Almonte is an historic mill town of about 5,000 people, 45 minutes from downtown Ottawa.
Once a thriving textiles centre — known in its heyday as “North America’s Manchester” — Almonte is now primarily a commuter town.
Almonte straddles the banks of Canada’s Mississippi River, which flows into the Ottawa River. The Mississippi drops 65 feet as it passes through Almonte in a series of dramatic waterfalls and rapids; this powerful torrent first attracted millers and other industrialists to the area early in the 19th century.
Almonte is in the “Ottawa Valley”, a loosely-defined region encompassing rural areas to the east and west of Ottawa, following the course of the Ottawa River.
The Valley is a unique and lovely place, still closely in touch with its Irish and Scottish roots. The prosperity that typified much of the 19th century throughout the Valley is apparent in the many large Victorian homes and limestone public buildings here in Almonte — many sections of the town remain essentially unchanged from a hundred years ago or more.
Almonte is also notable for being the boyhood home of Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball.