place to visit and live. May city dwellers who are looking for a simpler way of life move from Ottawa to Almonte to enjoy a slower pace with friendly neighbours and beautiful surroundings.
The population of Almonte was at 5,039 in 2016, which is the perfect amount of people for a small town! If you are looking for a change of pace and a laid back town to enjoy, you are going to love these 7 reasons to move to Almonte!
*Based on 2020 MLS yearly average sale price statistics in Almonte
The Almonte water tower says it all and has for years! Since 1952, “The Friendly Town” slogan has been printed on Almonte’s water tower. Over the years, the tower has been repainted and redesigned, but today in 2021, the slogan still appears as “Friendly Almonte”. The people of Almonte look out for one another and go out of their way to help their neighbours and friends. Many of the residents speak of the great kindness that their neighbours show them from friendly customer service at the local shops, to helpful locals walking the streets, going out of their way to say hello. If you are looking for a new town to call home, why not enjoy Almonte where you will be treated like family by your neighbours and friends.
If you are hungry, you have come to the right place! Almonte offers a ton of different dining options that are sure to serve anyone’s taste. Looking for a fine dining experience? Try out Joe’s Italian Kitchen for some delicious wood-fired pizzas along the Mississippi River with stunning views of the waterfalls. Perhaps pizza isn’t your thing, but do you enjoy a good crepe? You are going to love Mill Street Crepe Company for a mouthwatering assortment of fresh and authentic homemade crepes. Looking for something a little more laid-back and pub-style? Try out the Barley Mow along the river. With delicious eats and a stunning view! Enjoy sitting on their patio in the summer for even better views! How about a great cup of coffee? Did you know that Equator Coffee Roasters have their HQ right here in Almonte?
Almonte has a great variety of shops and boutiques including clothing and textiles, art, books, birds, homes and gardens, stationery, antiques and so much more! Take a stroll down Mill Street and enjoy the many shops everywhere you look. A few notable shops to check out include Vamos Outdoors, Acanthus Floral & Botanical, The Quilting Quarters, That’s The Spirit, Tin Barn Market, Brenda’s New To You and The Hub. These boutique shops offer unique experiences and many wonderful and local products. Each shop also has friendly staff members to offer you the best customer service!
Almonte is an antiquing hub, attracting antique seekers from all over the Ottawa Valley and beyond! Begin your antique adventure from the top of Mill Street at Big Vintage. This shop offers 100% recycled, locally sourced, quirky and unusual items. Cross the street to Alliance Coin & Banknote and check out Eastern Ontario’s most diverse inventory of worldwide coinage. A few doors down is Brenda’s New To You. This shop offers an assortment of pre-owned china, home decor, furniture, collectables, and more! The eclectic Tin Barn Market offers an assortment of items that are sure to bring out your unique style. From home accessories to bath & body, to chalk paint and kitchen hardware, there is something for everyone’s taste! At the bottom of the hill, you will find Almonte Antiques & Collectibles. This 5,000 square foot shop offers 50+ vendor booths with a treasure for everyone both young and old!
Along with the great history of this textile mill town, comes a unique story about the town’s unlikely name. In an area where Irish and Scottish origins are the norm for communities such as Lanark and Tatlock, it seems odd for Almonte to have a name from Mexican descent. In 1855, the town had the name Waterford, but since there was already a Waterford in Canada West, it needed a new name. Relations between the USA and Great Britain had been hostile during this era. Mexican general Juan Almonte fought honourably and became Mexico’s ambassador to the United States in 1853. General Almonte’s name was well known to Waterford’s citizens. The townspeople saw Almonte as a “principled David fighting a Goliath interested in swallowing up all North America” and so the name was changed. Almonte is the only community in Ontario named after a Mexican general.
Almonte holds an assortment of annual festivals and events. There is really something for everyone! In fact, the municipality of Mississippi Mills considers itself the “festival town”. These events celebrate the town’s history and heritage and offer a great amount of fun for all attendees. A few notable events include Mississippi Mills Bicycle Month, Canada Day Celebrations, the Almonte Celtfest, the Almonte Fair, North Lanark Highland Games, Fibrefest, Light Up the Night, Kintail Country Christmas and the Creative Seasons Craft & Art Shows!
The town of Almonte is built on a hill around the Mississippi River which flows through the middle. Almonte has been built in such a way that offers stunning views from every angle to its residents. Not only of the tranquil water but also an assortment of waterfalls cascading over different parts of the town. No wonder the town was so popular for textile mills! In Almonte, you can find 4 different waterfalls making their way through town. The most popular and easiest to spot is of course Grand Falls pictured here. Take a stroll along the Riverwalk where you can get up close and personal to these falls and snap great photos along the way!
In conclusion, we think that Almonte is a great place to live! If you are looking for a slower pace and simpler way of life, this beautiful town is perfect for you! It doesn’t matter which age or stage of your life you are in, this neighbourhood is for everyone. The town has everything that you need and if you need more, you are just a quick drive into Kanata or Ottawa. Because of this, Almonte is a wonderful place to live!
Curious about other small towns in the area? Check out our blog posts on Arnprior, Carleton Place, Perth and Kemptville.
Looking to purchase your own home in this awesome town? Contact us and we will help you find your dream home!