Kars was originally named Wellington Village. In 1857, to distinguish it from another settlement called Wellington in Prince Edward County, because mail intended for one often went to the other, the village was renamed Kars - a name chosen to commemorate the Canadian-born General William Fenwick Williams who had undertaken the siege of the town of Kars for the Ottoman Empire against the Russian Empire.
By 1866, Kars was a post village with a population of 200 of the township of North Gower, on the Rideau River, one mile from the line of the Ottawa and Prescott Railway. It contained four general stores, and one steam sawmill, established by A. J. Eastman, in 1852, which had the capacity of turning out three million feet of sawed lumber per annum; a brewery owned by A. J. Eastman & Co., with a production capacity of forty barrels per week; a tannery, two wagon shops, a cooperage, a school, a hotel, two churches - Church of England, frame, erected by John Eastman, Esq, and presented to the Church Society, and the Wesleyan Methodist church, frame. Mails tri-weekly. The Loyal Orange Lodge, No. 520, met in the Orange Hall, on the first Tuesday in each month.
The Rideau River is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Rideau Canal. Kars is along the longest uninterrupted section of the River between locks at Long Island in Manotick and Burritts Rapids. As a small community, most residents work in the city of Ottawa. But the village has an automotive garage and formerly had a general store/post office which permanently closed January 1, 2018.
The village had two schools until 2011, when a decision was made to demolish Kars Public School in favour of an expansion of Rideau Valley Middle School. The enlarged school, renamed Kars on the Rideau Public School, is located on nearly 12 acres of land and its nearby soccer fields are among the best kept in all of Ottawa.
Kars no longer has a summer fair, but a dog show has continued to run at the former fairgrounds site.
Rideau Valley Air Park is located to the south of the village and is the base of operations for the Rideau Valley Soaring School.
- Kraul, Chris (Sep 7, 1974). "Town became Kars - to get mail through". Ottawa Citizen. p. 25. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- Ottawa City and counties of Carleton and Russell Directory, 1866-7
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