About Stittsville Ontario
Stittsville is a suburb located in Ontario, Canada. A part of the City of Ottawa, Canada’s national capital, Stittsville is located immediately to the south-west of Kanata, and about 31 km (19 miles) from downtown Ottawa.
The first settlers to the area were farmers, arriving in 1824. One of the original surveyors in the Stittsville area referred to it as a “God-forsaken wasteland”. This was due to the large number of fens, swamps, and marshlands in the area, which made agriculture and travel nearly impossible. This same surveyor would refer to the area around the village of Richmond (10 km south) as having some of the most fertile soils in the entire region. The town itself was born in the 1850s by Jackson Stitt, for whom the town is named; he was also the first postmaster in the area.
The original town site, now known as “Old Stittsville” was located at the present intersection of Carp Road and Hazeldean Road. It was a small crossroads, consisting of a few houses, a small inn, and a general store and post office, which was owned by Jackson Stitt.
The Great Carleton Fire of 1870 devastated the community, destroying nearly everything. The Hartin House, and a handful of other buildings were all that was left standing. This was an extremely large fire, encompassing over 250,000 acres (1,000 km2) from Ottawa to Smiths Falls to Carleton Place. It burned for almost a full week.
The regrowth of Stittsville did not occur until the 1870s, when Canadian Pacific built a railway line connecting Ottawa to the booming lumber town of Carleton Place. The new town would be located at the current intersection of Abbott Street and Main Street. A train station, grist mill, grain elevators, and several hotels were just some of the features of this sleepy outpost town. The hamlet of Ashton (12 km to the west) also attributes its beginning to the railway line. In 1989, the tracks were removed, and CP Rail donated the land to be used as part of the Trans-Canada Trail.
Stittsville was incorporated as a police village in 1956, and became a full village in 1961. In 1974 it was amalgamated into Goulbourn Township. In 2001 Goulbourn was amalgamated into the City of Ottawa.
Since the extension of the Queensway in the 1970s made travel from Ottawa quicker and easier, Stittsville has experienced rapid growth; it transformed from a quiet farming community of under 500 people to a suburb of 20,000, in just over 25 years. Many residents are employed in Ottawa’s high-tech industry or the federal government. Further growth is expected in the near future with the development of neighborhoods such as Jackson Trails and Kanata West to its north, Fernbank to its east and south and West Ridge to its west. In the next 10 to 20 years, Stittsville’s population is expected to exceed 30,000.