Montreal Road Circuit
This tour covers Montreal Road, the main thoroughfare of Quartier Vanier. Ever since the first pioneers settled in the region, Montreal Road has played a key role in the area’s economic development. At first, it was simply a dirt road over which it was often very difficult to travel, but eventually it made it possible for several important businesses to establish themselves, and allowed the area’s first settlements to grow into villages, such as Janeville and Clandeboye.
In 1869, the Ottawa, Montreal and Russell Consolidated Road Company built a first properly surfaced road section, which stretched five miles from the Rideau river towards Montreal. The area’s inhabitants were incensed, however, because this was a toll road, with a toll gate at both ends. The rate charged to travel over this road depended on the season and on the type of merchandise being transported. The town’s first speed limit was introduced in 1913. Henceforth, it was against the law to allow horses to exceed six miles an hour (10 km/hr.), and the fine was between $10 and $50. The first wooden sidewalks along Montreal Road were replaced in 1919 by sidewalks made of concrete.
Traffic congestion along the main road running through Vanier has always been a problem because of the large number of intersections. The town council introduced parking meters in 1951, to prevent vehicles from remaining too long in the same spot. In the 1970s, the roadway was also made wider. To this day, Montreal Road remains Quartier Vanier’s main artery for economic and business purposes.
The village of Janeville
The Montreal Road tour moves along through the former village of Janeville, which is the oldest part of Quartier Vanier. During the 1820s and the 1830s, a few early pioneers began settling in the area that would later become Vanier. Among them were George Sparks, Clements Bradley, Donald McArthur and Charles Cummings. Back in those days, Junction Gore was the name given to the large section of the township bordering on the Rideau and Ottawa rivers.
The village of Janeville was established around 1873 by a small number of English-speaking pioneer families. In all probability, the village was named after the wife of Donald McArthur, who was the owner of an important piece of land located along the area’s southern border. By the end of the nineteenth century, Janeville had become a prosperous and peaceful suburb of Ottawa, a place where many merchants and public servants had chosen to live.
Although some of the inhabitants had requested that the village be annexed to the city of Ottawa, Janeville was amalgamated with the villages of Clarkstown and Clandeboye, following a decision reached by the government of Ontario, thereby forming the village of Eastview in 1909. Through the intervening years, the former village of Janeville has remained the economic hub of Quartier Vanier, with its many businesses, especially along Montreal Road and McArthur Avenue.
Points of interest of the Montreal Circuit