It remained mainly agricultural until the 1960s when it became the site of heavy development. Modern Kanata is largely the creation of Bill Teron, a developer and urban planner who purchased over 1,200 hectares (3,000 acres) of rural land and set about building a model community. Unlike other suburbs, Kanata was designed to have a mix of densities and commercial and residential properties. It contained large amounts of open space, and was to be surrounded by a greenbelt. A reflection of the garden city movement, the area was divided into a series of communities, each of which was intended to have its own commercial centres and unique cultures. These include Beaverbrook, Glen Cairn, Bridlewood, Katimavik, Hazeldean, Morgan’s Grant, and Kanata Lakes. The first street to be built was Tiffany Crescent in 1964.
The community grew rapidly due to the influx of hi-tech workers looking to capitalize on the new economical cityscape. The Province of Ontario incorporated Kanata as a city in 1978 out of the Township of March, and portions of the Township of Goulbourn and the Township of Nepean (subsequently the City of Nepean).
On September 20, 1998, the city of Kanata dedicated a cenotaph in Village Green Memorial Park dedicated to those who served their country in war and peace. It remained a city until 2001, when the province created a new (amalgamated) City of Ottawa that included the City of Kanata (pop. 59,700).
The Kanata Avenue–Castlefrank Road overpass next to Royal Canadian Legion National Headquarters, opened in December 2003 and renamed Valour Bridge on December 1, 2006, is dedicated to all Canadians who have served in defence of freedoms in the great battles and campaigns since the turn of the 20th century.
As of the 2006 census, the population of Kanata had increased to 85,000, and was most recently estimated to be just over 90,000. The city became an important hi-tech centre. DEC was one of the pioneer technology companies in Kanata. The DEC campus has been successively Digital, Compaq, and HP, and is now occupied by the Gilmore Printing group of companies. Kanata remains home to many of the major hi-tech employers of Ottawa, such as Exceedium, AMD, Avaya, Juniper Networks, Research In Motion (now BlackBerry), Mitel, March Networks, Nokia, Bridgewater Systems, Dragon Wave, Solace Systems, Protecode, Dell Canada, HP, Smart Technologies, Norpak, MDS Nordion, Breconridgw, AMCC, Cisco Systems Inc., and Ciena. Nortel Networks and the former Bell-Northern Research had a major campus of buildings just outside the Kanata boundary to the east. The hi-tech industry is clustered along March Road, in the Kanata North Business Park and Kanata Research Park, and along Eagleson Road, in the Kanata South Business Park.
The 18-story, luxury Brookstreet Hotel is located in the middle of the Kanata Research Park, surrounded by the first of two urban 18-hole golf courses, called the Marshes Golf Club. Unlike the members-only Kanata Lakes Golf & Country Club, the Marshes Golf Club is open to the general public.
Kanata Town Centre: Bounded by Campeau Drive to the north, March Road to the east, Katimavik Road to the south and Terry Fox Drive to the west. The provincial highway 417 bisects this neighbourhood, with most of the undeveloped areas on the north side of the 417.
North of the 417, this area has a large mix of high density homes (townhomes and stacked townhomes) to the east, as well as Kanata’s major shopping area called Kanata Entertainment Centrum which houses many big-box stores as well as Empire theatres and its own shopping centre. Between the commercial development and the residential developments to the east, there is a large undeveloped area that is currently zoned for high density residential, institutional and commercial spaces.
South of the 417, this area again has a mix of residential, institutional and commercial spaces, although the amount of commercial spaces seems to have moved to the newer section of Kanata Town Centre, north of the 417. Again, most of the high density homes are to the east, mainly consisting of townhome developments. As one ventures further to the west, towards Terry Fox Drive, the residential switches from townhomes developments to single family homes.
Terry Fox Business Park: Bounded by the provincial highway 417 & Terry Fox Drive to the north, Terry Fox Drive to the east, Maple Grove Road to the south and Huntmar Drive to the west. Canadian Tire Centre, home arena of the Ottawa Senators, is located in the neighbourhood, as well as many newer big-box stores such as Home Depot, Staples, Canadian Tire and more recently Costco. The Bell Sensplex is also located in this area, providing Kanata with an additional Olympic sized rink, three NHL sized rinks and an indoor soccer/lacrosse field.
Kanata South Business Park: Bounded by the Trans Canada Trail to the north, Eagleson Road to the east, Fernbank Road to the south and Terry Fox Drive to the west. Again, many smaller high-tech companies are home to the KSBP. Most of this area was undeveloped until just recently. A Real Canadian Superstore recently opened and a large residential/small office development is currently under construction in the south end of the KSBP.
To the east, Kanata is separated from the former City of Nepean by the National Capital Commission’s Greenbelt. The community of Bells Corners borders the inner side of the Greenbelt. Bells Corners is itself a hi-tech suburb that was established around 1950, and was home to such Canadian technology icons as Computing Devices Canada, the Ottawa-based defense electronics company (bought by General Dynamics, which blazed the trail for later defense technology firms in what would later be known as Silicon Valley North, or Kanata.
To the south of Kanata is Stittsville, Ontario. First a farming community, then a village, then part of the township of Goulbourn, Stittsville is now a large suburb which was amalgamated into the new City of Ottawa in 2001, and largely employed by the hi-tech industry. Further to the south of Kanata is the former village of Richmond, Ontario, which pre-dated what is now the City of Ottawa.
Further to the south of Kanata is the former village of Richmond, Ontario, which pre-dated what is now the City of Ottawa.
Notable buildings and institutions
Canadian Tire Centre, 1000 Palladium Drive. Home arena of the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League, some Ottawa 67’s hockey games, and many large concerts, such as Bryan Adams, who opened the arena with a show on 15 January 1996, it has been known as the Palladium (pre-construction-1996), the Corel Centre Centre (1996–2006), and Scotiabank Place (2006-2013). For several years before the merger, the Canadian Tire Centre was not in the City of Ottawa, but rather in the City of Kanata, which was in the regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton.
The Kanata Recreation Complex, 100 Walter Baker Place; has two skating rinks, a toboggan hill and a splas pad
The Kanata Leisure Centre and Wave Pool, 70 Aird Place
The Brookstreet Hotel, 525 Legget Drive
The Kanata Centrum Power Centre; together with adjacent developments, Ottawa’s third largest shopping centre
The Royal Canadian Legion’s national headquarters, located near the Kanata Leisure Centre and the bridge over Hwy. 417 which links Castlefrank Road and Kanata Avenue. The Department of National Defence named the Valour Bridge on 1 December 2006, in an official naming ceremony to honour Canada’s Armed Forces.
Ron Maslin Playhouse, 1 Ron Maslin Place. The 350-seat theatre was completed in 1996, and was funded by an all-volunteer theatre company which was founded in 1968 in the homes of original Kanata residents and enthusiasts of live theatre.
Bell Sensplex, 1565 Maple Grove Road. Houses four ice rinks (three NHL sized and one Olympic sized), an indoor soccer pitch, Stanley’s restaurant, several meeting rooms, and Peak Centre for Performance.
Landmark Cinemas Kanata 24, located in the Kanata Centrum, the largest movie theatre in Ottawa (formerly AMC Kanata 24 and Empire Theatres Kanata 24).
Jack Charron Arena (formerly The Glen Cairn Arena) located on Castlefrank Road at McKitrick Drive
Hazeldean Branch – Ottawa Public Library
Glen Cairn Tennis Courts – Four hard-courts plus a practice wall with a clubhouse.
Hazeldean Mall – indoor shopping mall bounded by Hazeldean Road, Eagleson Road, Carbrooke Street and Abbeyhill Drive
Tanger Outlet Mall – a large shopping complex across from Highway 417, Canadian Tire Centre and Palladium Auto Park which opened in October 2014
Kanata is home to the Ottawa Senators professional ice hockey team, who play at Canadian Tire Centre. A women’s Ottawa Senators team plays at the Bell Sensplex. The annual Bell Capital Cup youth minor amateur ice hockey tournament is held at the Sensplex during the Christmas holiday break. The kanata Lasers, formally known as the Kanata Stallions (and Valley Lasers), is the junior team that plays at the Kanata Recreational Complex. The Kanata Soccer Club is the largest sports club in Kanata and the second largest in the city with close to 4,500 players. The Kanata Rhythmic Gymnastics Club is the largest rhythmic gymnastics club in Ontario, and was founded by Head Coach Dasa Lelli in 1975. Following the first rhythmic gymnastics club, Olympia Gymnastics, the first artistic gymnastics and recreational centre in the area, was founded in 2005 on Iber Road.
Kanata is also home to the Kanata Knights football club who is one out of the 16 teams currently playing in the National Capital Amateur Football Association (NCAFA) the knights play and practice at Robert Barr field on 573 Hazeldean Rd. The Kanata Knights are very well known for a local rivalry between the Bell Warriors, West-Carleton Wolverines and many more other sports franchises.
Arts groups in Kanata include the Kanata Symphony, Kanata Civic Art Gallery and Kanata Theatre.
Beaverbook is the first and oldest residential neighbourhood in Kanata. The area was an agricultural part of March Township until the 1960s when developer and planner Bill Teron set about creating a planned Garden City community. The first street to be developed was Tiffany Crescent in 1964. John Mlacak, who was the reeve of March Township from 1968 to 1976, helped lead the development of Kanata during the 1970s, 1980s and onward. The city centre didn’t grow as he had originally planned, but eventually with its residences, hi-tech businesses, and commercial services, in 1978 it was incorporated as the City of Kanata. Beaverbrook is named after Sir Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook.
Earl of March Secondary School
Stephen Leacock Public School
W. Erskine Johnston Public School
Roland Michener Public School
Georges Vanier Catholic School
Bridlewood is located east of Eagleson Road, south and west of the National Capital Commission Greenbelt, and north of Hope Side Road. This community is located in the southeast part of the former city of Kanata and is 12 KM from the boundary of pre-amalgamation Ottawa proper.
Bridlewood began to develop as a residential area in the 1980s in the northern part of the community. Previous to that, the land was used for agricultural purposes. Bill Teron spurred development with his purchase of agricultural land in order to create a model community that subsequently evolved into Kanata.
Most of the land that became Bridlewood was originally part of the Deevy farm, in the Township of Nepean. On January 1, 1978, Bridlewood was amalgamated into the new City of Kanata. The farmhouse and barn remained in the centre of the community just off Equestrian Drive until it was demolished in 2013.
In the early 1970s, Ontario Hydro installed a hydro line corridor through what would become the community, and in 1989 the voltage of the hydro lines was increased from a single 230 kV line to two (i.e., twin) towers with 500 kV lines. The Bridlewood Residents Hydro Line Committee (now defunct) opposed this change, citing concerns for children’s health when exposed to electromagnetic radiation. The BRHLC’s struggle received national media attention, including by CTV’s W5 and CBC’s The Journal.
According to the Canada 2006 Census, there were 19,167 people living in Bridlewood. The 2011 Census reported 21,247 people living in Bridlewood. According to the Canada 2016 Census, 24,400 people were reported living in Bridlewood.
The Bridlewood Community Association (BCA) serves not only Bridlewood but the adjacent community of Emerald Meadows. The BCA deals with various community matters including sports, outdoor hockey rinks, garage sales, safety and security, business networking, traffic volume concerns, and developer and zoning activity.
For several years, the neighbourhood has been plagued by a significant traffic congestion problem, particularly on the main street, Stonehaven Drive, which bore the vast majority of the traffic getting out onto Eagleson Road to the west and Richmond Road to the east. Due to the presence of four schools along Stonehaven Drive, that Richmond Road is two-lanes wide (though planned to be widened to four lanes in the future), the lack of other streets exiting the community, the street layouts which consists of numerous crescent or P-shaped streets and connectors all funneling onto Stonehaven, infrequent transit service (OC Transpo Routes 61, 66 (both express routes), 164 (a peak-only route on Hope Side Road) and local route 168 been the main routes of the community) as well as a higher population density (as there are numerous townhouses, row houses and condos), commuters often took as much as 25 minutes to exit the community during morning rush hour.
Sports participation is significant in Bridlewood. The BCA estimates participance of over 800 children for the 2007 soccer program. Bridlewood is a community participant in the True Sport movement, which is a Canadian program espousing goals of ensuring positive and meaningful experiences for sport participants.
W.O Mitchell Elementary School
Bridlewood Community Elementary School
Roch Carrier Elementary School
St. James Catholic School
St. Anne Catholic School
New public French language elementary school “École élémentaire publique Kanata-Sud” was opened in September 2010.
There are three strip malls in this community:
Located at 701 Eagleson Road.
Bridlewood Animal Hospital
Big Bone BBQ
Hair Tech (Hair Salon) Formerly known as Hair Tech 2000
Kanata Music Academy
Located at 700 Eagleson Rd.
The Beer Store
Bridlewood Chiropractic and Massage Therapy (Moved to 320 Eagleson Rd)
Bridlewood Home Hardware
First Choice Haircutters
Kanata Dental Centre
Shoppers Drug Mart
TD Canada Trust
Located at 62 Stonehaven Dr.
Black Belt Excellence Martial Arts
Bridlewood Medical Centre
Gabriel Pizza and Italian Restaurant
Population Hair Salon
The Works (Gourmet Burger Bistro)
Glen Cairn is located north of the Trans-Canada Trail, south of Hazeldean Road, west of Eagleson Road, and east of Terry Fox Drive. Castlefrank Road is the principle arterial road travelling through the community. Other main roads include Abbeyhill Drive, Winchester Drive, and Rothesay Drive.
Glen Cairn is home to one of Kanata’s oldest high schools, A. Y. Jackson Secondary School (Ottawa, Ontario) and is the only public high school in Kanata South. Elementary Schools in Glen Cairn include Glen Cairn Public School, John Young Public School, and St. Martin de Porres Catholic School. An outdoor swimming pool, Jack Charron Arena, Glen Cairn Tennis Courts, the Hazeldean Mall, and the Ottawa Public Library’s Hazeldean branch are also located in the neighbourhood. The community churches include Holy Redeemer Catholic, Glen Cairn United, and the Kanata Community Christian Reform. The Jack Charron Arena also houses the Kanata Sports Club; the Kanata Hazeldean Lions Club building is located on Castlefrank Road.
OC Transpo is the provider of public service in the community. Express route 62 provides peak period service downtown. Route 161 and route 164 provide direct access to Kanata Centrum at Terry Fox Station (route 161 during the day on weekdays; route 164 during evenings and on weekends). Route 96 and route 118 are available on nearby Hazeldean Road.
Kanata Lakes’ main street is Kanata Avenue, which runs over the Queensway into the neighbourhoods of Katimavik-Hazeldean and Glen Cairn where it becomes Castlefrank Road. Kanata Avenue has four major side roads: Knudson Drive, Walden Drive, Goldridge Drive, Goulbourn Forced Road and Campeau Drive.
The area that is today Kanata Lakes was originally part of the Township of March, and was first settled by Europeans in the early nineteenth century. One site dating from this era is Pinhey’s Point. It remained mainly agricultural until the 1960s when it became the site of heavy development. Modern Kanata is largely the creation of Bill Teron, a developer and urban planner who purchased 4,000 acres (16 km2) of rural land and set about building a model community: “A Garden City”. The lands around the Kanata Lakes Golf & Country Club formed the initial core of Kanata Lakes when it was developed years later.
Currently the KNL consortium, consisting of Urbandale and Richcraft, as well as Uniform and Cardel, are clear-cutting two square kilometres of the Beaver Pond Forest to facilitate further development of Kanata Lakes.
Kanata Lakes has several sports associations with regular activities, the most visible being the large golf clubs (one of them right in the middle of the town), the sailing club and the bicycle club. There is also Kanata Soccer, March Kanata Tennis Club, Kanata Blazers minor hockey, Kanata Rangers Girls Hockey, Kanata Knights Football, and March Kanata figure skating club.
Arts groups in Kanata Lakes include the Kanata Symphony, Kanata Art Club, and Kanata Theatre.
All Saints Catholic High School
St. Gabriel School
By 1866, Hazeldean was a small post village with a population of about 50, in the Township of Goulbourn. The village contained one general store; one common school, with an average attendance of twenty-four pupils; and one church, used in common by the Church of England, Presbyterians, and Wesleyan Methodists.
The Campeau Corporation started development of the Chimo Drive neighbourhood between Katimavik and Kakulu roads in the early-mid 1970s, based on the garden-city style implemented by Bill Teron in Beaverbrook on the opposite side of the highway. Numerous developers followed Campeau’s lead, progressively developing the area west of Castlefrank Road and the area between Kakulu and Hazeldean roads (annexed to Kanata from Goulbourn Township) in a sympathetic style in the 1980s and early 1990s.
The area between Katimavik Road and the highway was intended to be part of the Kanata Town Centre and originally zoned for light commercial/industrial and later high-density residential. Much of that area was rezoned for medium-density residential, and a number of townhouse and detached-single developments were built on that land in the 1990s.
As in other parts of Kanata, most streets are named according to neighbourhood themes: In the northeast section, Arctic explorers; in the southeast section, Canadian broadcasters and entertainers; in the west section, Canadian inventors; and in the former Town Centre lands north of Katimavik Road, Ontario premiers and lieutenant governors. The community was named “Katimavik”, in 1972 by 12 year old Kanata resident Corinne Friesen was the result of a local area contest. “Katimavik” means “Gathering Place”.
Beginning in the late 1980s, the area between Terry Fox Drive and the Carp River has slowly filled with small office buildings, research and development facilities, and big-box stores, with some parcels still awaiting development. The southern half of those lands has been developed as a large multi-use sports facility (Walter Baker Park), including the Kanata Recreation Centre and Ron Masilin Playhouse.
There is also a small light-industrial area in the extreme southwest corner, home to a number of automotive businesses along Edgewater Street and restaurants facing Walter Baker Park across Terry Fox Drive.
The Chimo Drive area, in particular, has preserved its original architectural style, remarkable for its wide lots heavily treed with evergreens and birch, pedestrian-friendly globe-style lawn lamps, and no sidewalks. There is a variety of house models of similar style, set well back from the streets, and their earth-toned exteriors and low-pitch roofs contribute to the natural, almost cottage-country feel of this community.
The more recently developed areas between Kakulu Road and Hazeldean Road, and between Castlefrank Road and Terry Fox Drive, are more modern and somewhat higher-density, but also have the lawn lamps and networks of connecting pathways characteristic of neighbourhoods established during the period when a municipal committee existed to uphold Kanata neighbourhood-design standards.
Four elementary schools:
- Katimavik Elementary School (English public, French-immersion)
- Castlefrank Elementary School (English public),
- Holy Redeemer (English Catholic), and
- Roger-Saint-Denis (French Catholic).
Both Katimavik and Roger-Saint-Denis ranked among the top ten schools in Ontario in 2009.
One high school:
Holy Trinity Catholic High School
Three exits offer access to/from Highway 417: 138 (Eagleson Road), 139 (Castlefrank Road/Kanata Avenue, a half-interchange), and 140 (Terry Fox Drive).
Public transit (OC Transpo):
Main service is route 96, connecting to downtown along Castlefrank Road and Katimavik Road, and Eagelson Station. Hazeldean Road and Terry Fox Drive to Katimavik are served by route 118 and Eagleson Road is served by route 164. Express service downtown in rush hour is provided by routes 61 and 62. Additional local service is provided on a limited basis by route 161.
Parks and recreation:
Several large open and wooded areas (including Katimavik Woods, Watts Creek, Cattail Creek, Larsen, Pickford, Irwin Gate, Hewitt, The Escarpment, Hazeldean Woods, Haywood, Sewell, Rowe, Dorey, Stonegate Park, Gesner, Dunlop and Young’s Pond Park), connected by a network of footpaths. Kanata Leisure Complex (with wave pool). Kanata Recreation Complex (arenas), Walter Baker Park toboggan hill, Ron Maslin Playhouse. Outdoor public pool and wading pool at Katimavik Elementary School. Outdoor rinks at Young’s Pond Park and behind Katimavik School are maintained by local users and the Katimavik Hazeldean Community Association.
Kanata Town Centre with shopping and restaurant strips along Hazeldean Road and Terry Fox Drive serve within the community. Along the borders of Katimavik Hazeldean are Kanata Centrum and Hazeldean Mall and strips on the South side of Hazeldean Road Small neighbourhood malls are located on Kakulu Road near Eagleson Road and on Katimavik Road near Terry Fox Drive.
A medical centre (walk-in clinic, multiple specialists, medical laboratory, and pharmacy) is centrally located at Kakulu and Castlefrank roads, and there is a walk-in clinic at Kanata Town Centre. Nearby hospitals: Queensway-Carleton and Carleton Place.
The modern Morgan’s Grant was originally part of the Township of March, and was first settled by Europeans in the early nineteenth century. Development of the area began in the late 1980s with homes around the main streets of Morgan’s Grant Way, Allenby Road, Ipswich Terrace, Halton Terrace and Flamborough Way, leading up to Terry Fox Drive and Monk Environmental Park. Starting in the mid to late 1990s, expansion began by Minto Developments to the north and has since reached up to Old Carp Road.
Jack Donohue Public School
Ecole Elementaire Publique Kanata (Ottawa)
Morgan’s Grant Montessori School (Kanata / Ottawa)
South March Public School (Brookside)