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Kanata is one of the largest suburbs of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Located about 22 km (14 mi) west-southwest of the city's Downtown, Kanata has a population of 101,760 as of 2011 and is growing rapidly. Before it was amalgamated into Ottawa in 2001, it was one of the fastest growing cities in Canada and the fastest growing community in Eastern Ontario. Located just to the west of the Greenbelt it is one of the largest of several communities that surround central Ottawa. It is a planned community and an important hi-tech centre.
Aerial view of North Kanata, Jan. 2007.
The area that is today Kanata 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 over 3,000 acres (12 km2) 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 their own commercial centres and unique cultures. These include Beaverbrook, Glen Cairn, Bridlewood, Katimavik, Hazeldean, Morgan's Grant, and Kanata Lakes.
The community grew rapidly due to the influx of high 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). 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). As of the 2006 census, the population of Kanata had increased to 85,000, and is now 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, HP, and is now the Gilmore Printing group of companies. Kanata remains home to many of the major hi-tech employers of Ottawa, such as Juniper Networks, Research In Motion, Mitel, March Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, Bridgewater Systems, DragonWave, Solace systems, CounterPath Corporation, Protecode, Dell Canada, HP, Smart Technologies, Norpak, Nortel, MDS Nordion, Breconridge, AMCC, and Cisco Systems, Inc.. 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.
Situated in the Ottawa Valley, Kanata is located about 22 km (14 mi) west-southwest of Downtown Ottawa along Highway 417 at a latitude of 45°18' North and a longitude of 75°55' West, with an area of 139 km2 (54 sq mi). Its northern end is just to the west of the Ottawa River.
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 west 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.
To the south of Kanata is the former village of Richmond, Ontario, which pre-dated what is now the City of Ottawa.
Main neighbourhoods (North to South)
South March: This area of Kanata is located north of the Kanata North Business Park on either side of March Road and is bounded by Terry Fox Drive to the south and the urban boundary, which basically runs along the Old Carp Road to the north. Extensive developments are underway towards the north. The development area along the west side of March Road is commonly referred as Morgan's Grant, while the development area along the east side of March Road can be referred as BriarBrook, BriarRidge and Brookside (depending on what area you were referring to). Many different developers have developed the land along the east side.
Kanata Research Park and Brookstreet Hotel with Marshes Golf Club in foreground
Kanata North Business Park: Frequently referred as Silicon Valley North during the late 1990s, this area is bounded by Terry Fox Drive to the north, Herzberg Road to the east, March Road to the south and Goulbourn Forced Road to the west. Many high-tech companies reside in this area including Xceedium, Alcatel-Lucent, Research In Motion, Dell, Mitel, March Networks, DragonWave, Bridgewater Systems, Solace Systems, CounterPath Corporation, AMD, Entrust, Quake Technologies, Protecode, and Cisco just to name a few. 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.
Marchwood Lakeside : Frequently referred as Kanata Lakes, this area is bounded by Campeau Drive to the south, Knudson Avenue & Weslock Way to the east, Terry Fox Drive to the west and Terry Fox Drive to the north. It has a main arterial street called Kanata Ave. which runs north-south all the way to the 417 (where it then switches to Castlefrank Road that continues south past Glen Cairn). This area has the second of two urban, 18-hole golf courses in Kanata. Unlike the Marshes Golf Course in the Kanata North Business Park, this golf course is not open to the public – members only.
Beaverbrook: Bounded by the Kanata North Business Park to the north, March Road to the east, Campeau Drive to the south and Knudson Avenue & Weslock Way to the west. The first and oldest neighbourhood in Kanata, Beaverbrook is known for its hedged houses and community facilities. Beaverbrook is also home to Canadian businessman Terry Matthews.
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 the AMC 24 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 you venture 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. Scotiabank Place is located in the neighbourhood, as well as many newer big-box stores such as Home Depot, Staples, Canadian Tire and more recently Costco. Many high-tech companies also have recently moved into this area, including BreconRidge (Sanmina-SCI), EMS Satcom and Smart Technologies. 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.
Katimavik-Hazeldean: Bounded by Katimavik Road to the north, Eagleson Road to the east, by Hazeldean Road to the south and Terry Fox Drive, to the west.
Kanata West: A new community under construction situated along the Stittsville/Kanata boundary. Bounded by Maple Grove Road to the north, Hazeldean Road to the south, and Terry Fox Drive to the east, this neighbourhood also contains big-box stores such as Lowe's.
Glen Cairn: Bounded by Hazeldean Road to the north, Eagleson Road to the east, the Trans Canada Trail to the south, and Terry Fox Drive, to the west. Glen Carin features some low income housing, and is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Kanata, along with Beaverbrook.
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.
Bridlewood: Bounded by the National Capital Commission Green Belt to the north and east, Hope Side Road to the south, and Eagleson Road to the west. This area used to be part of the City of Nepean, but was transferred to the new City of Kanata when it was incorporated in 1978. Still under development, there are several residential projects underway in the core and to the south end of Bridlewood. Parts of southern Bridlewood may also be referred to as Emerald Meadows.
Kanata is in the federal and provincial riding of Carleton—Mississippi Mills. Kanata is the largest centre in the riding, with more than half the population being in Kanata. Both federally and provincially, the riding is quite Conservative. Norm Sterling has represented the area for decades in the Ontario legislature. In 2000, the then riding of Lanark—Carleton was one of only two in Ontario to elect a Canadian Alliance Member of Parliament. While the area went Liberal for most of the 1990s, it was easily won by Conservative Gordon O'Connor in 2004, 2006, 2008, and most recently, 2011. O'Connor is the current Minister of State and Chief Government Whip (formerly Minister of National Defence and Minister of National Revenue) in Stephen Harper's cabinet.
On the municipal level, the area has been more centrist. From 1994 to 2000, the area was represented on regional council by Kanata native Alex Munter, then a member of the New Democratic Party. In 2000, Munter was elected as the representative to the new Ottawa City Council. Munter retired in 2003 and was replaced by Peggy Feltmate who, like Munter, was also seen as being one of the more progressive members of council. Redistricting prior to the 2006 Ottawa election has seen Kanata divided into two wards, Kanata North and Kanata South. On November 13, 2006, Alex Munter lost to Larry O'Brien in his bid to be mayor of Ottawa; Feltmate won in the ward of Kanata South; and Marianne Wilkinson, seen as one of the more right-wing, developer-friendly members of council, was elected Councillor of Kanata North.
Notable buildings and institutions
Scotiabank Place, 1000 Palladium Drive. Home arena of the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League and many large concerts. It has also been known as The Palladium (1996), and The Corel Centre (1996–2005). For several years before the merger, the Corel 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 splash 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.
Empire Theatre Kanata 24, located in the Kanata Centrum, the largest movie theatre in Ottawa (formerly AMC Kanata 24).
The Kanata Kourier-Standard newspaper covers issues and events in Kanata. The newspaper is the result of a merge between two longtime community newspapers — the Kanata Kourier which was launched in 1983 by Alex Munter and the Kanata Standard which was launched in 1965 by Kanata's community association.
Kanata is home to the Ottawa Senators professional ice hockey team. The Senators play at Scotiabank Place. 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 Stallions junior team 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.