Orleans, Ontario

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St-Joseph d'Orléans Parish, built in 1830
St-Joseph d'Orléans Parish, built in 1830
CountryFlag of Canada.svg Canada
ProvinceFlag of Ontario.svg Ontario
CityFlag of Ottawa, Ontario.svg Ottawa
Parish of St-Joseph d'Orléans1830s
Police Village of St-Joseph d'Orléans1922
Community of Orléans1974
 • MayorJim Watson
 • City councillorsCatherine Kitts, Laura Dudas, Matthew Luloff
 • Member of ParliamentMarie-France Lalonde, Francis Drouin
 • Member of Provincial ParliamentStephen Blais
 • Total125,937
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Area code(s)Area codes 613 and 343

Orleans (/ɔːrˈlnz/; French: [ɔʁleɑ̃]; officially and in French Orléans[1][note 1]) is a suburb of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It is located in the east end of the city along the Ottawa River, about 16 km (10 mi) from Downtown Ottawa. The Canada 2021 Census determined that Orléans' population was 125,937. Prior to being amalgamated into Ottawa in 2001, the community of Orléans was spread over two municipal jurisdictions, the eastern portion being in the pre-amalgamation City of Cumberland, the western portion in the City of Gloucester. According to the 2021 census, 75,453 people lived in the Cumberland portion of Orleans, while 50,484 people lived in the Gloucester portion. Today, Orléans spans the municipal wards of Orléans, Innes, and Cumberland. Orléans contains a significant francophone population.


St-Joseph Blvd. circa 1971. The Duford Hill to Queenswood Heights is in the background (behind the Coca-Cola sign). Today, Place d'Orléans would be on the left and the Dental Docs Office to the right.

It was in the 1830s that the earliest pioneers arrived in the Orléans area. Amongst the first Francophones were the Dupuis, Besserer, Major, Duford and Vézina families. A few English-speaking families also made Orléans their home from the very beginning, such as the Kennys and the McNeelys. In 1880, the parish was made up of 43 Anglophone families and 131 Francophone families.

In 1858, the first subdivision plans (Lots 1 and 2) were registered in the County of Carleton, for Gloucester Township, thereby creating the Village of Saint-Joseph d'Orléans. In 1859, François Dupuis also registered his plan (Lot 3) including St. John (St-Jean), Dupuis (Dessere), and Scott Streets (St-Charles).

Orleans was named by Msgr. Ebrard in the late 1850s for the city of the same name in France. According to the Canadian Permanent Committee on Geographical Names files he applied for establishment of a post office "plus tard en 1859". It was granted in 1860.[2]

In 1860, Father Alphonse-Marius Chaîne was appointed resident priest of the new Saint-Joseph d’Orléans parish, founded in October of the same year.

In 1885, the first church opened its doors. In 1922, a second church - the current one - replaced the first which had been destroyed by fire. The parish priest was Mgr. Hilaire Chartrand.

In the same year (1922) Orléans became a semi-autonomous municipality, known as a police village, and more decisions were made locally. The police village was governed by a council consisting of three volunteers elected to preserve peace, health, and public safety. At the time, the village was part of Gloucester Township, which in turn, was part of Carleton County. However, some parishioners lived in Cumberland Township, east of Champlain Street, the dividing line between the townships.

By the 1950s, St-Joseph Boulevard became a major artery, with storefronts multiplying everywhere and new restaurants opening up the length of the through fare. Social life took on a decidedly community flavour, with clubs and community associations being formed. Commercial life improved considerably in Orléans in 1955 with the establishment of the first Chamber of Commerce in Orléans, which campaigned on behalf of various causes, such as pressing for a decent water and sewer system in the 1960s. The quiet, rural community that was once Orléans lived its last moments in 1958, when developers hit the town, and from then on, things would never be the same. Orléans has known dramatic residential growth since then, which has led to profound social and linguistic changes in the make-up of the population.

The first major real estate development was Queenswood Heights with construction beginning in 1958. In 1970, the Grey Nuns of Charity Congregation sold 500 acres of land to the Costain and Minto real estate companies, which launched major developments in the Convent Glen, Orléans Wood, Chatelaine Village areas, etc.

On Jan. 1 1974, the village of Saint-Joseph d’Orléans was incorporated into the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton. It was in the 1970s that the first high schools opened their doors, and after-class hours had Orléans youth start setting up their own clubs.

Map of Orléans, Ontario, with main road arteries shown.

The housing and population boom years for Orléans came in the decade from 1981 to 1991. The population of Orléans tripled and grew from 24,000 to 70,000 people. Orléans recorded the second-highest population growth rate in the entire country in the late 1980s.

In 1989, Orléans became a municipality, Cumberland Township moved its city hall from Leonard, Ont. to Orléans. Orleans continued its residential developments through the 1990s. In addition to the residential developments, the 1990s in Orleans saw the final expansion of the Place d'Orléans shopping centre, a movie theatre, several new restaurants, new businesses, four new high schools, etc.

In 2001, Orléans was amalgamated into the City of Ottawa, becoming Urban sub-area No. 16 (now No. 15). The country-wide housing boom starting from 2000 has also seen an extremely large amount of housing and residential areas being developed in the eastern Orléans area west of Trim Road and south of Innes Road, such as the new communities Avalon, Notting Gate (including Notting Hill). The population and business growth in the area prompted the re-development of Innes Road from a two-lane to a four-lane road in 2005. With the Innes Road expansion, newer business areas along Innes Road between Trim and Pagé Roads, consist of many large retail outlets, restaurants, gyms, a movie theatre, etc.


  • 1833 – François Dupuis, founder of Orléans, is listed on St. Joseph assessment rolls.
  • 1834 – First Anglo settlers arrive in Blackburn Hamlet.
  • 1836 – Cummings Bridge links Montreal Road to Bytown.
  • 1846 – François Dupuis arrives with wife Mary Scott in what will be Orléans
  • 1849 – First Catholic Chapel Saint-François-Xavier, opens on land donated by François Dupuis.
  • 1850 – Post Office opens in Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes.
  • 1850 – Road opened between Cumberland and Gloucester and Bytown.
  • 1850 – Toll gate opens at Green’s Creek.
  • 1850 – Besserer family begins operating summer resort at Besserer’s Grove with quay at Besserer’s Landing – closed in 1885.
  • 1855 – Father François-Joseph Michel opens Catholic mission in Cumberland, previously known as Foubertville.
  • 1856 – Luc Major arrives in Orléans and opens tavern.
  • 1858 – Luc Major draws up first plan of Orléans
  • 1860 – Postmaster Jean Théodore Besserer gives St-Joseph-d’Orléans its name after his place of birth.
  • 1860 – Private French school opens in Orléans.
  • 1868 – McArthur Road opens as short-cut to Cyrville through McArthur Farm to avoid costly Montreal Road tolls.
  • 1871 – Start of construction on St-Joseph-d’ Orléans Church – completed in 1885.
  • 1882 – Canada Atlantic Railway opens from Ottawa to Carlsbad Springs and Maritimes. Today it is a Via Rail line
  • 1885 – Grey Nuns buy 500 acres for giant Youville Farm in Orléans.
  • 1890 – First Catholic Separate school opens in Orléans. Grey Nuns run it.
  • 1891 – Construction of St-Joseph Church rectory.
  • 1893 – Orléans opens cemetery behind St-Joseph Church
  • 1895 – Irish Catholics open first English-language separate school in Orléans – demolished in 1956.
  • 1900 – Antoine Leduc opens hotel in Orléans
  • 1902 – CPR Short Line Railway opens from Ottawa to Blackburn Hamlet. Orléans asks for a railway too.
  • 1909 – CN Railway opens line between Ottawa to Orléans and on to Hawkesbury. Land used for Queensway after rail line closes in 1939.
  • 1910 – (April 6) Hiawatha Park subdivision approved – not be developed until 1950s.
  • 1911 – Temperance sweeps Ontario. Sale of liquor banned in every tavern, inn and place of entertainment in Orléans
  • 1915 – First police constable appointed in Orléans
  • 1917 – Oblate Fathers arrive and open Saint-Joseph Farm – closed in 1963 and became Ferme d’Orléans
  • 1920 – Orléans gets first bank, Provincial Bank of Canada
  • 1920 – Construction starts on present-day St-Joseph Church – only took two years to build.
  • 1922 – St-Joseph-d’Orléans incorporated as semi-autonomous “Police Village” with partial powers.
  • 1925 – Dr Émile Major is first resident-doctor in Orléans
  • 1939 – Reeve Jack Innes dies in office. Saint-François Concession Road re-named after him.
  • 1940 – St. Joseph School replaces Académie St-Joseph.
  • 1945 – Queensway being built on old rail line in Ottawa
  • 1952 – Highway 17 rebuilt through Orléans
  • 1953 – St-Louis-de-Montfort Hospital opens.
  • 1954 – Passenger service discontinued on Ottawa and New York railway between Ottawa and Cornwall
  • 1956 – (May 15) Fighter jet crashes into Grey Nuns Villa St-Louis Convent in Orléans – 15 killed.
  • 1957 – Ottawa and New York Railway (New York Central) abandoned
  • 1957 – Orléans gets first fire station. It will burn down two years later.
  • 1958 – Orléans public library opens in school basement – only public library in Gloucester until 1971.
  • 1958 – NCC predecessor expropriates 22,500 acres of Gloucester farmland for the Greenbelt.
  • 1958 – Orléans fails in bid for full municipal status.
  • 1960 – Queensway opens from Hurdman’s to Green’s Creek.
  • 1962 – First library board established in Orléans.
  • 1962 – Green’s Creek Pollution Control Centre opens.
  • 1962 – Motel Normandie opens.
  • 1962 – Grandmaître family sells sand from Petrie Island
  • 1967 – Water mains installed for first time in Orléans.
  • 1968 – Construction begins on Highway 417
  • 1968 – Blair Road Queensway Interchange opens
  • 1970 – Big housing boom starts in Orléans
  • 1971 – Highway 417 reaches Gloucester.
  • 1971 – Beacon Hill Bullet bus service starts to downtown
  • 1971 – Gloucester Skating Club opens.
  • 1972 – Garneau Secondary School opens, first in Orléans
  • 1972 – Canadian Forces Station Gloucester closes down
  • 1972 – OC Transpo extends city bus service to Beacon Hill, Blackburn Hamlet, and Orléans
  • 1972 – Gloucester Coat of Arms put on police cars.
  • 1973 – OC Transpo takes over Beacon Hill Bullet bus service
  • 1973 – Blackburn Branch of Public Library opens.
  • 1974 – Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton absorbs Orléans.
  • 1976 – Blackburn Arena opens.
  • 1977 – J.B. Potvin Arena opens.
  • 1978 – (May) Gloucester Historical Society re-established.
  • 1979 – MIFO founded, major cultural boost.
  • 1979 – First English-Catholic parish, Divine Infant
  • 1979 – First Protestant Church, Orléans United Church
  • 1980 – Orleans Recreation Complex opens.
  • 1980 – Place d’Orléans Shopping Centre opens.
  • 1981 – Township of Gloucester incorporated as a City.
  • 1983 – First newspaper in Orléans, the bilingual Express.
  • 1986 – First English-language newspaper, Orleans Star
  • 1989 – Third municipal offices opened in Orléans
  • 2001 – Orléans absorbed into City of Ottawa
  • 2003 – Petrie island turned into recreation area
  • 2007 – Orléans Recreation Complex renamed Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex
  • 2009 – Opening of Shenkman Arts Centre
  • 2010 – Cité Collégiale opens a Trades school – Alphonse-Desjardins

Recreation and arts[edit]

Princess Louise Falls

Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex (formerly Orléans Recreation Complex) houses the Elizabeth Manley Figure Skating Arena, the Roger Sénécal Arena, squash and racquetball courts and a fitness centre. A variety of recreation programs are offered including fitness, fitness classes, summer camps, indoor cycling, aqua fitness, swimming lessons and general interest programs. The Elizabeth Manley skating rink at the Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex is named for figure skater Elizabeth Manley who trained at the facility. Manley won a Silver Medal in Women's figure skating in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. It is home to the Gloucester Skating Club and the Canadian Academy of Skating Arts. The skating club is well known for sending skaters to national and international level competitions.

Ray Friel Recreation Complex is the largest and most comprehensive recreation complex in Orleans featuring three National Hockey League (NHL) size arenas including the Ron Racette Arena. With 12 full dressing rooms and separate referee and alternate dressing rooms. The complex also features a fitness centre with over 20,000 square feet of state-of-the-art training equipment, a wave pool, whirlpool, sauna, physiotherapy clinic, Douvris Martial Arts, pro shop, restaurant and a coffee shop. A variety of recreation programs are also offered including, fitness classes, summer camps, indoor cycling, aqua fitness, swimming lessons and general interest programs.

Millennium Sports Park is a 34 hectare sports and recreational complex, consisting of 15 Soccer and Football fields located at 100 Millennium Blvd in Orleans. The closest major intersection to the Sports Park is Innes Road @ Trim Road. The site is currently home to a number of youth sporting clubs in the Eastern half of the Greater Ottawa Area. Currently, the largest tenants at the facility are Ottawa TFC soccer club (formerly known as the Cumberland United Soccer Club) and the Cumberland Panthers football club.

Petrie Island is situated along the Ottawa River in the north-east of Orléans. The Petrie Islands were formed by sand deposited at the close of the last ice age, about 12,000 years ago. The 2 km by 500 m area, from the foot of Champlain St. to Trim Rd in Orleans, has a total shoreline length, including all channels and bays, of about 12 km. Much of the area has been publicly owned since 1983, purchased to preserve the natural habitat of the western portion of the islands. Sand dredging at the eastern end was phased out in 2003, and the ten-hectare sand fill and natural beach is now in use for public recreation. Petrie Island is home to turtles in some of its sheltered lagoons and has a nature centre for learning more about the local environment. There is a marina with canoe and kayak rentals. Petrie Island is host to annual Canada Day celebrations for the Orléans community.

There are also several nature trails and paths throughout the area including the Bilberry Creek Trail and the Princess Louise Trail (incl. a waterfall) through which Taylor Creek runs. In 1984 the Township formed a committee to develop a policy for uses of Conservation lands and approved the policy in March 1985. In 1988 a Township wide Nature trails sub-committee was formed under the Cumberland Township Recreation committee. This Committee, composed of volunteer Township residents advises and assists the Township in the development, maintenance and protection of the natural areas within Cumberland.

At present there are:

In 2009, the Shenkman Arts Centre opened just east of Place d'Orléans. It is a multidisciplinary arts centre that houses two theatres, seven galleries and 17 studios. The Centre houses activities within specialized spaces for hands-on instruction, creation and presentation of the visual, performing, literary and media arts and unique spaces for receptions and special events. Operated by the City of Ottawa, this diversity of programs and activities is attributed to a unique collaboration with the Centre’s Resident Arts Partners: AOE Arts Council, Gloucester Pottery School, MIFO (Mouvement d’implication francophone d’Orléans), Ottawa School of Art–Orléans Campus, and OYP Theatre School. The Centre is also home to Resident Company Tara Luz Danse and ARTicipate, a one-of-a-kind endowment fund that supports innovative programming at the Centre.

A memorial diorama by Bruce Garner was erected August 13, 2000 in the Memorial Park near Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 632 to remember those who have served Canada in wars and as peace keepers.[3]


Town homes along St. Joseph
Place d'Orléans Mall

Avalon: Located south of Innes Road, west of Portobello Boulevard and east of Mer-Bleue Road.

Bilberry Creek: Located east of Jeanne d'Arc Boulevard, north of Highway 174 and east towards the eastern end of the development.

Cardinal Creek: Located north of Innes Road, west of Cardinal Creek and St-Joseph Blvd. Western boundary overlaps with Fallingbrook.[4]

Chapel Hill North: Located north of Innes Road in the Orléans Boulevard area and south of St-Joseph Boulevard.

Chapel Hill South: Located south of Innes Road, and north of Navan Road.

Chaperal: Located south of Innes Road and north of Brian Coburn Blvd, between Mer Bleue Road and Tenth Line Road.

Chateauneuf: Is bounded by St-Joseph Boulevard on the north, Innes Road on the south. The eastern border includes Jeanne d'Arc-Sunview-Des Grives-Barsona-Place Belleterre-Duford Drive, and Orléans Boulevard borders the west.

Chatelaine Village: Located north of Highway 174 toward the Ottawa River and East of Willow Ave.

Convent Glen: Located north of Highway 174 toward the Ottawa River and west of Jeanne d'Arc Boulevard.

Convent Glen South: Located south of Highway 174 and north of St. Joseph Blvd and generally west of Orléans Blvd.

Eastridge [1]: Future community situated near Trim Road and Blackburn By-Pass Road south of Notting Gate community.

Fallingbrook: Located south of St-Joseph Boulevard, west of Trim Road, north of Innes Road and east of Tenth Line Road.[5]

Hiawatha Park: Older neighbourhood on the Ottawa River, north of Convent Glen.

Notre-Dame-des-Champs: Near Mer Bleue and Navan Road.

Notting Gate: Located south of Innes Road, east of Portobello Boulevard, and west of Trim Road.

Orleans Village: Oldest part of Orleans, located along St-Joseph Blvd between Orléans Blvd and Duford Dr.

Orleans Wood: Located north of Highway 174 toward the Ottawa River, east of Jeanne d'Arc Boulevard and west of Champlain Street.

Queenswood Heights: Located south of St-Joseph Boulevard, west of Tenth Line Road, east of Duford Road.[6]

Queenswood Village: Older neighbourhood between Champlain St and Willow Ave, north of Highway 174.

River Walk: East of Tenth Line, north of Highway 174.

Population history[edit]

  • 1971 – 6,000
  • 1976 – 11,000
  • 1981 – 24,000
  • 1986 – 47,000
  • 1991 – 70,000
  • 1996 – 79,000
  • 2001 – 84,695
  • 2006 – 95,491
  • 2011 – 107,823
  • 2016 – 116,688

Schools and education[edit]

English Catholic[edit]

High school

French Catholic[edit]

High school
  • École élémentaire catholique Arc-en-ciel
  • École élémentaire catholique de la Découverte
  • École élémentaire catholique Alain-Fortin
  • École élémentaire catholique des Pionniers
  • École élémentaire catholique des Voyageurs
  • École élémentaire catholique L'Étoile-de-l'Est
  • École élémentaire catholique Notre-Dame-des-Champs
  • École élémentaire catholique Reine-des-Bois
  • École élémentaire catholique Saint-Joseph d'Orléans
  • École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Marie
  • École élémentaire catholique d'enseignement personnalisé La Source
  • École élémentaire catholique Des Villageois (Closed)
  • École élémentaire publique Préseault (Closed)

French public[edit]

High school
  • École secondaire publique Gisèle-Lalonde

English public[edit]

High school
  • Avalon Elementary School
  • Convent Glen Elementary School
  • Dunning-Foubert Elementary School
  • Fallingbrook Community Elementary School
  • Forest Valley Elementary School
  • Henry Larsen Elementary School
  • Maple Ridge Elementary School
  • Orleans Wood Elementary School
  • Summerside Elementary School
  • Terry-Fox Public Elementary School
  • Trillium Public Elementary School

Queenswood Public School closed in 2008(now Coccinelle (Garderie) École La Source)

Main roads and streets[edit]

St-Joseph Boulevard
  • Orléans Blvd.
  • Champlain St.
  • Jeanne-d'Arc Blvd.
  • Des Épinettes Ave.
  • St-Joseph Blvd.
  • Charlemagne Blvd.
  • Innes Road
  • Tenth Line Road
  • Trim Road
  • Portobello Blvd.
  • Brian Coburn Blvd.
  • Mer-Bleue Road.

Highway 174[edit]

The main highway linking Orléans to central Ottawa to the west is officially known as Ottawa Regional Road 174 and forms part of the Queensway.

Highway exits


  1. ^ The suburb is called Orléans (with an accent) in French, but is commonly called Orleans (no accent) in English. The official name in English was changed from Orleans to Orléans by the Ontario Geographic Names Board in 1994, but the unaccented form remains common usage.
  1. History and Timeline information was collected by leveraging the Orléans, Ontario .PDF uploaded to this page just below.


  1. ^ "Geographical Names Recommendations" (PDF). The Ontario Geographic Names Board. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  2. ^ Hamilton, William (1978). The Macmillan Book of Canadian Place Names. Toronto: Macmillan. p. 163. ISBN 0-7715-9754-1.
  3. ^ "Memorial Park". National Inventory of Military Memorials. National Defence Canada. 2008-04-16.
  4. ^ "Map and Directions | Cardinal Creek Community Association".
  5. ^ "FCA Constitution". Archived from the original on 2008-02-29.
  6. ^ "Community Information – Queenswood Heights Community Association | l'Association communautaire de Queenswood Heights".

Coordinates: 45°28′01″N 75°31′01″W / 45.467°N 75.517°W / 45.467; -75.517