Wellington County became a corporation sole on December 30, 1853 and held its first council meeting on January 23, 1854. The municipality was named after Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington. Parts of Wellington were ceded during the 1880s to the County of Dufferin, which was then emerging as a settled area of Ontario. Although this occurred over 100 years ago, the two counties are still closely tied, and even today Wellington and Dufferin share a number of organizations and institutions. Located to the west of Toronto, north of Hamilton and east of Kitchener/Waterloo, Wellington County is part of Canada's Technology Triangle. Major communities in the county include the City of Guelph, the towns of Fergus, Elora, Arthur, Harriston, Palmerston and Mount Forest and the smaller communities of Rockwood, Erin, Alma and Clifford, among others. Wellington County contains rich farmland and diverse scenic beauty. Much of it is drained by the Eramosa, Grand, Speed and Irvine Rivers in the south, and the Saugeen River in the north. It is predominantly a rural, agricultural area with the City of Guelph as its main urban centre. Guelph is located in the south part of the County. The population of the County including the City of Guelph is 170,000. The rural population is 69,348 living on a land mass of some 245,671 hectares of which just under 20% is forested. There are 461 km of rural roads and 78 km of suburban roads. Major roadways traversing it are the 401, Highway 7 and Highway 9 running east to west and Highway 6, which runs north to south. A series of secondary provincial highways including 24, 27, 85 and 89 also make up the main roads system.
Official page which lists all services, departments, history and contact information for residents and visitors to the county.
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