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History of Palmerston

Main street in downtown palmerstonThe Town of Palmerston had come after the railway making it very unique. The Town grew surrounding the railway yard, instead of being located on the outskirts of the town.

By December 13, 1867, the Township of Minto had come to an agreement with the Wellington Grey and Bruce Railway Company [WG&B], that would allow their line to be carried from the town of Guelph to a point within one mile of the village of Harriston. At this point, it was agreed that a freight and passenger station was to be erected and maintained so the line could continue northward within one mile of the village of Clifford. The point where the station was to be constructed would eventually grow into the Town of Palmerston.

The first inhabitant of Palmerston was Thomas McDowell, who had at the time owned the land on Lot 18, Concession II in Wallace Township Perth County. He came to the area in 1852. William Thompson was another early resident of the area and together, with the promise of the railroad, they began to survey and sell town lots surrounding where the station was to be located.

When the railroad was finally finished in 1870, an application was made for village incorporation to Perth County. However this application was denied as the majority of the village residents wished to become part of Wellington County instead. By 1873 the town had 150 inhabitants which dramatically expanded by 1874, after the Branch line to Listowel had been completed. It was on December 21, 1874 when Palmerston became incorporated as a Town and joined with Wellington County.

Palmerston was originally a separate town, but was amalgamated with other communities to create the Town of Minto in 1999.

Key Strengths & Special Features

  • Norgan Theatre
  • Palmerston Lions Heritage Park
  • Palmerston Railway Heritage Museum
  • Pedestrian Bridge
  • Recreation Amenities
  • Hospital & Schools
  • TG Minto Corporation
  • Central Location (one hour from cities and one hour from beaches)

Businesses & Services

Downtown Palmerston has 40 business and service establishments. Palmerston is home to several destination retail and service businesses which include antiques, jewelry, recreational vehicles, legal, financial and real estate services. Downtown Palmerston also has a strong convenience cluster. The popular Norgan Theatre, Railway Heritage Museum and developing Heritage Park bring locals and tourists into the downtown all year round.

Key Demographic Figures

Downtown Palmerston Trade Area (2006)

Population:  5,744
Average Household Income:  $60,416

Top 10 Reasons to Locate a Business in Downtown Palmerston

  1. Façade & Signage Improvement Grant Program
  2. Available commercial and industrial land
  3. Think Minto First - Buy Local Program
  4. Streetscape Improvement Plan
  5. Reasonable Rents
  6. Friendly Community
  7. TG Minto - employs 500 people = large customer base for downtown Palmerston
  8. High School population of 800+ students and teachers = large daytime customer base.
  9. Environment of Opportunity
  10. Growing residential population needing to be served.