Smiths Falls, Ont, incorporated as a town in 1882, population 8978 (2011c), 9163 (2006c). The Town of Smiths Falls is located on the Rideau River, 60 km southwest of Ottawa. The site was granted to Major Thomas Smyth, a Loyalist, and named for him, but active settlement awaited Abel Russel Ward (1826), and was much expanded with the building of the Rideau Canal. The town is an important lockport on the waterway. The waterfalls provided power for early industries, such as farm implements. Now machinery, electrical instruments, food and beverages, and printing are the main industries.
The town is a CPR divisional point, tourist centre for the Rideau Lakes, and houses the Rideau Regional Centre for Retarded Children. Smiths Falls was among the first municipalities in Ontario to have an official plan for development.