Originally named Keeler's Creek, Colborne was named after Sir John Colborne, Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, by Joseph Abbott Keeler in 1829. Colborne was incorporated as a village in 1858 with a population of approximately 700 people. In 2001, Colborne and Cramahe Township were amalgamated as part of municipal restructuring to form an expanded Township of Cramahe. At the time of dissolution, Colborne had a population of 2,040 over an area of 5.2 square kilometres.
Colborne is the home of the "Big Apple," a tourist attraction located near Highway 401. With a height of 10.7 metres and diameter of 11.6 metres, the Big Apple is billed as the largest apple in the world. There is an observation deck on top of the apple, a restaurant and other amenities on the premises.