Community History

Kanata is rich in history and scenic splendor. The name “Kanata” originates from a Huron-Iroquois word meaning “meeting place” or “come together”. The overall community design philosophy in Kanata emphasizes the compatible interrelationship of employment lands and the surrounding residential communities. Each community, (Beaverbrook, Town Center, Kanata Lakes, South March, Katimavik-Hazeldean, Glen Cairn, Bridlewood, and Rural Kanata) offers a quality of life second to none for your family to enjoy.

Glen Cairn was envisioned as Canada’s Centennial City

The development of Glen Cairn is described in the book Glen Cairn 1964-2004: “By the end of the 1950s, land speculators had begun to buy up farms bordering on the south side of Highway #7 in Hazeldean … five farms together make up the 600 acres which formed the original boundary of Glen Cairn. The Hazeldean farmland ended up in the possession of Valley Land Development, a consortium of 10 small builders who pooled their resources to jointly develop this large tract of land. In August 1962, Valley Land received approval to have the agricultural land rezoned for the $37-million development of its Glen Cairn subdivision. William Connelly was one of the original builders … joined the project in 1963 and quickly emerged as the driving force that turned the plan into reality. Many of the original members of Valley Land Development constructed a few homes and then dropped out. William Connelly became THE developer of Glen Cairn.

90,000 attend Glen Cairn’s Inauguration – The date was Aug 22, 1963 … the inauguration of Glen Cairn, “Canada’s Centennial City”, which promised to be home to 10,000 people by 1967 … was billed as “the most advanced community in Canada” … underground wiring, oil piped directly into their homes and co-axial cable … curved roads to slow down traffic, a community centre and outdoor pool … and schools located in each of the three planned neighbourhoods … OMB originally dictated that any development outside the Greenbelt should not contain any multiple housing units … So Glen Cairn was zoned for single family homes. Connelly never reached his goal of having 10,000 people living in Glen Cairn by 1967. In fact, development stalled in the late 1960s for almost three years while the developer, Council and the community fought over bringing multiple housing to Glen Cairn. The multiple housing proponents won. Glen Cairn’s first residents began moving into their new homes in the spring of 1964.

The second phase of development in Glen Cairn is described in a newspaper ad by the Ontario Housing Corporation who had purchased the land from Valley Land Development (Ottawa) Limited in 1974: “Ontario Housing Corporation’s Glen Cairn Community is being developed under the Home Ownership Made Easy (H.O.M.E.) Plan lot-leasing program whereby OHC allocates parcels of serviced lots to builders who construct homes for sale within price restraints set by the Corporation. A family buys the lot directly from the builder, but leases the land from OHC, on an arrangement which results in low down payments. Now being offered for sale are 375 dwellings; 125 detached and 250 semi-detached houses in the second phase of Glen Cairn … completion is scheduled for this year. Builders: Costain Estates Limited, Ottawa 60 semi-detached, W.G Connelly Construction Ltd, Ottawa 40 semi-detached; Minto Construction Ltd, Ottawa 7 detached and 122 semi-detached; P. Mousseau Construction Ltd, Sudbury 75 detached and 6 semi-detached 2 storey; Pineglen Construction Ltd, Ottawa 43 detached and 16 semi-detached bungalows.

The rest of Glen Cairn was developed from 1984 on. In 1988 the Housing Coop (now Connelly Place) was built on the swamp at the west end of Castlefrank Road after the Ontario Municiapl Board overruled the City of Kanata decision to not build. In 1996 Westcreek Estates homes were built on the floodplain on the west corner of Terry Fox Drive and Hazeldean Road. The Terry Fox entrance to these homes is lower than the road level. In 2002/2003 the Castle Glen subdivision was built on the remaining part of the swamp (again the City was overruled by the OMB), the land was raised and Castlefrank Road was extended to Terry Fox Drive. Glen Cairn has no additional land available for development on the east side of Terry Fox Drive and is now a stable community providing many starter homes for young families.

In a setting that actively fosters business opportunities, it is not surprising that Kanata is one of the fastest growing cities within the region. In fact, income and educational levels of Kanata residents are above the Regional and Provincial Standards.

In addition to our clean, convenient shopping malls and boutiques, the professional and hi-tech businesses also enjoy the unique selection of three major business campuses. Our business communities: Terry Fox, Kanata North and Kanata South Business Parks, are all within 5 minutes of the Queen’s Highway system giving you immediate access to your waiting customers.