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Milton Mill Pond transformed into a picturesque paradise

August 2022

The southern Ontario city of Milton, founded in 1821 by Jasper Martin, has turned a former mill pond into a small picturesque paradise in the middle of a busy and growing city.

The mill pond, created by damning part of Sixteen Mile Creek, was used to supply water-power to a grist mill built by Martin, who emigrated from Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, England, in 1818 with his wife Sarah and two sons. Settling on a 100-acre land grant along Sixteen Mile Creek, designated as Lot 14, Concession 2, in Trafalgar Township, the settlement was originally named Martin’s Mills. Martin

When a post office was established in 1837, the village was re-named after Martin’s favourite poet, fellow Englishman John Milton.

A new stone mill was built in 1856, one which stood for just over a hundred years, until it was destroyed by a fire in 1963. Robin Hood Flour, who owned the mill at that time, decided not to rebuild the mill. Instead, they donated the property to the town for the creation of a park.

Developed as a Centennial Project to mark the 1967 anniversary of Confederation, the Mill Pond was officially opened as a passive park on 25 June 1967. Walking trails were cleared through the wooded areas encircling the pond, including using the berm on the south side and part of the abandoned CNR line on the west side.

The pond was stocked with 2,500 speckled trout for recreational fishing.

A restoration of the pond took place in 2000, with invasive plants being removed. A gazebo was built in 2001, extending slightly out into the Mill Pond on a pier. It has become a popular place to get wedding photos taken.


Railways came to Milton in 1876, when the Hamilton & North-western Railway established a line through the town, with a north-south line that crossed the west end of the mill pond on the stone bridge. The Credit Valley Railway (CVR) arrived the following year, with a line running east-west just north of the mill pond.

The Hamilton & North-western became the Northern & North-western before being bought by the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) late in the century. In 1923, the bankrupt GTR became part of the Canadian National Railway (CNR), and they operated the passenger service on the line until 1973, when the tracks were realigned and service discontinued. The line between Georgetown and Cheltenham, which included the section through Milton, was formally declared abandoned on 27 January 1975.

The CVR became part of the Ontario & Quebec Railway, a subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in 1883, but the following year, officially became part of the CPR itself. The line running north of the Mill Pond is still active today.

Sources: https://hikingthegta.com/2021/07/17/milton-mill-pond, Milton, Ontario – Wikipedia, Mill Pond (Milton, Ontario) – Wikipedia.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/milton-mill-pond-transformed-into-a-picturesque-paradise/

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