Second City, Second Metro: Ottawa-Carleton Provides its Input, and Cumberland Township Wants In

The Summary of Submissions at the Public Hearings paint a rich and interesting picture.

Between March 17 and April 9, 1965, more than fifty groups presented themselves at the Carleton County council chambers to submit their input to the Local Government Review.

I’ve decided that I’m going to go about sharing this volume a bit differently. Rather than tie it up in PDFs, I’m just going to share the individual submissions here directly. One per day. The submissions were made by municipal governments, organizations, companies, and individuals and represent their views of what was wrong – and what could be changed – with governance in the Ottawa-Carleton area. Prefer the PDF? It’s still forthcoming.

The first submission came from the Rev. H.C. Vaughan, Rector of the Parish of Navan. As Navan’s Anglican Rector, Vaughan advocated for the inclusion of a portion of Russell County in the potential new regional government on the basis that it had more economic linkages to Ottawa than it did to Prescott County, which it was joined with. His felt that Cumberland Township, where he lived, stood to benefit from an attachment to any new regional government.1David Nesbitt. “Regional Gov’t. Shadow Hangs Over Hearing,” Ottawa Journal, March 17, 1965, 50.

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  When first posted to this parish, Rev. Vaughan found it part of a Deanery of Prescott and Russell, the western end of which faced Ottawa while the eastern end, fifty miles away, faced Montreal. It seemed strange that Cumberland Township should be teamed with a County which faces the other way.

  Subsequently the Anglican Church dissolved this deanery, its western parishes being joined to Carleton, its eastern parishes to Stormont Deanery, and this has proven to be a happy solution. A similar re-orientation of local government might be considered by the Review. 

  Also deserving consideration is the fact that there is only one resident doctor serving communities in the Cumberland Township area; rural doctors are not allowed to treat their patients in City hospitals, and the poor roads in Cumberland Township seriously doctors' visits. 



  Rev. Vaughan did not feel qualified to delineate the area oriented to Ottawa, although he suggested the boundary might lie east of Rockland from Wendover to Bourget and Limoges. He indicated that such a delineation had been studied by the Lions Club of Navan and would be contained in their brief. The criteria for this delineation would be the extent of Ottawa milk, newspaper and soft drink routes and the area from which Cumberland residents shop and bank in the City of Ottawa. It was felt that many area residents shared his views.

  Rev. Vaughan could not suggest a political structure for such a combined area but could see the continuance of some form of local government with a redefinition of certain boundaries occurring 

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later. It was appreciated that with the distinction between rural and urban areas, legislation for the two distinct areas might present problems. 

  On the question of hospital facilities, it was noted that Kemptville, Almonte and Carleton Place have hospitals while Stittsville, Manotick and Richmond have resident doctors. The one resident doctor in Cumberland Township can only attend maternity cases in one Ottawa hospital, St. Louis de Montfort. Rev. Vaughan could see no immediate solution to this overall problem but thought that a considerable segment of Cumberland's population would be willing to contribute financially to hospital facilities located within the greenbelt if it was within their means to do so.

  It was suggested that a later brief would probably consider the question of the extension, improvement and financing of services which might be incurred by the Township realignment. Speaking generally from his church experience, Rev. Vaughan felt alignment should occur where people had similar views, opportunities and problems, with the rural areas remaining rural. He refrained from any observation on political attitudes.

Cumberland Township in 1881. Source: H. Belden. “Prescott and Russell supplement in Illustrated atlas of the Dominion of Canada.” Toronto: H. Belden & Co., 1881.


1 David Nesbitt. “Regional Gov’t. Shadow Hangs Over Hearing,” Ottawa Journal, March 17, 1965, 50.