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Unincorporated community
Kemptville and the Kemptville Creek
Kemptville and the Kemptville Creek
Coordinates: 45°01′N 75°39′W / 45.02°N 75.65°W / 45.02; -75.65Coordinates: 45°01′N 75°39′W / 45.02°N 75.65°W / 45.02; -75.65
Country Canada
Province Ontario
CountyLeeds and Grenville United Counties
MunicipalityNorth Grenville
 • TypeTownship
 • Federal ridingLeeds—Grenville
 • Prov. ridingLeeds—Grenville
 • Land3.21 km2 (1.24 sq mi)
 • Total3,911
 • Density1,099.5/km2 (2,848/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern Daylight (EDT))
Postal code FSA
Area code(s)613, 343

Kemptville is a community located in the Municipality of North Grenville in Eastern Ontario, Canada in the northernmost part of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville. It is located approximately 56 km south of Ottawa and 2.5 to 3 km south of the Rideau River.

The community can be accessed by Highway 416, also known as the Veterans Memorial Highway, which was completed in 1999, and from Leeds and Grenville Road 43 (formerly Highway 43).

Kemptville is the largest community in North Grenville, with about 69% of North Grenville's population.[1] Three elementary schools are located in the town — Holy Cross Catholic School, Kemptville Public School and South Branch Elementary School — two high schools — North Grenville District High School and St. Michael Catholic High School — three parks, and two hotels. The residential area is generally located in the south and east parts of the community. The main streets are Rideau, Prescott, Clothier and Van Buren streets. A creek named Kemptville Creek divides Kemptville in the southeast, where the least part of Kemptville is found. The creek begins southwest of Kemptville and empties 4 km NE into the Rideau River. Much of Kemptville is forested, especially east and north of the community. Farmland covers the rest of the area, especially the west and the southern part of the community, with some exceptions. There are some homes lying next to the farmland.

Map of the town of Kemptville

History of Kemptville[edit]

Kemptville's Prescott Street

The small town of Kemptville began to emerge from the forest in the township of Oxford when Lyman Clothier, a resident of New England, bought 100 acres (0.40 km2) of land in Concession 3 of Oxford-on-Rideau Township from a John Byce in 1819 for 75 pounds. Mr. Clothier began construction of a saw mill with the assistance of his 4 sons, and they built two dwellings in what is now Kemptville. This mill was extremely important for the settling of the community, as in order to construct a crude dwelling, lumber was required - and so, the mill began to facilitate the construction of dwellings for settlers all over Oxford Township.

The Clothiers placed some grinding stones in the lower part of their saw mill. As a result of this, rather than taking their grain to a site on the St. Lawrence River, which would be a daunting hike in the best of conditions, or grinding the grain in an extremely ineffective and crude fashion, the settlers could now take it to this grist mill. After this was established, a blacksmith's shop was established, run also by the Clothiers. A schoolhouse was established in 1823, which served the surrounding communities for many years. The first physician arrived in the community the year after the school was established.

The small village was expanding quickly and the residents of the region were beginning to think about officially giving a dignified name to the location in which they lived. Initially, the community was known as "Clothier's Mill". So, during a public meeting at this time, the name "Kemptville" was suggested, to honour Sir James Kempt, the Governor of Upper Canada in 1829, who was said to have camped on the banks of the Rideau River near the settlement. The name was adopted in 1829 and the first map with the name "Kemptville" was produced in 1830. [1]


1791 - Oxford-On-Rideau surveyed
1819 - Lyman Clothier buys 100 acres on lot 27, Concession 3 of Oxford-on-Rideau Township
1820's - Clothier family open sawmill, blacksmiths shop, and carding machine for weaving
1820 - First hotel opened
1821 - First Mill is opened. First store and post office follow shortly thereafter
1826 - St. James Anglican church parish is formed
1829 - "Kemptville" is formally acknowledged as the town's name; Holy Cross Parish is established
1832 - Methodist Church is erected and another hotel opens
1838 - Another carding machine and saw mill open
1843 - First Steamboat is built in Kemptville by Lyman Clothier Jr.; the Amanda named after his daughter.
1844 - The First Grammar School is built on Clothier Street
1847 - Baptist Church is built on the North Main Street
1848 - Another mill is built which also acted as a distillery for a time
1851-52 - Population of Upper Canada: 952,004
1851 - The first Presbyterian Church is built; First stamp the 3 penny Beaver is released in Canada
1854 - The Railroad comes to Kemptville allowing for easier access to goods and trade
1855 - Kemptville Fire Department is formed; Kemptville's first paper "The Progressionist" hits the streets
1857 - Kemptville becomes incorporated
1861 - Population of Kemptville is 1059
1869 - Sellecks Mill is built as an egg factory; the New Methodist Church is built
1870 - First library is formed
1872 - The Great Fire which destroys most of downtown Kemptville
1874 - The Kemptville Academy is built as the central school; the town hall is built; a hose tower is built to help combat fire in town
1879 - Memorial Church of Kemptville is built
1881 - First Steam Engine is purchased for the Fire Department
1885 - Bakery is built on 115 Clothier Street East
1888 - Holy Cross Church designed by Joseph Connolly is built; the district High School is built; the Salvation Army comes to Kemptville; Electricity comes to Kemptville via a mill which lights the Oddfellows hall for a fair
1895 - Bank of Ottawa opens (later becoming the Bank of Nova Scotia)
1899 - The Horticultural Society is formed in Kemptville
1845-1900 - The rise of the Service clubs
1910 - A fire destroys part of Asa Street

1936 North Grenville District High School Opens On Prescott st.

1999- St. Michael Catholic High School opens on County Road 43

2012- North Grenville District High School opens on Concession rd.
2018- North Grenville elects its first female Mayor


The Kemptville 73's are a Tier II Junior "A" ice hockey team and members of the Central Junior A Hockey League. The team was founded as the Kemptville Comets of the Rideau-St. Lawrence Junior B Hockey League in 1969, but the league later became the Eastern Ontario Junior B Hockey League and the Comets became the 73's in 1973. The 73's were promoted to Junior "A" in the Summer of 2007.

Birthplace of 1930's NHL player Desse (Desmond) Roche.



The Kemptville area is served by a number of radio stations out of the Ottawa-Gatineau areas, including Brockville. Kemptville is served by one local radio station.

  • CKVV-FM 97.5; Kemptville's first local FM radio station launched in 2012.


The Kemptville Advance], a Torstar newspaper, is published every Thursday. The North Grenville Times, a locally-owned community newspaper, is delivered every Wednesday.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Census Profile". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2013-05-06.

External links[edit]