Second City, Second Metro: An Orleans Divided

House in Orleans, 1954. Image: City of Ottawa Archives, CA031138.

The Orleans Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trustees of the Police Village of Orleans combined forces to express concern with the complicated administrative setup it had been saddled with.

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     The following observations are made on the administration of the National Capital Region and in particular, a 12 square mile area around Orleans divided between Gloucester and Cumberland Townships; the Police Village of Orleans covers one-half square mile in the middle of this area.

     The Orleans area was divided by an old Provincial Act which arbitrarily designated the County and township boundaries. Though a satisfactory division for a rural area, urban growth has complicated administrative problems, particularly provision of services and municipal planning. Still, the two township authorities along with the Police Village have provided police and fire protection, educational facilities, road maintenance and limited welfare and recreational facilities. However, the two township planning boards and the Orleans Planning Committee of 3 members function independently though for a single purpose. One authority, with the combined assessment and taxation of the area, could probably provide cheaper and more efficient, effective and coordinated service than is presently the case.

     It is doubtful that the City of Ottawa could absorb this area beyond the greenbelt. Common administration of certain services should be considered however, and the following solution is suggested:

1) Carleton County should annex Cumberland Township and be constituted as the Regional Municipal Government for the Review Area.

2) The area around Orleans should be incorporated as a town and represented along with similar areas on the regional government.

3) Fire, police, road maintenance, building maintenance, education and recreation services should be administered by elected local governments.

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4) Public works (including construction and repair of roads, bridges, buildings and parks), public utilities (including transportation and hydro), health, welfare and justice should be administered by the regional government. 

5) Ottawa, Eastview and Rockcliffe Park should be limited to expand to the inner Greenbelt limits, when and if necessary, with Gloucester and Nepean Townships limited to beyond the outer Greenbelt boundary.

6) The Greenbelt to be administered by the Regional Government, retaining local administrations for Bell's Corners and Blackburn Hamlet.

7) Township governments to have a Reeve and Deputy-Reeve elected at large with elected representatives from each specific urbanized area.

8) Local government representation to the Regional Government on the following basis:

  a) villages, hamlets, etc.  - 1 (president of Board of Trustees)

  b) townships, towns to 20,000 - 2 (reeve and one other)

  c) towns, cities to 50,000 - 3 (mayor and two others)

  d) cities to 100,000 - 4 (mayor and three others)

     each additional 50,000 - 1 other representative

9) As a legislature, these representatives could appoint members every 2, 3 or 4 years to act as directors and administrators with staff appointed as required. 

10) The President and Vice-President of the regional council should be nominated by the Provincial Government. 



     The brief was presented by Mr. Fernand Lavallee, as representative of the two organizations. It was stated that while the Police Village of Orleans is within Gloucester Township, the Orleans area of some 12 square miles is divided by the township

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boundary between Gloucester and Cumberland.

     Opinions expressed during the presentation were as follows:

1) This Orleans area is almost co-ordinated as one separate school administration unit.

2) The Orleans Planning Committee is to prepare and submit for council approval an official plan for the Gloucester side of the area.

3) There was no suggestion intended in the Brief that Ottawa annex either Eastview or Rockcliffe Park, but merely that they be limited to only expanding out to the Greenbelt.