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Carleton Place History


Carleton Place was first settled in 1819 when Britain actively promoted immigration to Canada in an effort to populate and create British Colonies and to secure it’s military foothold in the area (as opposed to the USA). The Morphy and Moore families were among the first to arrive. Edmond Morphy chose a site adjacent to the waterfall with the intension of harnessing the power created by the 30’ drop to provide much needed power for his grist mill. He built a mill there and was the first of many such textile and lumber industries to reside in the area. On Sept 19, 1819 the settlement became known as Morphy's Falls. In 1829, the area was renamed Carleton Place, after a famous square in Glasgow, Scotland.  It formally became a village in 1870 when a post office was constructed and a town in 1890. The community's economic growth was enabled by the construction of railway lines from Brockville and Ottawa later in the century. The town was also renowned for its local beauty and lake access which led to the development of the Ottawa Valley Canoe Association in 1893 which still exists today as the Carleton Place Canoe Club. The town received further recognition when a World War One fighter pilot, and town resident, Captain Arthur Roy Brown, made history by shooting down the Red Baron.


At the turn of the century both textile and lumber mills flourished in Carleton Place. "The Findlay Foundry" founded and operated in Carleton Place from the 1860s to 1974 fabricated cast iron cookware and cook and woodstoves. The Findley Oval and some of the early and more popular designs created by Findley Foundry are still being made today. The remaining historic mills currently house condominiums and office and storage for some of Carleton Place’s businesses.

Recent Developments

As a result of the population growth in Carleton Place and area, Highway 7 has been in the process of expanding from two lanes to four as it will allow better traffic flow to and from Ottawa during rush hour periods. Construction has been completed and the project has delivered as promised.

The Highway 7 expansion has created a rapid expansion of retail stores in Carleton Place, mainly concentrated along McNeely Ave/Hwy 7 corridor. New additions include Walmart, Home Depot, Busters Bar and Grill, Bulk Barn and a new location for Giant Tiger. Other retailers like the LCBO have moved operations out to the busy intersection.  In addition to this retail development, housing projects along Mississippi Road in the south, Quarry Road in the Northwest, and along both sides of McNeely Road have become more noticeable in recent years. Several new high-rise condominiums are also under construction: one located along a new main thoroughfare, Coleman Street, another for seniors along McNeely, and a more pricey condominium project slated to begin construction downtown on scenic McArthur Island sometime in 2012.

Attempts to revive the downtown has seen some limited successes of late. Several key historical buildings have seen renovations, most notably would be the move of Moore House to its new home downtown, across the street from the Town Hall; it serves as a tourist center as well as a museum dedicated to Roy Brown. The sidewalks and facades have also seen work redone, as well as heritage murals, repainted, to display former businesses that used to reside along Main Street. A parallel access route, Beckwith Street, is in the process of being rebuilt and repaved to better help with traffic congestion downtown; Main Street saw a similar, much-needed renovation during 2010.

The old Canadian Tire, which was situated at the corner of Beckwith and Lake Ave. East, was demolished in June of 2011, along with an old house and commercial building. This comes after ten-plus years of municipal legal issues regarding the condition of the land, which has recently been determined to be contaminated. Most of the land will become a parking lot to not only ease the congestion of the downtown core but to provide a permanent location for the local Farmer's Market. A small building will also be erected on the old Canadian Tire location and will provide retail and residential opportunities.

Local Attractions

Some of the attractions of Carleton Place and surrounding area include a wide array of local parks, the Carleton Place Dragon Boat Festival, Morphy's Falls Heritage Festival, Victoria School Museum, and the Veteran's Hall of Valour. Most notable is the Carleton Place Canoe Club. Founded in 1893, it is the oldest canoe club in Canada. It is Carleton Place’s most successful and longest lasting sports facility.  The Bridge Street Bazaar, formerly known as Mississippi River Days, occurs on the last weekend of July and the start of August, and has succeeded as the one permanent festival known by most local citizens.

Notable Residents


According to the 2006 Statistics Canada Census:

  • Population: 9,453
  • % Change (2001–2006): 4.1
  • Dwellings: 3,832
  • Area: 8.83 km2 (3.41 sq mi)
  • Density (persons per km².): 1,070


The Upper Canada District School Board manages public education in Carleton Place and Lanark County, while the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario is in charge of schools teaching the Catholic curriculum. Following is a list of schools in the Carleton Place area:

  • Arklan Community Public School
  • Beckwith Public School (located in the Township of Beckwith)
  • Caldwell Street Public School
  • Calvary Christian Academy (located in the Township of Beckwith)
  • Carambeck Public School
  • Carleton Place High School
  • École Catholique J.L. Couroux (French Catholic)
  • Mississippi School for the Arts (private high school)
  • Notre Dame Catholic High School
  • St. Mary's Catholic School
  • St. Gregory's Catholic School
  • Victoria School Museum
  • T R Leger Alternative

The Mississippi

  • The Mississippi was the major artery for the lumber industry
  • Log drives down the Mississippi ended at the turn of the century
  • From the 1860s to 1920s, the River was used by steamboat operations for industrial towing and pleasure cruising – these activities spawned more festivities such as regattas, picnics and entertainment by the town band
  • Throughout its history, the Mississippi River has made Carleton Place an attractive place to settle, and it continues to draw people here today for its beauty, commerce & way of life.


  • Carleton Place made its international mark with iron foundries – in the 1840s, Samuel Fuller established the first foundry, then David Findlay began the Findlay Stove Company in 1862
  • Robert Bell, a prominent Carleton Place citizen, was elected to Parliament in 1854 and played a major role in local and district community improvement initiatives
  • Prolific writer Leslie McFarlane was born in Carleton Place in 1902 – he authored many original Hardy Boys books under the pen name of Franklin W. Dixon
  • Carleton Place was the home of Captain Arthur Roy Brown – World War One flying ace recognized for shooting down the German Flying Ace Baron Manfred von Richthofen (The Red Baron)
  • Carleton Place is home to remarkable heritage architecture such as the Richardson Romanesque structure, now the Town Hall

The Town is home to the country’s oldest, continually operating canoe club – conceived in 1893 as the Ottawa Valley Canoe Association – Carleton Place Canoe Club is the only surviving charter member of the association, and the oldest existing sprint racing club in Canada!

Carleton Place Dragon Boat Festive

Carleton Place Real Estate

With the development of the early settlement came the construction of homes to accommodate those families. Many of those original homes still remain today. Large brick and stone homes line High St, Carleton Place’s most prestigious homes of years gone by. The street follows on the north shore of the Mississippi River and was once lined by majestic elms trees but the Dutch Elm disease of 1980’s reduced most of them to sawdust. Carleton Place Real Estate has developed at a steady pace from the inception of the town itself. Like most settler towns of the mid to late 1800’s the fist homes were built close to the factories and a few farms surrounded the town itself. As the town expanded and new homes were built to accommodate the growing population new development took place in all directions. Today Carleton Place Real Estate is pushing the boundaries of the town itself.  Bordered by Beckwith Township to the south and Mississippi Mills to the North Carleton Place will have to consider annexation if it hopes to sustain the same level of growth in the future. Another potential shortcoming on Carleton Place Real Estate is a shortage of affordable rental units for both old and new residents. There are currently no apartments over 3 stories so most of the development has taken place at the expense of land. There is however a decent number of rural lots available for new home construction and residential development in the previously mentioned townships of Beckwith and Mississippi Mills. These lots typically offer 1.5+ acres of land but must be serviced by well and septic. There are a number of builders in the area offering turnkey New Home Construction for those looking for a little more space and privacy then Carleton Place Real Estate can offer.

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