Almonte is a Canadian exurb and former mill town located in Lanark County, in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario, Canada. Formerly a separate municipality, Almonte is now a ward of the town of Mississippi Mills, which was created on January 1, 1998 by the merging of Almonte with Ramsay and Pakenham townships. Almonte is located 46 kilometres (29 mi) south-west of downtown Ottawa. Its population as of 2011 is about 5,000.
Almonte's first European-bred settler was David Shepherd, who in 1819 was given 200 acres (0.81 km2) by the Crown to build and operate a mill. The site became known as Shepherd's Falls. That name was never official however, and Shepherd sold his patent after his mill burned down. The buyer of the patent, Daniel Shipman, rebuilt the mill and the settlement became known as Shipman's Mills by about 1821.
The majority of Shipman's Mills' early settlers were Scottish and later Irish. A textile town almost from the start, by 1850 it was the home of seven busy woolen mills. It was one of the leading centres in Ontario for the manufacture of woollen cloth. The construction of a railway line to Brockville stimulated the economic growth of Almonte. By the 1870 the town could boast thirty stores and forty other businesses.
During this time of rapid expansion the town changed its name from Shipman's Mills to Ramsayville, and then to Waterford. When in 1855 the newly created Canadian post office pointed out there was already a Waterford in Ontario, the town needed yet another name change.