Terra Cotta is a scenic hamlet nestled on the banks of the Credit River. Named after the abundance of local red clay, this lovely community is situated within the larger area of Caledon and is one of Caledon’s historic Credit River mill communities. It is home to the Terra Cotta Inn and the ever- popular Terra Cotta Conservation Area, known for its excellent hiking trails and seasonal outdoor activities. This sought-after locale is conveniently close to the surrounding cities of Brampton, Mississauga, and Halton Hills, while offering residents all the benefits of historic, small town living.
Terra Cotta was originally known as Tucker’s Mills, after the first settler in the area, Henry Tucker, who built the locations first mill. Its name then changed to Plewes Mills when Simon Plewes became the owner. A third name change saw the area called Salmonville because of the abundance of the fish in the Credit River, that runs directly through this lovely hamlet. The fish were so abundant that history tells us you could spear them with a pitchfork.
As always, the arrival of the railway made an enormous difference in the growth of an area and the expansion of the Hamilton & Northwestern Railway, just north of the village in 1877, stimulated growth and the development of local stone quarries and brick factories. The stone quarry near Terra Cotta, on the escarpment, provided limestone and sandstone for local and regional markets such as Toronto. Stone from Terra Cotta was used in building Old City Hall in Toronto, the pillars at Union Station, the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, and the Timothy Eaton Memorial Church. The original James quarry is still in existence and is now called Credit Valley Quarries. It supplies the red and brown sandstone used for heritage restoration projects throughout the province. In 1891 the village was renamed Terra Cotta for its local red clay. The Terra Cotta Conservation Area was established in 1960.
Things to enjoy
The village of Terra Cotta is near the Terra Cotta Conservation Area which offers a variety of fantastic trails for hiking, bird watching and photography. It is a popular venue for bridal and family photoshoots and weddings. The area has a diverse and interesting ecosystem, and its habitat is strictly preserved and protected. The Credit Valley Conservation Authority is responsible for the area and manages over 2400 hectares of land in the Credit Watershed. It operates 10 Conservation Areas with a wide range of natural and cultural landscapes. The regions rare flowers and creatures, unique habitats, and fragile ecosystems, are all protected and cared for so that nature enthusiasts for generations to come will be able to marvel at the diversity and beauty of this area.
Located right on the banks of the Credit River and on the main street of Terra Cotta, is the Terra Cotta Inn. It is known as one of the finest dining locations in all of Ontario.
The Terra Cotta Country Store is a delight for any casual shopper. It showcases local fashion and accessories and an onsite bakery and is the perfect rest stop on a hot summer’s afternoon. The Caledon Trailway runs through Terra Cotta on the western edge and a visible kiln chimney is the last reminder of the original brickworks in the area.
This area has something for everyone. Its picturesque landscape and conservation areas are revered by cyclists and hikers. Residents love the historic charm and country way of life. Nestled on the banks of the Credit River, this hamlet is picture perfect in every way.