Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

2004 - Now in our 15th Year - 2019

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The Founding of Brussels

The Founding of Brussels

Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted October, 2004

The Founding of Brussels

Photo from Google Street View ©2010 Google - Posted December, 2010

Plaque Location

The County of Huron
The Municipality of Huron East
In Brussels, on the northwest corner of
Turnberry Road (Road 12) and Orchard Line (Road 16)

Coordinates: N 43 44.663 W 81 14.993


Plaque Text

In 1854 William Ainley purchased 80 ha of land here on the Middle Branch of the Maitland River. The following year he laid out a village plot which he named Ainleyville. A post office named Dingle was opened in 1856. The community flourished and by 1863 contained a sawmill, a grist-mill, blacksmith shops, a woollen mill and several other small industries. In anticipation of the rapid growth that the expected construction of a branch of the Wellington, Grey and Bruce Railway would bring, Ainleyville, with a population of 780, was incorporated as a village and renamed Brussels on December 24, 1872. Within a decade the population had increased to about 1800.



Huron East Plaques

Here are the visitors' comments for this page.

> Posted May 2, 2013
Hello. After some research I must admit that Stephen is correct. I am mistaken. I have made contact with an possible relative from the USA and he has corrected my previous assumption.
Regards, Lillian Burchill

> Posted April 3, 2013
Hi Lillian. Email me with photos of founder William Ainlay. My email address is vanalee56@gmail.com.
Thanks Vana.

> Posted July 31, 2012
The plaque unfortunately perpetuates a clerical error regarding the town. The correct spelling of William's (my great, great grandfather) last name was Ainlay. However, it was mistakenly recorded as Ainley. The correct spelling of his name can be found on his gravestone just south of Brussels (there is also a plaque with the correct spelling on his gravestone). I just returned from Brussels 140th Homecoming celebration and I'm happy to report that they welcome Ainlays back to town. I too would be interested in any pictures of William Ainlay or his wife Eleanor.
Best wishes, Stephen Ainlay

> Posted December 4, 2011
Hi Vana, My Great Grandfather was William Ainley of Ontario son of William Ainley of Brussels, Ontario. My grandfather was Frederick Barton Ainley. I may be able to get some photo's for you. I believe my brother Bart Ainley and possibly my cousin Tamara Ainley Bush may have some.
Regards, Lillian Ainley Burchill

> Posted March 31, 2009
Hi Does anyone have pictures of my fourth grandfather William Ainley who was founder "Ainleyville" as known as Brussels? Does anyone have more information about him?
Thanks Vana Legare (nee McPhail)

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