Richmond, Ontario

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Richmond is located in Ottawa
Location near Ottawa
Coordinates: 45°11′40″N 75°50′20″W / 45.19444°N 75.83889°W / 45.19444; -75.83889
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
Municipality Ottawa
Established 1818
Incorporated 1850 (Village of Richmond)
Amalgamated 1974 (Township of Goulbourn)
2001 (City of Ottawa)
 • Mayor Jim Watson
 • MP Gordon O'Connor
 • MPP Jack MacLaren
 • City Councillor Scott Moffatt
 • Village 12.05 km2 (4.65 sq mi)
Elevation 90 m (300 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Village 4,482
 • Density 318.59/km2 (825.1/sq mi)
 • Urban 3,797
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal code span K0A 2Z0
Area code(s) 613, 343
Telephone exchange 838

Richmond is a Canadian village.[1] Founded in 1818, it spans the Jock River, a tributary of the Rideau River. Like many communities in eastern Ontario, Richmond houses several unique populations. Some residents have historic and economic roots in the immediate area. Richmond operates as a small core to its residents. To others, the village serves as a bedroom community for the larger urban area of Ottawa. Richmond's amalgamation with the city of Ottawa in 2001 has had mixed results. A significant impact on democratic representation, as well as threats to local values and determination are some of the major concerns. Richmond is 15 km from North Gower, 32 km from Carleton Place, 36 km from Downtown Ottawa, 41 km from Smiths Falls and 45 km from Perth. Its population at the Canada 2006 Census was 3,301.


After the War of 1812, loyal settlers were sought for Upper Canada (now Ontario). The United Empire Loyalists, who, after the American Revolution, had helped to settle areas further south and west in Upper Canada were being regarded with increasing suspicion. Instead, disbanded soldiers were the most immediate loyal settlers for this new era of development.

The village was laid out for the Government in 1817 by Colonel Fortune, and settlement commenced as early as 1818. This was a military point for a number of years. The Duke of Richmond, then Governor General of Canada, died here in 1819 from the bite of a pet fox, in a frame barn on Chapman's farm, about 2 miles from the village, on the Goodwood river. The village derives its name from the Duke of Richmond.[2]

Richmond was selected by the British Army in 1818 as one of the first military settlements. Others included Perth and Lanark. Named after the Duke of Richmond, who was the newly appointed Governor General of the Canadas, the village of Richmond was laid out in a grid on the north bank of the Jock River (which for a while was renamed the Goodwood after the Duke’s English estate). Richmond was the centre for the administration of lands in the area. Military supervisor, Major Burke, placed mainly Irish soldiers of his 99th Regiment in Goulbourn. Scottish settlers from Perthshire were placed in the adjoining area of northeast Beckwith, while Irish civilians were settled in southeast Beckwith, Goulbourn, and other parts of the neighbouring townships.

In the spring of 1818 the officers and men of 99th were at Quebec, and, in common with those of other regiments, had their choice of a passage home to Ireland or, if they so elected, to remain here in Canada where they would receive free grants of land in the new country to be settled on the Ottawa and Rideau rivers. Thus, in late 1818 (with the help of neighbours in Hull, Quebec assisting in construction) the village of Richmond was born.

From 1818 to 1822, the village was managed by the Settling Branch of Upper Canada's Military Department. Village life was dominated by military culture and institutions during these early years. While official plans of the village demonstrate an optimism for its future growth and importance, this never came to pass. By the time the military relinquished control of the village in 1822, very few civilians had settled. Many historians argue that the highly planned villages of early nineteenth century Ottawa Valley were a failure compared to villages and towns that sprang up in a more "organic" nature in response to such factors as proximity to transportation routes, natural resources, and quality farm land. In the case of Richmond, the rising importance of Bytown and the building of the Rideau Canal several kilometres east of Richmond significantly contributed to its failure to thrive.[3] By 1832, Hamnett Pinhey described the state of Richmond to the Freeholders of Carleton as, "a jail in itself." He goes on to note that, "I have known that place these thirteen years, it was then a rising place, but it has been falling ever since, and is now almost nothing; not a house has been built but many a one has fallen down and still are falling... if you get into it in the Spring, you can't get out till Summer; and if you get into it in the Fall, you must wait till the Winter, and whose fault is it but the Magistrates and Gentry of Richmond; that is to say the Shopkeepers?"[4]

Richmond was incorporated as a village on the Goodwood river, in the east corner of the township of Goulbourne, 21 miles from Ottawa City, and 11 miles from the Ottawa river in 1850. For a number of years the trade and business was very active, but by the 1860s appears to have declined. By 1866, the village with a population of 600, contained several general stores, flouring mills and tannery; a grammar school, building of frame, W. Houghton, master. There were four churches-Church of England, built of stone, Rev. J. C. B. Pettit, rector; Church of Scotland, building of frame, Rev. Wm. P. White, minister; Wesleyan Methodist, building of frame; and the Roman Catholic church, built of stone, Rev. Peter O'Connell, parish priest. [5]

It was annexed by Goulbourn Township in 1974. In 1969, Richmond became part of Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton until 2001. It has been within the City of Ottawa since January 1, 2001 as one of the many rural villages recognized by the City of Ottawa. Each of these amalgamations has resulted in a significant reduction in democratic representation for villagers. Some residents in Richmond are displeased about the most recent amalgamation into the Ottawa city structure and would like to de-amalgamate along with other areas of rural Carleton County.


Richmond's amalgamation into the city of Ottawa is a cause for concern for many local residents. These concerns are represented by groups such as the Carleton County Landowners Association. Amalgamation has also gained the attention of several researchers concerned with sustainable community development and local governance. David Douglas' study of restructured rural communities points out that threats to local traditions and values, lack of local control over the restructuring process, and a marked decrease in democratic representation are some of the important issues that have been neglected through this process and which pose a significant threat to the health and liveability of amalgamated rural communities such as Richmond.[6] Contained within the City of Ottawa structure, Richmond is vulnerable to many of Douglas' concerns.

The village mascot is a fox, after a local legend relating to a rabid fox who is reported to have been responsible for spreading the disease to the Duke of Richmond's dog, who subsequently bit the Duke, killing him.

The village of Richmond has many historical buildings such as St Philip's Church, which is the oldest church in the Catholic Archdiocese of Ottawa.

Popular sports in Richmond include baseball, soccer, curling, and ice hockey. The Rideau Trail runs through Richmond. The Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board runs an elementary school named St. Philip. The public Ottawa-Carleton District School Board operates an elementary school named Richmond Public School and a high school named South Carleton High School [1]. Residents can take RR 10 in travelling to Carleton Place, Perth, or Smith Falls. They may also take the Highway 416, To Prescott or Ottawa. Richmond Road also meanders to downtown Ottawa. Richmond has a Scout Troop. The village has limited bus service to Ottawa through the 283 OC Transpo.

The village houses a limited selection of shops and services including a LCBO, banks, drugstore, grocer, and several restaurants.

Coordinates: 45°11′40″N 75°50′20″W / 45.194311°N 75.838991°W / 45.194311; -75.838991

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ City of Ottawa Official Plan showing rural villages within new municipal boundary:
  2. ^ Ottawa City and counties of Carleton and Russell Directory, 1866-7
  3. ^ Richard Reid ed., Upper Ottawa Valley to 1855. Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1990.
  4. ^ Hamnett Pinhey to the Freeholders of Carleton. 25 February 1832. (NAC, Hill Collection, Vol. 2)
  5. ^ Ottawa City and counties of Carleton and Russell Directory, 1866-7
  6. ^ David J.A. Douglas, "The Restructuring of Local Government in Rural Regions: A rural development perspective," Journal of Rural Studies 21 (2005) 231-246.
  7. ^ James Powell, Gordon Danby & James Jordan (2102) The Fight for Maglev, Self-Published:

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