|Town of Arnprior|
John Street, Arnprior
|Nickname(s): "The 'Prior'"|
|Established (timber industry)||1851|
|• Mayor||David Reid|
|• Town (lower-tier)||13.04 km2 (5.03 sq mi)|
|• Urban||18.07 km2 (6.98 sq mi)|
|Elevation||74.2 m (243.4 ft)|
|• Town (lower-tier)||8,795|
|• Density||622.2/km2 (1,611/sq mi)|
|Population Growth between 2011 to 2016 is 8.5%|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|Postal Code FSA||K7S|
|Area code(s)||613, 343|
Arnprior is a town in Renfrew County, in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario, Canada. It is located at the confluence of the Madawaska River and the Ottawa River in the Ottawa Valley. Arnprior has experienced significant growth in populations with the widening of the 417 Provincial Highway to four lanes. The Town experienced an increase in population by 8.5% from 2011 to 2016 and the current population is estimated to be 8795 .
In 1823, a 1,200-acre (490 ha) surveyed block was ceded to Archibald McNab and given the eponymous name, McNab Township. McNab had approval from the Family Compact to treat the settlers on his land in the feudal manner practiced in Scotland. In 1831 the town was named by the Buchanan Brothers after McNab's ancestral home of Arnprior, Scotland.
Tired of the harsh treatment, the settlers revolted and, after a government investigation, McNab was forced to vacate the area in 1841. Arnprior, Braeside and NcNab township grew as separate communities and boomed when they became integrated into eastern Ontario's massive timber industry.
One of the most successful businessmen of the upper Ottawa was Daniel McLachlin, who built a massive sawmill at the confluence of the Madawaska and Ottawa Rivers, and expanded the community of Arnprior. The lumber industry maintained a significant position until the closing of the Gillies Mill. One of the most enduring structures of the day was a grist mill built by the Buchanans on the west bank of the Madawaska River.
By 1869, Arnprior was an Incorporated Village with a population of 2000 in the Township of McNab. It was on the Brockville and Ottawa Railway at the junction of the Madawaska and Ottawa Rivers. The average price of land $20 to $40.
The grey stone building served many purposes after it stopped being used as a grist mill, finally being operated as a restaurant and a gas station, first by the Beattie and then the Baird families, ending in 1974. The facility has been bought by Ontario Hydro prior to the restructuring on the bridge and the creation of a new weir to control the river. The building was consumed by fire in 1976. The forests of the period are represented in the Grove which is an excellent example of indigenous forest, grown after a fire in the 18th century. With individual specimens reaching 175 feet (53 m), these are the tallest white pines in Ontario.
On 8 June 1944 a Castle class corvette, HMS Rising Castle (K494), was re-commissioned as "HMCS Arnprior" until 1946. Arnprior became a recognized name in the numismatic trade. This has a special link to a local employer. In 1955 Playtex ordered some silver dollars for their employees. These coins are later found to show only two and one-half water lines instead of four to the right of the canoe. This variety becomes known as the Arnprior dollar.
The history of Arnprior is preserved and documented at the Arnprior and District Museum (located in the former post office building and library) and the Arnprior and District Archives, located next door in the basement of the public library. The sandstone building is the defining element in local architecture
For the past 60 years Arnprior has been a leading contender when drawing new business to Eastern Ontario. Proximity to the city of Ottawa, easy access to highway 417, access to a local airport, full services and infrastructure have contributed to making Arnprior an ideal location for many multinational corporations including Arnprior Aerospace Inc, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada Inc, Nylene Canada Inc, Pacific Safety Products, Pillar 5 Pharma, Sandvik Materials Technology Canada, and a host of other innovative businesses.
The Arnprior and Area Chamber of Commerce has over 100 members and is a great support and advocate for many of the corporations and small to medium-sized businesses within the Arnprior Area.
Some of the major corporations and top employers: Plaintree Systems Inc., Nu-tech Precision Metals, Pillar 5, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada Inc., Sandvik Canada Inc., M. Sullivan & Sons, Nylene Canada, Pacific Safety Products, Arnprior Aerospace, Arnprior & District Memorial Hospital
The lumber trade continued in the form of the Gillies sawmill in nearby McNab Township until its closing in 1993. Pictures of the early days of the lumbering industry are seen at the online Charles MacNamara Retrospective.
Kenwood Mills, initially a blanket manufacturer which developed woven fabrics for the pulp and paper industry, was a significant employer in Arnprior and was bought in 1918 by Huyck Corporation. It was a strong contributor to Arnprior remaining viable during the Depression. The building has now been renovated into the Kenwood Corporate Centre which houses a number of offices, warehouse spaces, conference rooms, a café and a gym.
Sullivan and Sons and Smith Construction companies were significant economic drivers and employers based in Arnprior. In 2014 they celebrated their 100th year in business and continue to be a major employer in the town and a large community supporter.
The airport at Arnprior was built for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and hosted No. 3 Flying Instructor School for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Post War, the facility was used by the Canadian military and a training base known as the Civil Defense College, later known as the Emergency Measures Training Centre. The airport still operates with two runways for land-based aircraft and a dock and fueling station for floatplanes. The airport property also houses many private hangars and a skydiving company.
After the Second World War, companies such as Playtex, Pfizer and Boeing came to Arnprior. Boeing Aircraft Company began manufacturing in 1955 and maintained an operation until selling to Arnprior Aerospace in October 2005.
The Madawaska River at McEwen's Creek was dammed to create a hydro generating station with approval given in 1972. The dam, which became operational in 1976, has created a new body of water known as Lake Madawaska. This was the fifth and last dam to be built on the Madawaska River and they have a total generating capacity of 614 MW.
- Matt Pierce, former professional ice hockey player
- Rick Hayward, retired NHL player drafted by the Montreal Canadiens
- Randy Pierce, retired NHL player drafted by the Colorado Rockies
- John Leslie, snowboarder representing Canada at 2014 Winter Paralympics
- Craig Cardiff, Juno Award nominated folk singer
- Gerald Presley, member of the 1965 world champion bobsledding team led by Vic Emery
Agriculture has been a fixture surrounding Arnprior since the arrival of McNab's Scottish immigrants. The farming tradition has been celebrated by the Arnprior Fair since 1854. John Russell has the nicest tractor in the surrounding 5 regions
David Reid, the town's current mayor, was first elected in 2010 and acclaimed to office in 2014. The municipal council consists of a mayor, a reeve and five councillors. The current Reeve is Walter Stack who sits on Renfrew County Council. Current councillors are Ted Strike, Daniel Lynch, Lynn Grinstead, Frank Dugal and Tom Burnette. The Chief Administrative Officer is Michael Wildman.
Arnprior is known for its ability to attract many great sporting events that attract large crowds to the area such as the 2014 North American Orienteering Championships, the 2013 Women’s Hockey Championships, the 2012 World Broomball Championships, the 2010 Canadian Broomball Championship, and the 2008 Telus Cup – Midget Championship to name a few.
Hockey is the only municipally sponsored sport in Arnprior. The Arnprior Packers represent the town in Eastern Ontario Junior B Hockey League, which is the town's highest level of competition in this sport. The games are played at the Nick Smith Centre which features two year round ice rinks, a 25-metre indoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and a community hall with kitchen. The two ice rinks each have ice surface measuring 200' X 85'. Arena 'A' seating capacity of over 2,000; standing and seated 4,000 capacity.
Curling was established, as an open-air sport in the Arnprior area, around 1865. The Arnprior Curling Club now occupies a 4-sheet building on Galvin Street (est. 1970). The highest level of competition hosted by the club are the Valley League and the Low Cup.
The only print media dedicated to Arnprior is the Arnprior Chronicle-Guide. The EMC Newspaper was bought by "Arnprior Chronicle-Guide" in 2011. There is no independent, non-syndicated media coverage of Arnprior available in print form. Oldies 107.7 radio broadcasts from Arnprior to Renfrew, Ontario and is the only Arnprior local radio station.
Arnprior is located on the Trans-Canada Highway system, where Highway 417 to the east becomes the two-lane Highway 17 to the west. The town is served by the Arnprior Airport, elevation 109 metres (358 ft) and a nearby floatplane base for general aviation; although there is no longer commercial aviation at the airport.
Arnprior has a long history with railroads. The Canada Central Railway first reached Arnprior on December 6, 1864. On Easter Sunday, March 23, 1880, a change to Standard Gauge brought the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) main line. Later the Canadian National Railway (CNR) came and, through the majority of the 20th century, Arnprior was served by both major Canadian railways . The CNR tracks were pulled up and the right-of-way is used as a walking trail. In June 2012, CPR removed its tracks throughout the county.
The town is located at the confluence of the Ottawa and Madawaska rivers. It is cut off from the lower Ottawa River and the St. Lawrence Seaway by the Chats rapids, and now the Chats Falls Generating Station. Following exploration, travel and transportation was by canoe: the Ottawa River by Arnprior was a main route for the fur trade.
With Arnprior’s central location between the National Capital Region and the Ottawa Valley it offers visitors and residents alike access to the entertainment and events of the city as well as access to nationally recognized outdoor activities all within a short travel time.
Arnprior has several historical landmarks together with the many required modern conveniences, including shopping, hospital, recreation, restaurants, water sport facilities, and beaches. Arnprior has been recognized by the prestigious Communities in Bloom organization as the top community in its class for its heritage conservation, landscaping, beautification, tidiness, environmental efforts and community involvement.
Arnprior’s recreation facilities include four walking trails, a marina, three ball diamonds, civic centre with two year-round ice surfaces and indoor pool, a curling rink, two municipal beaches, 14 parks covering 126.6 acres, and an airport that offers charter tours, skydiving and flying lessons.
Arnprior also has a large number of cultural groups include historical organizations, live theatre, chamber music, dance & choir, service clubs and an active artistic community with numerous studio tours and exhibits.
Some main attractions for the town are:
- Robert Simpson Park. The park houses a guarded beach, a splash pad, a canteen and a band stand where free live music can be found throughout the summer on Sundays from 2 – 4 pm. Robert Simpson Park features views of the Ottawa River and many activities take place at the park such as the annual Priorpalooza Music Festival, beach volleyball, and yoga on the beach.
- There are many walking trails in Arnprior including the Millennium trails and Macnamara Trail which provides scenic views of the waterfront, downtown heritage homes, and two nature trails including a walk-through of the Gillies Grove, a 45-acre (180,000 m2) tract of old growth forest, preserving the white pine which was the foundation of the local lumber industry. Gillies Grove is also home to the Tallest Tree in Ontario. Additionally the rivers and local lakes encourage boating, fishing and canoeing.
- Arnprior & District Museum, housed in the former Arnprior Post Office Customs House and built in 1896, offers a unique glimpse into the town’s early days. It has undergone many renovations including a completely renovated 2nd floor which is home to a new modern exhibited. The museum also features traveling exhibits from the Royal Ontario Museum often and hosts the Annual Quilt Exhibit every November.
- Priorpalooza, 12 hours of music celebrating local artists, this is a free event hosted at the beachfront on the first Saturday in June every year.
- White Pine festival, a three-day event held all around town that includes vendors, music, food, a highland dance competition and a movie in the park.
- The Arnprior Fair, a mix of musical entertainment, livestock showing, educational displays and rides.
Galilee Centre, which is the former McLachlin Estate along the Ottawa River, is a holistic spiritual life centre that hosts programs, groups and individuals. On site is a Royal Oak planted in 1860 by His Royal Highness, Edward Prince of Wales.
Arnprior has a reputation for hosting large scale regional and national events including the 2008 Telus Cup – Midget Championship, the 2010 Canadian Broomball Championship, the 2012 World Broomball Championships and the 2013 Women’s Hockey Championships. In 2014, Arnprior hosted the Association of Ontario Road Supervisors Annual Trade Show, and furthermore, Arnprior was the second last stop on Clara’s Big Ride which featured six time Olympic Medalist Clara Hughes on her 12,000 km cross country bike journey to raise awareness and end the stigma of mental health. Arnprior also hosted the North American Orienteering Championships in fall 2014.
-  Archived June 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- Library and Archives Canada, Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, "McLACHLIN, Daniel (Donhuil)". Retrieved on March 6, 2007.
-  Archived March 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- The province of Ontario gazetteer and directory. H. McEvoy Editor and Compiler, Toronto : Robertson & Cook, Publishers, 1869
- [dead link]
- HMCS Arnprior at navy.gc.ca
- Virtual Museum of Canada, "Arnprior and District Museum". Last updated July 5, 2004. Retrieved March 6, 2007.
- Ottawa Valley Guide, "Arnprior & District Archives". Retrieved March 7, 2007.
- Charles Macnamara Retrospective
- Arnprior and District Archives, The Town and the Mill (Motion Picture Film), description of archival holdings. Retrieved March 7, 2007.
- M J Sullivan and Sons
- Civil Defense College
- Emergency Measures Training Centre
- Ontario Power Generation
- John Leslie
- Arnprior Fair (WP:PRIMARY)
- Arnprior & District Memorial Hospital (WP:PRIMARY)
- Nick Smith Centre
-  Arnprior Curling Club history site at the OVCA
- Constituents of Canadian Pacific Railway in Southern Ontario.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Arnprior.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Arnprior, Ontario.|