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The History of Hespeler


The town of Hespeler’s story is a bit different. Hespeler was developed primarily as an industrial community and housed many woollen and textile mills. During the Depression of the 1930’s, management of the largest mill, Dominion Woollens and Worsteds, ensured that at least one member of each family living in Hespeler was employed at the mill. During the Second World War, with much of its workforce on military duty, Dominion Woollens recruited young women from eastern Canada and Northern Ontario. Many of these women continued to work and live in the community long after the war ended and today some of the original mills are still standing, as are many of the workers homes. Also, not to be missed is the Forbes Estate, one of the most prominent homes in all of Cambridge. This home was originally built for the daughter of industrialist Robert Forbes, founder of the Dominion Woollens Textile Mill. While the significance of the textile industry has all but disappeared, the strong sense of community which has carried Hespeler throughout its long history, continues to be its greatest resource.



Speed River Hespeler Millpond Dam, Cambridge Ontario



This slide show presents early summer views of Jacob's Landing, the Silknit dam, Hespeler millpond and Speed River, bookended with relevant water quotes. By Don Drews


Grand River & City Scenes

Bridge A mix of shots taken in the heart of Cambridge, Ontario. Located by the Grand River, the city has a wonderful mix of nature and architecture.  More

Speed River Millpond & Dam

Guy SmilingEarly summer views of Jacob's Landing, the Silknit dam, Hespeler millpond and Speed River, bookended with relevant water quotes. More

Riverside Park Winter's Tail

Happy Woman The largest park in Preston (Cambridge) at 102 hectares (256 acres), Riverside is situated beside an 1890 millpond on the Speed River. 


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