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The City of Mount Dora was established in 1880. It was first named Royellou after one of the City’s pioneers. Lake Dora was named for a local resident who provided camping hospitality to Federal surveyors in 1883. The town was later renamed after the lake. The “mount” refers to the fact that the city sits on a plateau 266 feet above sea level. Incorporated as a town on March 25, 1910 with 370 residents, it was later incorporated as a city on April 23, 1953. Mount Dora now boasts a population of approximately 10,364.
Located approximately 25 miles northwest of Orlando, the City retains the flavor of a small town with hilly terrain, several lakes, large canopy oak trees and historic buildings. Mount Dora was recently recognized by the readers of Florida Living Magazine as Florida’s friendliest small town and as having the best antique shopping area in the state.
The City has a viable downtown with a variety of antique and specialty shops and restaurants. There is limited light industrial business. One of the goals for the newly-approved Economic Development Coordinator will be to find ways to attract clean, light industry to the City.
“The Festival City” hosts eight major annual events beginning with the Mount Dora Arts Festival. This popular event attracts over 150,000 people each year and has been ranked among the top 200 arts shows in the country. Other events include an antique boat show, antique car show, sailing regatta, golf tournament, bicycle festival, crafts fair and the Christmas lighting festival.
The City Limits abut Lake Dora and encompass over 8.1 square miles. The service area for water, sewer and planning purposes encompasses 16.14 square miles.