Balaclava, located in Bruce County, got its start as a small stopping place and farming hamlet. Balaclava holds an important place in early township history. It was home to the first tavern in Carrick Township, which was also the site of the first Township Council meeting in 1856. Also in 1856, the post office opened under the name Glenlyon.
Balaclava grew quickly. By 1871 it boasted two masons, two blacksmiths, a carpenter, cabinetmaker, tinsmith, tailor, and a sawmill. It also included a Presbyterian church, cemetery and a school.
Balaclava had the misfortune to be located adjacent to the newly formed community of Mildmay. Mildmay had an excellent water power site and was quickly able to attract two mills and a woollen factory. When the railway came through, both communities battled fiercly for the station. Mildmay won the coveted prize at the expense of Balaclava, which slowly began to wither away.
During the 1920s, the government began construction of Highway 9, which cut through much of the original townsite. Consequently the area gradually reverted back to farmland. All that remains today is the schoolhouse, now a private home, and the cemetery, which remains well tended. Learn more