Rockcliffe Park, Ontario

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Rockcliffe Park
Neighbourhood
Rockcliffe Park is located in Ottawa
Rockcliffe Park
Rockcliffe Park
Location in Ottawa
Coordinates: 45°27′00″N 75°40′45″W / 45.45000°N 75.67917°W / 45.45000; -75.67917Coordinates: 45°27′00″N 75°40′45″W / 45.45000°N 75.67917°W / 45.45000; -75.67917
Country Canada
Province Ontario
City Ottawa
Established 1864
Incorporated 1908 (Police Village of Rockcliffe Park)
1926 (Village of Rockcliffe Park)
Annexation 2001 (City of Ottawa)
Government
 • Mayor Jim Watson
 • MPs Mona Fortier
 • MPPs Nathalie Des Rosiers
 • Councillors Tobi Nussbaum
Area
 • Total 1.765 km2 (0.681 sq mi)
Elevation 70 m (230 ft)
Population (2016)
 • Total 1,932
 • Density 1,094.68/km2 (2,835.2/sq mi)
  Canada 2016 Census
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)

Rockcliffe Park (French: Parc Rockcliffe[1]) is a neighbourhood in Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward, close to the centre of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Established in 1864, it was an independent village from 1926 until it was amalgamated with the rest of the city, on January 1, 2001. As of 2011, it had a population of 2,021.[2] In 1977 the entire village of Rockcliffe Park was designated a Heritage Conservation District. [3] Rockcliffe Park is one of only three surviving nineteenth-century communities of its kind in North America. The other two, in the United States, are both recognized as national historic places.

The Stone Circle, Rockcliffe Village Green

Geography[edit]

McKay Lake

The area is northeast of downtown, on the southern banks of the Ottawa River. It encompasses the small McKay Lake (a Meromictic lake), Sand Pits Lake, and the Rockeries, a rock garden and playing field maintained by the National Capital Commission (NCC).

As it was long a separate village not under the jurisdiction of Ottawa's municipal government, Rockcliffe Park differs from the rest of the city. The village is characterized by its park-like setting, with varied topography - narrow curving roads without curbs or sidewalks, many trees, generous lots and gardens, and houses set unobtrusively within a visually continuous, rich green landscape. It is relatively inaccessible to through traffic.

To the north, on the cliffs of the Ottawa River, there is public greenspace maintained by the National Capital Commission, also called Rockcliffe Park. It is transversed by a branch of the Rockcliffe Parkway. The parkway has several small parking lots along its length that enable visitors to enjoy the lawns, wooded areas, parks, and lookouts. There is also a large gazebo, and public restrooms. In the winter visitors can enjoy cross-country skiing and toboganning. The largely francophone neighbourhood of Vanier lies to the south.

Heritage Community[edit]

The entire village is protected by the Heritage Conservation District Plan passed by Ottawa City Council on February 10, 2016. The Plan is in place to protect and enhance the park-like qualities of the area with its generous spacing around houses and abundance of trees, and to ensure that buildings and properties contribute to its heritage character. Thomas Keefer founded Rockcliffe Park, in 1864, according to the principles of the Picturesque tradition. The preservation of the natural landscape with roads lined with mature trees and curving around a varied topography, its rocky outcroppings and its lake and pond, as well as strong landscaping of individual properties, are all key to the Picturesque quality of the Village. The motto on the village coat-of-arms is “Inter arboribus floremus” - amidst the trees we flourish.

The community is home to one public elementary school, Rockcliffe Park Public School (RPPS), and two private schools, Elmwood School and Ashbury College. There is no commercial activity in the village.

Also in Rockcliffe Park, located beside the elementary school, there is a community hall/library complex. The library was originally funded, built and staffed through the efforts of Rockcliffe residents, but it is now a branch of the Ottawa Public Library, with computer access, a charming children's area, a young adult section and regular adult section. The library houses a special collection of art-related books called the Margaret A. Bailey collection. In the community hall there are memorabilia about and from the HMCS Rockcliffe – an Algerine Class minesweeper – that served during the Second World War, and also a plaque and honour roll in dedicated to residents who served during the Second World War. [4]

Notable residents[edit]

Stornoway, residence of Canada's Leader of the Opposition

Rockcliffe Park is and has been home to many Ottawa notables, including former prime ministers, senior civil servants, corporate leaders and many ambassadors to Canada.

The Dutch Royal Family lived here during the Second World War. Their former home, Stornoway, is now the residence of the leader of the Canadian Official Opposition. Rockcliffe Park Public School, which was attended by the eldest princess, Beatrix, now calls its gymnasium Queen Juliana Hall.

Census data[edit]

According to the Canada 2016 Census:[5]

  • Population: 1,932
  • % Change (2011-2016): -4.4
  • Dwellings: 785
  • Area (km².): 1.76
  • Density (persons per km².): 1094.7

Average salary in Rockcliffe Park is $119,377, whereas the average salary in Ottawa is $53,250.

Reeves and Mayors[edit]

The leading politician of Rockcliffe Park was known as the Reeve until the 1980s when that position was redesignated as Mayor.

  • 1926-1928: David L. McKeand
  • 1928-1932: R. E. Wodehouse
  • 1933-1938: C. P. Edwards
  • 1938-1954: D. P. Cruikshank
  • 1954-1956: James Hyndman
  • 1956-1965: Denis Coolican
  • 1965-1974: Alan O. Gibbons
  • 1974-1978: Ronald Clark
  • 1978-1985: Beryl Plumptre
  • 1985-2000: Patrick Murray

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • "Rockcliffe Park Official Plan, 1993" (PDF).  (231 KiB), accessed 20 January 2007
  • Edmond, Martha (2005). Rockcliffe Park: A History of the Village. Ottawa: Friends of the Village of Rockcliffe Park Foundation. ISBN 0-9739356-0-X. 
  • Serré, Robert (2008). Pioneer families of Rockcliffe Annex and Manor Park in Gloucester Township. Ottawa, Ontario: Gloucester Historical Society.