Almonte, Ont, urban area, population 4752 (2011c), 4538 (2006c). Almonte is located on the Mississippi River, 48 km southwest of Ottawa. Incorporated as a town in 1871, it is now part of the town of Mississippi Mills. Mississippi Mills (incorporated 1998) is an amalgamation of Almonte and the townships of Pakenham and Ramsay. The site of Almonte was granted to David Shepherd for a gristmill and sawmill (1819). Like most pioneer towns it was given several names, including Shipman's Mills, after Daniel Shipman, who is regarded as the town's founder. The name Almonte was chosen (1856) in honour of the Mexican general Juan Almonte, whose championing of Mexican independence in the face of American aggression appealed to the citizens of the town. In 1827 Almonte was made administrative centre for Irish immigrants, but its chief subsequent importance was for woollen textiles. Power was drawn from the scenic waterfalls within the town.
Today, it is an agricultural-supply, electronics, flour-milling and ice cream manufacturing centre. It is the birthplace of R. Tait Mckenzie, surgeon and sculptor, who restored an old gristmill (c 1830) outside the town and used it as a studio; the mill survives as Mill of Kintail Museum and contains 70 of McKenzie's works. Robert Young House (c 1835) was the boyhood home of James Naismith, inventor of basketball. The weekly newspaper is the Gazette.