Heritage & Natural History
Steeped in History
You can tell from Mono's rugged terrain that it has not had an easy life. Upheavals of the earth's crust, inland seas, advancing and retreating glaciers are just a few events in our colourful past. Both our provincial parks, Mono Cliffs and Hockley Valley are excellent places to spend a few days discovering Mono's natural history. The dramatic topography of the Niagara escarpment and a glacial spillway provide all sorts of nooks and crannies to be explored. Huge natural forests, varied trails, a lookout 500 metres above sea level, rare species of ferns, crevices, cliffs, caves and birds will spark your curiosity.
We're the Heart of Headwaters country and the centre of the Hills of Headwaters tourist area. Our region is called Headwaters due to four river systems that flow through our fields, valleys and hills. The Credit, Humber, Grand and Nottawasaga Rivers course through the countryside sustaining life and sculpting the terrain. These rivers and their streams eventually flow to Lake Ontario, Georgian Bay and Lake Erie. It's these rivers that encouraged settlement and mills to be built along their banks. Today, they still foster our communities of small hamlets such as Mono Centre and Camilla.
The Ojibway and Mohawks were among some of the Indian tribes to make these lands their home. Mono's steep hilly terrain was not an easy place to farm or settle. In the early 1800's immigrants came to stake their claims and live here. They were from the British Isles, predominately from Northern Ireland with a few Scots and English. Almost all the early settlers endured a rigorous journey across the ocean and then continued on foot to the hills of Mono.
We're not exactly sure on the origin of Mono's name. It has been suggested Mono is a First Nation term for "let it be" or possibly a Gaelic derivative, "monodh" meaning hill.
As you take time to enjoy the countryside you'll see signs of modern day progress. But do take a few minutes and drift back to less hectic times of country stores, one room school houses, stage coach lines, Orange lodges and country dances. Take time out to dine at one of our historic restaurants and visit the Dufferin County Museum and Archives at Highway 89 and Airport Road.