Orangeville, was originally called The Mills because of the saw mill and the flour mill built in 1832. The town was named after Orange Lawrence, an early settler and businessman. Lawrence was a man of exceptional energy and ability and owned several mills, around which grew a small village.
The town hall, built in 1875, has been restored to its original grandeur as an Opera House. Located at 87 Broadway Ave, it contains a variety of cultural events and is home to Theatre Orangeville.
Alexander McLachlan, the Robert Burns of Canada, was one of Canada's greatest poets. He was a resident of Orangeville and died in 1896. McLachlan was buried in Orangeville's Greenwood Cemetery only to be moved at a later date to Forest Lawn Cemetery where a monument was erected in his honour.
Orangeville is the centre of the Headwaters Country which includes the areas of Hockley Valley, Dufferin County and the towns of Mono, Shelburne and Erin as well as the Caledon Hills. Island Lake Conservation Area offers opportunities for kayaking, canoeing and windsurfing as well as summer and winter fishing, hiking and cross country skiing. Local walking trails, the Bruce Trail, and Trans-Canada Trail offer significant hiking and bird-watching opportunities.
The Orangeville Farmers' Market is open May 7, 2005 -October 8, 2005, Saturdays 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and is located outside the historic Town Hall in Downtown Orangeville.