Smiths Falls | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Smiths Falls

Smiths Falls, ON, incorporated as a town in 1882, population 9,254 (2021 census), 8,780 (2016 census). The Town of Smiths Falls is located on the Rideau River, 60 km southwest of Ottawa. The town is an important lockport on the waterway.

History and Economy

The site was granted to Major Thomas Smyth, a Loyalist, and named for him. However, another settler, Abel Russell Ward, is considered the town’s founder. Settlement expanded with the building of the Rideau Canal. The waterfalls provided power for early industries, such as farm implements. Now retail, health care and social assistance, manufacturing, and accommodation and food services are the town’s main industries.

Smiths Falls is also a Canadian Pacific Railway divisional point and tourist centre for the Rideau Lakes. Smiths Falls was among the first municipalities in Ontario to have an official plan for development.