While Ayr now claims 3,500 residents and 350 businesses (I might debate this), it was once a quiet little area comprised of three different locations.
In 1824, Abel Mudge constructed a sawmill and flour mill at the junction where Cedar Creek entered the Nith River (The Watson factory building at 14 Northumberland St.).
John Hall, a young immigrant from Jedburgh, Scotland built a small flour mill and distillery named Jedburgh in the east (now Main St.) on a 75 acre parcel of land which includes the area flooded by the Jedburgh Dam. By 1850 Hall had developed several industries, including a flour mill, saw mill and distillery with water power provided by the damming of Cedar Creek.
At the same time a smaller settlement, Nithvale (Piper St.) was founded to the west of Mudge's Mill where a small saw mill opened along the Nith River, it's claim on history being that in 1837 it was a meeting and drilling place for MacKenzie's followers just prior to the Upper Canada Rebellion.
Mudge's Mill was in the centre (Stanley/Northumberland Streets) in what is today the Village of Ayr.
In 1840, following keen rivalry among the three settlements, the name "Ayr" appeared for the first time when Robert Wyllie established a post office. The name was likely due to the large number of former Ayrshire, Scotland immigrants who were drawn to Canada by promises of inexpensive, fertile land, made by the major landholder of the district, William Dickson.
In 1846-47 Daniel Manley's mill was built, William Baker's store was established and John Watson's foundry constructed with Watson's Dam its power reservoir. These three key businesses played large roles in Ayr's early success as did the coming of the Credit Valley Railway in 1879. In 1850 Ayr's first library was established and James Somerville began the first Ayr newspaper in 1854.
Ayr is an active little community with a variety of older homes and new urban sprawl. Much of it's history can be found within walking distance of the downtown district.
Ayr is located South of Kitchener. From the 401 take the Northcumberland exit south (50) and follow the road.