About Blackburn Hamlet
Blackburn Hamlet is a unique suburban community in the City of Ottawa, Canada, that features abundant greenspace, close proximity to stores, public transit, schools, recreational facilities and churches.
A high quality of life
Blackburn is closer to downtown Ottawa than almost all the “new” suburbs, yet offers an old-fashioned country village feeling rarely found in neighbourhoods today.
Two bus routes service the community and offer a quick and efficient alternative to driving. Residents who prefer to drive are only a short commute from the city downtown or any east end amenities.
Blackburn is pedestrian and cyclist-friendly and is connected end to end via a series of treed parks and bike paths.
Blackburn Hamlet is one of only two communities fully surrounded by Ottawa’s Greenbelt, which provides residents with over 250 kilometres of hiking and cross country skiing trails right outside their door.
The Hamlet is in close proximity to the Green’s Creek tobogganing hill and is home to a cooperative garden maintained by residents.
Something for everyone
Blackburn offers all modern amenities within no more than a 10-minute walk from most homes, including: grocery store, medical, dental, legal practices, drugstores, a pub and several restaurants, banks, service stations, convenience stores, dry cleaners, seniors residences, public, Catholic and French schools, private schools and daycares, to name a few.
Blackburn Hamlet also offers:
- An outdoor community pool
- Tennis courts
- Baseball diamonds
- A City library branch
- A community hall
- The Blackburn Hamlet Arena
- Many playgrounds with play structures
- A series of outdoor soccer fields, known collectively as The Hornets Nest.
The Hornets Nest includes an air-supported indoor recreation dome, called the SuperDome. Additionally, Blackburn Hamlet’s French public high school, Louis Riel, is home to North America’s largest air supported fabric structure indoor recreation facility, at 12,422 square meters (133,705 square feet).
History of the Hamlet
The earliest settlers to the area arrived between 1803-1811, most of whom were of English or Irish descent, along with a few French and Scottish.
In the early 1800’s the area was called “Green’s Creek” after Robert Green who operated a sawmill on the creek. As the timber was exhausted the government lands were sold to farmers who began to settle in the area. These people had to clear their own land and build their own roads and schools.
The area was subsequently called “Daggsville” after three families that settled here in the 1850’s.Richard Dagg donated the land for the first school in Blackburn.
John Kemp and his family were one of the early settlers and four generations farmed the homestead. When the first school burned down, a second school was built on the Kemp property where Blackburn Public School was located.
Agnes Purdy and her husband William settled on Lot 9 across from St Mary the Virgin Anglican Church on Navan Road. Four generations of Purdys farmed the land until the NCC expropriated the farm for the Greenbelt. Agnes was significant as a major fundraiser for the church and as school board secretary for 20 years.
Isaiah Scharfe settled on a lot near Emily Carr School, four generations lived in Blackburn on what is now Innes Road.
Some of the hamlet streets are named after these, and other early settlers, Kemp, Cleroux, Tauvette.
In 1858 Joshua Bradley settled in Blackburn. It was through the efforts of his son William Bradley and Robert Blackburn ( Reeve in 1864, then MP) that a post office was secured and it was then that the area became known as “Blackburn”.
The settlement during these times was divided in two, the area of “Blackburn Corners”, located around the existing intersection of Navan and Innes Rds; and “Blackburn Station”, the area around the existing intersection of Anderson and Innes Rds.