Stittsville

Stittsville

The village of Stittsville began as a small collection of houses and shops, situated on the 12th Line of Goulbourn Township, at the crossroads of what is now the Carp Road and Hazeldean Road. The area surrounding it was agricultural in nature, having been settled by Irish Protestant and English emigrants, some of whom had been soldiers with the 99th Regiment who founded Richmond in 1818.

The village developed slowly with a blacksmith, a tanner, a general store and an inn where travellers could stop for a rest and a drink. It was known as Stitt’s Corners because the man who owned the stopping place was Jackson Stitt. A lively marketplace for cattle and horse sales called the Fair Green was also part of the village. In 1854 when the village got its first post office, the postmaster chosen was Jackson Stitt, and so the village became known as Stittsville.

By 1870 there were about 100 people living in Stittsville. But in August of that year, the great fire of Carleton County swept through the area, laying waste to thousands of acres of farmland and bush, killing 12 people, and destroying the village of Stittsville as it went by. One month later, a new railway line opened up about a kilometre and a half south of the burnt-out village and many villagers decided to rebuild closer to the railway line with a view to the future. Over the next couple of years, the population around the railway line grew and the original site of the village became known as Old Stittsville, with only a few buildings located there.

By 1910 Stittsville was a busy rail centre with as many as 16 trains going through a day and many local people worked for the railway. Growth was slow and steady until, in 1961 Stittsville became a Police Village; but in 1974, it was absorbed back into Goulbourn Township and its municipal government became the Goulbourn Township Council.

By 1984, sewer and water arrived in Stittsville and developers moved in. Construction of new homes began to soar and shopping centres appeared where before there had been only one grocery store and small shops. The population also began to soar. In the mid 1970’s there were around 3000 people living in Stittsville. By the year 2000 there were around 12,000. In 2001, Stittsville and Goulbourn Township were amalgamated into the City of Ottawa and the Township Council was replaced by one Councillor representing the Kanata West Stittsville Ward.

In 2013, the population of Stittsville is around 26,000.. Big box stores have been built along Hazeldean Road (formerly the 12th Line of Goulbourn Township), and several shopping plazas now exist in and around the village. The designation “village” hardly fits anymore, although there is still an organization called the Stittsville Village Association which works at keeping an identity for this community and provides several events yearly to encourage identification with the Stittsville community.