Acton Town Hall was built by the town fathers who agreed it was essential that a building be available for use by council and the community.
The Town Hall was opened with a grand ball in March and remained the hub of Acton’s social life for over 80 years.
The upstairs auditorium was the location for high school “At Home”, meetings, dances, concerts and many other activities. The stage was frequently in use for Sunday school plays, amateur dramatics, minstrel shows and the like. Downstairs housed the police station, council chambers, library, and practice room for the Acton Citizens’ Band.
When the building was a few years shy of its 100th birthday, the regional government moved out of the Acton to Georgetown.
Halton Hills declared the building surplus and condemned it as unsafe. The Council moved to demolish the building and create a fire hall parking lot.
A grassroots citizens’ protest arose which resulted in the formation of two committees (Acton Town Hall Restoration Committee and Acton Town Hall Fundraising committee). These dedicated persons persuaded the Council to reconsider the demolition and saved the hall. The Town Hall was purchased for a nominal sum and volunteers began the long task of restoration to the historic building. In 1982 the committees merged to become Heritage Acton, a registered charity.
With the help of grants from the Trillium Foundation, Federal Government, Ontario Heritage Foundation, Heritage Foundation of Halton Hills, the Town of Halton Hills and donations from Acton Rotary Club, Acton Kinsmen Club, numerous individual and corporate donors, Heritage Acton has renovated the Town Hall to its former beauty.
Since 1986, the renovated space has been used by social service agencies.
The former jail cell now serves as a small kitchen and the other cell has been kept in its original state. For several years a local service club met regularly in the upstairs “mirror room” of the old Fire Hall.
The Town Hall became the first designated historic building in Halton Hills.
The newly restored Auditorium/Stage (Willow Hall) was revealed to the public during a grand reopening and celebration.
In May of 2013, the Citizens Hall was opened, a secondary entrance, breathtaking mezzanine and heritage elevator.
Acton Town Hall Ghost
History of an old building is not complete unless there is a story of a resident ghost. To date, rumours circulate that Jimmy, the former caretaker still resides in the Town Hall. The tale reveals that one night Jimmy woke up in a haze to the smell of smoke and realized that the building was on fire. He quickly determined that the source of the fire was one of the pot-belled stoves in the auditorium. Jimmy formed a one man bucket brigade, running downstairs to obtain buckets of water and ran upstairs to pull the bell tower, alerting the Town of the fire. To this day, it is believed that Jimmy still protects the Hall and those that occupy its space.