This picturesque hamlet is nestled on the shores of Pusey Lake (commonly referred to as Dark Lake) has plenty to offer. Wilberforce is home to the first Red Cross Outpost in Ontario which is now a National Heritage Site, the Wilberforce Agricultural Fair and is the Geocaching Capital of Canada.
Wilberforce has many amenities including a Foodland, LCBO, Scotiabank, restaurant, pharmacy, gas station, general store, Royal Canadian Legion, public school, Library, Medical Centre, a non-profit housing complex, Fire Hall, many churches, boutiques, a Curling Club, Arena, tennis and basketball courts, a ball diamond and a large Community Centre with a public park ideal for weddings, reunions etc.
Wilberforce was established as “Pusey,” a station on the Irondale, Bancroft and Ottawa (IB&O) Railway, and named for railway president Charles J. Pusey. This little railway had initially been built to carry iron ore from open pit mines at Irondale. Although the mines had closed, the railway had high hopes of extending to Bancroft and even higher hopes of reaching Ottawa. At Wilberforce where the railway skirted the southern shore of Pusey Lake (now Dark Lake), the Wilberforce Lumber Company put up a saw mill. In 1909 the Wilberforce mill was leased to James Lauder and Joseph Spears, of Toronto. The IB&O Railway was taken over by the Canadian Northern Railway in 1912. Messrs. Lauder and Spears along with Lucien B. Howland, (the former General Manager of the IB&O), looking for new business opportunities, acquired a saw mill on the new CNR line north of Parry Sound, Ontario. The three men eventually established the community of Lost Channel in the Parry Sound District, and went bankrupt in the process. Wilberforce is known among geocachers as the “Geocaching Capital of Canada.” The first cache in the Town was “Wilberforce be With You” placed by Geofellas.
The township also contains the smaller communities of Cheddar (ghost town), Cope Falls, Deer Lake, Dyno Estates, Essonville, Harcourt, Highland Grove, Hotspur, Ironsides, Maxwells, Pusey, South Wilberforce, Tory Hill, Upper Paudash, Ursa and Ward. Highland Grove was home to “Camp Diamond” the site of a fabled but unfounded diamond mine. The site was used as a hockey camp for a short period of time and later became an all-girls summer recreational camp.