Key Dates in Blackburn Hamlet History

The following is a summary of some milestone dates in Blackburn Hamlet History.  This is not a comprehensive list, so if anyone has more details on other memorable events, such as when key buildings, parks and facilities were opened, please contact

  • 1803-1811 – First residents arrive in area of Blackburn Hamlet most of whom were of English or Irish descent, along with a few French and Scottish.
  • 1850 – Richard Dagg donated the land for the first school in Blackburn. The area was subsequently called “Daggsville” after three families that settled there.
  • 1898 – CPR short line opens running through Gloucester from Hurdman’s Bridge to Blackburn [Ottawa Journal, September 6, 1898 p.4]. CPR transcontinental service to Montreal used this rail line until 1981.
  • 1915 – Original school burned down.
  • 1917 – New school built at Blackburn Corners. [Ottawa Citizen, July 13, 954 p.3].
  • 1940 – Department of National Defence purchases land near Blackburn to establish Proving Grounds.
  • 1946 – (July 28) Harvard training plane crashes on the farm of Ovide St. Jean near Blackburn. Two pilots were killed including Flight Officer T.A. Seeman of Ottawa [Ottawa Journal, July 29, 1946 p.20].
  • 1954 – (July 12) Sod turning for new school at Blackburn Corners that is to open in September 1954. [Ottawa Citizen, July 13, 1954 p.3].
  • 1954 – The third Blackburn Public School was built. The school is now called the Norman Johnson Alternative School.
  • 1958 – The government gave authority to the NCC to establish the Greenbelt.
  • 1960 & 1964 – Extensive additions were made to what is now known as the Norman Johnson Alternative School.
  • 1967 – Families started moving into the new Blackburn Hamlet subdivision being built by Costain Developments.
  • 1970 – Gloucester Council passes by-law to clarify the name of the Third Line as ‘Innes Road’ east of Cyrville Road. Other names in use included Blackburn Road, Bearbrook Road, Cyrville-Navan Road and Navan-Cyrville Road [Ottawa Journal, February 4, 1970 p.14].
  • 1971 – Bearbrook Road running across the north edge of Blackburn Hamlet closed and redirected into the centre of community on the former Parkburn Boulevard [Ottawa Citizen, October 27, 1971 p.40].
  • 1972 – Blackburn fun fair inaugurated.
  • 1972 – Ottawa-Carleton Regional Detention Centre opens on Innes Road.
  • 1972 – OC Transpo extends city bus service into Gloucester Township suburbs of Beacon Hill (Route 24), Blackburn Hamlet and Pineview (Route 25), Cardinal Heights and Carson Grove (Route 27), Blossom Park and Windsor Park (Route 82). Initially, only off-peak service was delivered to North Gloucester. Private peak hour service continued for the time being. [Ottawa-Gloucester Guardian, October 31, 1972 p.1].
  • 1973 – Blackburn Branch of the public library opens at 2536 Innes Road.
    1974 – Blackburn arena opens [Ottawa Citizen, April 30, 1974 p.2, Ottawa Journal, October 22, 1974 p.18].
    1975 – Blackburn Library Branch moves to an office building on Innes road.
    1980- Blackburn Library Branch relocates to 199 Glen Park Drive, Commons Shopping Centre. [Ottawa Citizen, November 28, 1980 p.4].
  • 1980 – École secondaire publique Louis-Riel opened
    1981 – Passenger service discontinued on CPR short line between Hurdman’s Bridge and Blackburn.
  • 1981 – Gloucester Allotment Garden Association established, taking over the discontinued NCC program. 250 garden plots are located in Blackburn Hamlet and on Anderson Road.
  • 1984 – Bearbrook soccer fields renamed Hornet’s Nest Park.
  • 1986 – CPR abandons short line railway between Hurdman’s Bridge and Blackburn and beyond.
  • 1990 – (October 16) Blackburn Hamlet Bypass opens. [Ottawa Citizen, October 15, 1990 p.E2].
  • 1991 – (October 20) Blackburn Hamlet Fire and Training Station opens. [Ottawa Citizen, October 21, 1991 p.C2].
  • 1992 – Blackburn Library Branch renovated and expanded.
  • 2000 – Many of the Blackburn Hamlet Parks renamed highlighting the history of the area.
  • 2003 – A new annex was added to École secondaire publique Louis-Riel.
  • 2003 – The very first Run for the Cure (now known as Cancer Chase) was held.
  • 2004 – Superdome (originally named Thunderdome) opens as an indoor sports field facility on Bearbrook Road in Blackburn Hamlet.
  • 2005 – The Dome was built at École secondaire publique Louis-Riel.
  • 2015 – The first BCA sponsored Canada Day event was held.
  • 2018 – New Sculpture was installed at Innes and Bearbrook.
  • 2021 – Renovated and renamed Lois Kemp Arena reopens.
  • 2021 – Splash Pad opens.
  • 2021 – New EV Charger installed at Lois Kemp Arena.
  • 2021 – New Bike Repair Station installed at Innes and Bearbrook.
  • 2021 – New Mural added to the side of the Community Hall.

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