Kars was originally named Wellington Village. In 1856, in order to distinguish it from another settlement called Wellington in Prince Edward County, the village was renamed Kars - a name chosen to commemorate the Canadian-born General William Fenwick Williams who had undertaken in 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 saw mill, established by A. J. Eastman, in 1852, which had the capacity of turning out three millions feet of sawed lumber per annum; a brewery owned by A. J. Eastman & Co., with a capacity of turning out forty barrels per week; a tannery, two wagon shops, a cooperage, a school, a hotel; two churches-the 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 located along the longest, uninterrupted section of the River between locks at Long Island in Manotick and Burritt's Rapids. As a small community, most residents work in the city of Ottawa although the village does have an automotive garage and a general store/post office.
The village had two schools prior to 2011. However in that year, a decision was made to demolish Kars Public School in favor 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.
- Ottawa City and counties of Carleton and Russell Directory, 1866-7
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