The history of North Dumfries is closely bound to that of the old City of Galt, now part of the City of Cambridge but in the early 19th century was part of Gore District. Galt was established on the east bank of the Grand River by Absalom Shade on behalf of William Dickson of Niagara. Dickson had bought 94,305 acres (381.64 km2) of land in 1816 and named it after his hometown of Dumfries in Scotland. By 1817, a number of sawmills were operating in the district.
The first municipal meeting for the Township of Dumfries North was held in 1819. From 1825 until 1832 every plot of land was filled.
With the presentation of the county system in the mid-nineteenth century, Dumfries was split between the new Waterloo and Brant Counties. Dumfries Township was divided; the City of Galt was extracted from it as an autonomous municipality within the new Waterloo County.
The township's easternmost section was originally part of Beverley Township it was transferred to North Dumfries Township in the 1970s.