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1850 map of Eastern Ontario showing Dalhousie District, having boundaries congruent with Carleton County

Carleton County is the name of a historic county in Ontario, Canada. In 1969, it was superseded by the Regional Municipality of Ottawa–Carleton. In 2001, the Regional Municipality and its eleven local municipalities (including Ottawa) were replaced by the current City of Ottawa.



Upon the creation of the Johnston District in 1800, Carleton County, named after Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester, was created from portions of Dundas and Grenville counties, comprising the following territory:

... the township of Nepean, with the tract of land to be hereafter laid out into townships, between Nepean and a line drawn north fifteen degrees from the north-west angle of the township of Crosby, until it intersects the Ottawa River, with such of the islands in the said river as are wholly, or in greater part opposite thereto...[1]

In 1824, upon the creation of Bathurst District (with its judicial seat at Perth), Carleton was withdrawn from Johnstown District and divided into two counties, so that its constituent townships were distributed as follows:[2]

Counties comprising Bathurst District (1824)
Carleton Lanark
  • Nepean
  • Goulbourne
  • Huntley
  • March
  • Pakenham
  • Fitzroy
  • Tarbolton

together with such Islands in the Ottawa River as are wholly or in greater part opposite thereto

  • Bathurst
  • Drummond
  • Beckwith
  • Dalhousie
  • Lanark
  • Ramsay
  • Darling
  • Levant
  • North Sherbrooke
  • South Sherbrooke

together with all the unsurveyed lands within the District of Bathurst, and such Islands in the Ottawa River as are wholly or in greater part opposite to the said townships and unsurveyed land

In 1838, Carleton was withdrawn from Bathurst District to form Dalhousie District, its judicial seat at Bytown, with the following territorial adjustments:[3]

  1. Pakenham township was transferred to the new Renfrew County
  2. North Gower and Marlborough townships were added from Johnstown District
  3. Gloucester and Osgoode townships were added from Ottawa District

Effective January 1, 1850, as a consequence of the passage of the Baldwin Act,[4] Dalhousie District was abolished, and Carleton replaced it for municipal and judicial purposes. It consisted of the following townships:

Counties comprising Bathurst District (1824)
Township Area Opened Settled Incorporated Principal settlements Description
Fitzroy 60,518 acres (94.6 sq mi; 244.9 km2) 1823 Galetta, Mohr Corners, Fitzroy Harbour, Kinburn, Antrim, Marathon, Panmure Surveyed in 1821. It was named in honour of Sir Charles Augustus Fitzroy, soldier and Governor of New South Wales, who married Lady Mary Lennox, daughter of Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond.
Gloucester 84,267 acres (131.7 sq mi; 341.0 km2) 1798 1850 South Gloucester, Blackburn Hamlet, Orleans Named after Prince William Frederick, second Duke of Gloucester.
Goulbourn 65,447 acres (102.3 sq mi; 264.9 km2) 1818 Stittsville, Munster, Richmond Settled by veterans of the 99th and 100th Regiments of the line disbanded at Quebec who established headquarters at Richmond. Township was named after Henry Goulburn, Undersecretary of State for War and the Colonies from 1812 to 1826.
Huntley 62,616 acres (97.8 sq mi; 253.4 km2) 1823 Huntley, Carp, Corkery, Powell Named after Huntly Castle, associated with Charlotte Lennox, wife of the Duke of Richmond.
March 26,157 acres (40.9 sq mi; 105.9 km2) 1823 Dunrobin, Marchhurst, South March Named in honour of the Duke of Richmond, who held the subsidiary title of Earl of March.
Marlborough 56,817 acres (88.8 sq mi; 229.9 km2) 1798 1850 Malakoff, Bridgeview and Dwyer Hill Named after John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough.
Nepean 55,496 acres (86.7 sq mi; 224.6 km2) 1798 1810 Ottawa, Jockvale, Fallowfield, Bell's Corners First settled by Ira Honeywell, son of Rice Honeywell of Prescott. Named in honour of Sir Evan Nepean, British Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department from 1782 to 1791.
North Gower 36,610 acres (57.2 sq mi; 148.2 km2) North Gower, Kars, Manotick Named after Admiral John Leveson-Gower, Lord of the Admiralty from 1783 to 1789.[5]
Osgoode 91,342 acres (142.7 sq mi; 369.6 km2) 1798 1826 1850 Osgoode, Metcalfe Named after William Osgoode, the first Chief Justice of Upper Canada.
Torbolton 25,812 acres (40.3 sq mi; 104.5 km2) 1823 Torbolton, Dunrobin, Dirleton, Kilmaurs, Woodlawn Named after the village of Tarbolton in Ayrshire, Scotland. Lord Torbolton was one of the subsidiary titles of the Duke of Richmond.[6]


  • Also in 1850, all of the townships of Carleton County were incorporated (see list above). Bytown was incorporated as a town, and Richmond became a village.
  • In 1855 Bytown was renamed Ottawa and became a city.
  • In 1867 New Edinburgh was incorporated as a village and 20 years later was annexed by Ottawa.
  • In 1888 Ottawa East was incorporated as a village and would later be annexed by Ottawa.
  • In 1893 Hintonburg was incorporated as a village. It would be annexed 14 years later by Ottawa.
  • In 1898 Metcalfe was incorporated as a police village.
  • In 1903 Manotick was incorporated as a police village.
  • In 1905 Rideauville, Westboro and North Gower were incorporated as police villages. Rideauville was annexed by Ottawa two years later, and Westboro was annexed in 1949.
  • In 1908 Rockcliffe Park was incorporated as a police village, while Janeville was incorporated as a village. Janeville would be incorporated as a town in 1913 as the Town of Eastview, while Rockcliffe Park became a full village in 1925.
  • In 1910 Kenmore and Osgoode Station were incorporated as police villages.
  • In 1912 Ottawa West was incorporated as a police village and would be annexed by Ottawa in 1949.
  • In 1922 Overbrook and St. Joseph d'Orleans were incorporated as police villages. Overbrook was annexed by Ottawa in 1950.
  • In 1939 Hampton Park was incorporated as a police village. It would be annexed by Ottawa ten years later.
  • In 1955 City View was incorporated as a police village.
  • In 1956 Stittsville was incorporated as a police village. Five years later Stittsville became a full village.
  • In 1963 Eastview (now Vanier) became a city.
  • In June 1968, the County, together with Ottawa and the Township of Cumberland that was withdrawn from Russell County, became the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ An act for the better division of this province, S.U.C. 1798, c. 5
  2. ^ An Act to divide the County of Carleton, in the District of Bathurst, S.U.C. 1824, c. 5
  3. ^ An Act to erect certain townships now forming parts of the Districts of Bathurst, Johnstown and Ottawa, into a separate District, to be called the District of Dalhousie, and for other purposes therein mentioned, S.U.C. 1838, c. 25
  4. ^ An Act for abolishing the Territorial Division of Upper-Canada into Districts, and for providing temporary Unions of Counties for Judicial and other purposes, and for the future dissolutions of such Unions, as the increase of wealth and population may require, S.Prov.C. 1849, c. 78, Sch. B
  5. ^ Turcotte, Bobbi (May 29, 1985). "North Gower". Ottawa Citizen. pp. B8. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Courageous settlers first located in Carleton back in 1818". Ottawa Citizen. Apr 28, 1953. pp. A20. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  7. ^ The Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Act, 1968, S.O. 1968, c. 115

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