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Paris (2016 population, 12,310) is a community located at the spot where the Nith River empties into the Grand River in Ontario, Canada. It was voted "the Prettiest Little Town in Canada" by Harrowsmith Magazine. The town was established in 1850. In 1999, its town government was amalgamated into that of the County of Brant, thus ending 149 years as a separate incorporated municipality but Paris remained the largest population centre in the county. While Brantford is located within Brant geographically, it is a fully independent community with its own municipal government.
Turn of the century family gathering on the banks of the Grand River near Paris
Paris was named for the nearby deposits of gypsum, used to make plaster of Paris. This material was discovered in 1793 while the area was being surveyed for the British Home Department. By late 1794 a road had been built from what is now Dundas, Ontario, to the east bank of the Grand River in what became Paris, called The Governor's Road (now Dundas St. in Paris). The town has been referred to as "the cobblestone capital of Canada" (in reference to a number of aged cobblestone houses).
The town was first settled on 7 May 1829, when its founder, Hiram Capron, originally from Vermont, bought the land at the Forks of the Grand in 1829 for $10,000 and divided some land into town lots. Capron built a grist mill on the present townsite and was also involved in opening an iron foundry and in mining of gypsum.
Records from 1846 indicate that the settlement, in a hilly area called Oak Plains, was divided into the upper town and the lower town. In addition to successful farmers in the area, the community of 1000 people (Americans, Scottish, English, and Irish) was thriving. Manufacturing had already begun, with industries powered by the river. A great deal of plaster was being exported and there were three mills, a tannery, a woolen factory, a foundry, and numerous tradesmen. Five churches had been built; the post office was receiving mail three times a week.
The village was incorporated in 1850 with Hiram "Boss" Capron as the first Reeve. It was incorporated as a town in 1856 with H. Finlayson as the first mayor. By 1869, the population was about 3,200.
While the telephone was invented at Brantford, Ontario, in 1874, Alexander Graham Bell reminded people in the area about a Paris connection. "Brantford is right in claiming the invention of the telephone" and "the first transmission to a distance was made between Brantford and Paris" (on 3 August 1876).
The use of cobblestones to construct buildings had been introduced to the area by Levi Boughton when he erected St. James Church in 1839; this was the first cobblestone structure in Paris. Two churches and ten homes, all in current use, are made of numerous such stones taken from the rivers. Other architectural styles that are visible in the downtown area include Edwardian, Gothic, and Post Modern.
Paris is also the transmitter site for a number of broadcast radio and TV stations serving the Brantford and Kitchener-Waterloo areas. The actual tower site is 475 Ayr Road, just south of the town of Ayr, and it was erected and owned by Global Television Network in 1973 for CIII-TV. It was officially the main transmitter for the southern Ontario Global network until 2009, when its Toronto rebroadcaster (which had been the de facto main transmitter, given that the station was and still is based in Toronto) was redesignated as the main transmitter. Global leases space on the Ayr tower for broadcast clients including Conestoga College's campus radio station CJIQ-FM as well as local rebroadcasters of the CBC's Toronto-based outlets.
Paris is also the northernmost community to participate in Southern Ontario's Green Energy Hub.
Since the late 1990s, Paris has experienced population growth, which may be in part attributed to the rising popularity of rural communities among GTA bound commuters (see bedroom community) and the completion of Highway 403 between Hamilton and Woodstock.
The County is divided into five wards, each with two elected Councilors. The Mayor for the 2014-2018 term was Ron Eddy. David Bailey became the new mayor in October 2018.  The County provides fire and ambulance services but contracts with the Ontario Provincial Police to provide police services, overseen by the Police Services Board. The administrative offices are located in Burford, Ontario.
Sights and attractions
Overlook of downtown Paris
Barker's Bush is a network of community walking/biking trails, rare Carolinian forest, thriving ecosystem, and natural corridors. Its main access is through Lion's Park.
Paris Fairgrounds is home to the five-day Labour Day Weekend Fair.
Paris Speedway Track is a motorcycle track which has held some national-level races. Notable riders include John Kehoe and Kyle Legault.
Penman's Dam was built in 1918 by John Penman, a textile industrialist. A partnership project led by the Paris Firefighter's Club sees the dam lit up each evening and can be viewed crossing the William Street Bridge or at one of the riverside restaurants or coffee shops.