Second City, Second Metro: North Gower Sees Greater Role for Carleton County

Although the rural Township of North Gower had a list of things that needed improvement, an expanded role for the County government was envisioned. Image: Hellmut W. Schade / National Capital Commission / Library and Archives Canada RG 34 R1181 Acc. 1986-004 NPC Box 302 Item 5066298.

The Township of North Gower, which in 1965 remained chiefly rural in nature, knew that growth was inevitable and had already implemented some planning functions.

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The Township of North Gower is still largely rural, though suburban problems are beginning to appear.

Although there has been a township planning board since 1954 and subdivision control since 1957, growing pressure for development will require more complex planning facilities. It is recommended that a County Planning Board be constituted on which the Township could have representation.

Education accounts for a considerable proportion of the township tax levy, yet standards need to be improved. Before the school systems are revamped however, time should be given for a fair trial of the legislation regarding township school areas. If further consolidation of administration proves inevitable, the County of Carleton rather than a large urban-rural administrative unit would be preferable.

The County Health Unit provides good service, and is expected to meet future needs. It is suggested that a professional County welfare officer would be a sound addition to County government.

Hospital facilities and doctors are in short supply. The nearest hospital at Kepmtville is used to capacity, the Ottawa hospitals are overcrowded and because of the lack of facilities there are only six doctors settled outside the populated areas in the County, where 30-40 are needed. The Ontario Hospital Services Commission recommendation of a 200 bed hospital in Nepean does not go far enough nor will it help outlying areas of the County. A 400 to 500 bed hospital, the size required to serve the present population

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of the County, would permit better facilities, administration and staff; a County hospital of this size would have been the proper recommendation.

In conclusion, there is no general dissatisfaction with the present system. If centralizing of local government is required it can best be obtained by expanding the role of County government.



The Brief was presented by Reeve Ferguson Pratt, and Mr. W.D. Baker, Township Solicitor, and Mr. M.J. Haggins, Township Clerk.

It was noted at the outset that North Gower is a basically rural township containing one Police Village (North Gower) and by "accident of geography", a portion of another (Manotick).

In amplification of the section of the Brief dealing with education, it was added that if, after an adequate trial of the recent legislation regarding township school areas, this still provides inadequate, then the Council is prepared to support education administered by the County and supported by pooled assessment within the County.

Concerning the support for County planning indicated in the Brief, the discussion suggested that council is fully aware that this will require giving up a certain amount of township autonomy, if County planning is to be effective.

Actual merging of the township with one or more adjacent townships to create a larger municipal unit would be opposed however, although Council would concur in an incorporation of the Police Village of Manotick, so long as it only extended slightly (ie. one farm) beyond its present boundaries.