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Township of Zorra
Zorra is located in Southern Ontario
Coordinates: 43°09′N 80°57′W / 43.150°N 80.950°W / 43.150; -80.950Coordinates: 43°09′N 80°57′W / 43.150°N 80.950°W / 43.150; -80.950
Country Canada
Province Ontario
 • MayorMarcus Ryan
 • Federal ridingOxford
 • Prov. ridingOxford
 • Land528.94 km2 (204.22 sq mi)
 • Total8,138
 • Density15.4/km2 (40/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern Standard Time (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern Daylight Time (EDT))
Postal Code
N0J, N0M
Area code(s)519 and 226

Zorra is a township in Oxford County, situated in south-western Ontario, Canada. A predominantly rural municipality, Zorra was formed in 1975 through the amalgamation of East Nissouri, West Zorra and North Oxford townships. It is best known for the Highland Games weekend held each summer in Embro, celebrating the heritage of the Scottish pioneer families which grew from the 1830s to form nearly a quarter of the county's population.


The municipal government is led by a mayor and a councillor from each of the township's four geographic wards:[2]

  • Ward 1: Southern portion of township, the former North Oxford township (including Banner, Golspie), excluding Thamesford
  • Ward 2: Thamesford
  • Ward 3: Northwest portion of township, the former East Nissouri township (including Kintore, Uniondale)
  • Ward 4: Northeast portion of township, the former West Zorra township (including Embro, Maplewood)

Marcus Ryan is the current mayor, following the 2018 Ontario municipal elections.[3]


The township comprises the communities of Banner, Bennington, Brooksdale, Brown's Corners, Cody's Corners, Dicksons Corners, Dunn's Corner, Embro, Golspie, Granthurst, Harrington, Harrington West, Holiday, Kintore, Lakeside, Maplewood, McConkey, Medina, Rayside, Thamesford, Uniondale, Youngsville, and Zorra Station.


In 2016, the median age was 42.5 years.

Historical population

Cultural resources[edit]

  • Thamesford Public Library:[4] 165 Dundas Street, Thamesford. A branch of the Oxford County Library.
  • Embro Public Library : 135 Huron St., Embro. A branch of the Oxford County Library, it is located in the former Embro Town Hall.
  • Harrington Community Library : 539 Victoria St, Harrington. A branch of the Oxford County Library. Located in the former Broadview United Church that was built in 1924.
  • Harrington Schoolhouse (Community Centre) : 963624 County Road 96. The Old Stone School; initially referred to as S.S. number 17, and subsequently renumbered S.S. number 4, was originally constructed of logs in the mid-1800s. An entrance was located at the north side of the school, and a box stove was used for heating. In 1869, a contract was granted to enlarge the school with a stone addition, to address seating, lighting and other requirements. Purchased by several local residents to be used as a community centre, after the formal closure of one room schools.

Historic churches[edit]

  • Banner United Church : 602800 Road 60. It began as a New Connexion Methodist Church in 1843, becoming Wesleyan Methodist in 1874. The congregation joined the United Church in 1925. Built in 1857.
  • Broadview United Church : 539 Victoria St., Harrington. The first Methodist Church was erected in 1871. Together with a local Presbyterian congregation, it joined the United Church in 1925. The current church was built in 1924. It is now a community centre - Harrington Hall - owned by the Township of Zorra.
  • Brown's United Church : 136545 and 48 13th Line. It was an Episcopal Methodist Church until 1925. Church on west side of road built in 1890. Church on east side of road built in 1905.
  • Chalmers United Church : 842993 Road 84, Kintore. This church is the result of the union of Trinity United Church and Chalmers Presbyterian Church in 1927. Built in 1914.
  • Christ Anglican Church : 256554 Sunova Cres, Lakeside. Built in 1863.
  • Christian and Missionary Alliance : 643238 Road 64. Built in 1956. The building originally housed the Dickson's Corners School.
  • Kintore Chapel : 552 Allen St., Kintore. The building that houses the Kintore Chapel was the Township Offices until 1975.
  • Knox Presbyterian Church : 963727 Road 96, Harrington. Church built in 1857 and bricked in 1891. In 1964, the church burned down and was rebuilt. A cemetery surrounds the church.
  • Knox United Church : 116 Kincardine St., Embro. Auld Kirk congregation built a new red brick church in 1863 with services in Gaelic and English. The existing congregation resulted from a union between a Methodist and Presbyterian Church in 1925.
  • Regular Baptist Church : 962832 Road 96. Built in 1926. This Church is now known as East Nissouri Union Church and became an Inter-denominational Church in the 1950s
  • Knox Presbyterian Church : 115 St. Andrews St., Embro. Built in 1880.
  • St. Andrew's United Church : 924044 Road 92, Brooksdale. Built in 1883, this church is more commonly called Brooksdale United Church.
  • St.John's Anglican Church : 220 Dundas St., Thamesford. Built in 1862, it was known as the finest stone church between Windsor and Toronto.
  • Westminster United Church : 115 George St., Thamesford. In 1925, the Wesley Church and St. James Church joined to form Westminster Church.
  • Westview Community Church : 230 Brock St., Thamesford. Built in 1964.

Historic cemeteries[edit]

  • Amish Cemetery : 156643 15th Line. The cemetery was started in September 1962, on land purchased by the Coblentz family.
  • Banner United Cemetery : 602800 Road 60. Although it surrounds Banner United Church, the Church does not own the cemetery.
  • Broadview United Cemetery : 963730 Road 96. The earliest recorded burial was in 1876.
  • Christ Church Anglican Cemetery : 256554 Sunova Cres., Lakeside. This Lakeside cemetery was created in 1863. Decoration Services have been held every year on the third Sunday in July since the 1930s.
  • The Day Cemetery : Con 1 Lot 19 North Oxford. Since the cemetery was neglected for many years, the broken stones have been gathered and imbedded in cement in four rows, arranged in alphabetical order. Owned by the municipality and is considered to be an abandoned (inactive) cemetery.
  • Gregory Family Cemetery : 236725 23rd Line. This cemetery was well established before the Gregory family purchased the property in the mid-1800s. There have been no burials since 1930 and it is now owned by the municipality.
  • Halliday Cemetery : 784019 Road 78. This abandoned Methodist cemetery has belonged to the municipality since 1933.
  • Ingersoll Rural Cemetery : 623842 Road 62. The first burial was in 1864. Local residents who acted as shareholders and received interest on this investment originally purchased it. There is a veterans' section. The cemetery is jointly owned by the Town of Ingersoll and the Township of Zorra. The Ingersoll Cenotaph "Field of Honour" is located just south of the caretaker's house.
  • Kintore Methodist Memorial Cemetery: 842934 Road 84, Kintore. The land was donated in 1861. The associated church and parsonage were sold in 1927 with the union with the Presbyterians.
  • Kintore Presbyterian Cemetery : 842933 Road 84, Kintore. The original 26 pioneers who settled in Kintore set up the plan for the cemetery and then drew their plot numbers out of a hat. These plots are in Section B, rows 1 and 2.
  • Knox Presbyterian Cemetery : 963727 Road 96, Harrington. The earliest recorded burial was in 1847. It surrounds Knox Presbyterian Church.
  • Lakeside Methodist Cemetery : 256616 25th Line. The Methodist group in 1862 erected a little brick Church about two miles from the village.
  • North Embro Cemetery : Huron St, Embro. The Methodist Episcopal Church purchased property for a church site and cemetery in 1840. Owned by the municipality and is considered to be an abandoned (inactive) cemetery.
  • Old Log Church Cemetery : 435558 43rd Line. A small stone cairn in the shape of a church has been placed on the spot where the church stood.
  • Oxford Memorial Park : 684527 Road 68. It is the newest and most modern of Oxford County cemeteries, opened in 1962. Two seven foot open Bibles are in the center of the Garden of Memory.
  • Red Star Cemetery : 315364 31st Line. Many of the stones are in a cement cairn on the ground on the east side of the road at the crest of a hill. Owned by the municipality and is considered to be an abandoned (inactive) cemetery.
  • Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Cemetery : Hampton St. The earliest recorded burial was in 1848.
  • Small Collection of Stones : Con 2 Lot 31 West Zorra. Located on private property. There are 10 stones.
  • South Embro Cemetery : 783437 Road 78. The burial stones were collected and placed in a cement cairn in the 1930s. In the 1990s the cairn was rebuilt and the larger stones were set upright in two cement walls. It is owned by the municipality and is considered to be abandoned (inactive cemetery).
  • The Spearman Cemetery (Pioneer Memorial Cemetery) : 174401 17th Line. All of the stones have been grouped together. Owned by the municipality and is considered to be an abandoned (inactive) cemetery.
  • St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church Cemetery : St. Andrew's St, Embro. The property was acquired in 1845 and a church built beside it in 1847. A commemorative cairn was erected on the old site of St. Andrew's Church.
  • St. John's Anglican Cemetery : 220 Dundas St., Thamesford. The land for both the church and the burial ground were donated by Miss Vansittart of Woodstock, in 1846.
  • Town Line Methodist Church Cemetery : 883505 Road 88 (on 29th Line). The earliest recorded burial was in 1866. A stone replica of the Town Line Methodist Church (est. 1861) was erected in the cemetery in 1933.
  • Wesley Methodist Cemetery : Delatre St, Thamesford. Across the road from the Westminster United Church built in 1938.


Schools include the Zorra Highland Park Public School, Thamesford Public School, A. J. Baker Public School and St. Joseph's Catholic School.


  • Embro Highland Games, hosted annually by the Zorra Caledonian Society[5]
  • Embro Truck & Tractor Pull[6]
  • Wienerfest Dog Festival, celebrating the world of Dachshunds to provide funding for pet rescue[7]
  • Garagefest, an annual local music festival to raise funds for various charities[8]
  • Embro Fall Fair[9]

Famous people from Zorra[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Zorra census profile". 2016 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2019-02-25.
  2. ^ Corporation of the Township of Zorra, Township Council
  3. ^ "Certificate of election results" (PDF). 23 October 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  4. ^ "Oxford County Library > Branches & hours > Thamesford". www.ocl.net. Retrieved 2016-04-20.
  5. ^ "Embro Highland Games". Zorra Caledonian Society. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  6. ^ "Embro Truck and Tractor Pull". Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  7. ^ "Wienerfest Home County Festival". Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  8. ^ "Garagefest". Facebook. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  9. ^ "Embro Fair". Embro & Zorra Agricultural Society. Retrieved June 25, 2019.

External links[edit]