Aylmer, Quebec

Aylmer, Quebec

Infobox Settlement
name = Aylmer, Quebec
settlement_type = Borough *
official_name = Borough of Aylmer
native_name =
nickname =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = CAN
subdivision_type1 = Province
subdivision_name1 = QC
subdivision_type2 = Region
subdivision_name2 = Outaouais
subdivision_type3 = RCM
subdivision_name3 = Gatineau
government_type =
established_title = Incorporated
established_date = 01 Jul, 1855
established_title1 = Merged
established_date1 = 01 Jan, 2002
area_magnitude =
unit_pref =
area_footnotes =
area_total_km2 =
area_land_km2 = 88.96
area_water_km2 =
area_total_sq_mi =
area_land_sq_mi =
area_water_sq_mi =
area_water_percent =
area_urban_km2 =
area_urban_sq_mi =
area_metro_km2 =
area_metro_sq_mi =
population_as_of = 2001
population_footnotes =
Last census before 2002 merger
population_note =
population_total = 36085
population_density_km2 = 405.6
population_density_sq_mi =
population_urban =
population_density_urban_km2 =
population_density_urban_sq_mi =
population_blank1_title =Change ~1996
population_blank1 = +3.4%
population_blank2_title =Dwellings
population_blank2 = 13331
population_density_blank1_km2 = |population_density_blank1_sq_mi =
timezone = EST
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST =
utc_offset_DST =
coor_type =
latd=45 |latm=24 |lats=00 |latNS=N
longd=75 |longm=51 |longs=00 |longEW=W
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m =
elevation_ft =
postal_code_type =
postal_code =
area_code =819
blank_name =Access Routes
blank_info = jct|state=QC|QC|148
blank1_name =
blank1_info =
website =
footnotes = * Merged with Gatineau on January 01, 2002

Aylmer is a former city of Quebec that on January 1, 2002 became a western sector of Gatineau, Canada. It is located on the Ottawa River and Route 148. Population (2006): 41 882 — approx. 16% of Gatineau. It is named after Lord Aylmer, who was a Governor General of British North America and a Lieutenant Governor of Lower Canada from 1830 to 1835. It remains primarily a suburb of Gatineau and Ottawa.

It bills itself the "Recreation Capital of the National Capital" given its many golf courses, green spaces, spas, marina and bicycle paths. There is little industry in the sector, the area being mainly a residential area. Virtually, all the major shops, services and restaurants are located along Chemin d'Aylmer. The sector's newly-opened swimming pool and in progress skateboard park are also located on that road.

Aylmer's population is about 40% anglophone and 60% francophone; much of its workforce commutes across the river to Ottawa. As such it tends to be a very federalist area, with much of the population being bilingual.


Prior to its foundation, Aylmer, much like most surrounding areas of the Ottawa region was occupied by the Algonquin First Nation population. The first explorers to reached the actual location of Aylmer where Nicolas-du-Vigneau and Samuel de Champlain during the early 17th century when they continued exploration for new lands west of Quebec City. It was only during the early 19th century, that colonization began in the region during the same period then the foundations of Hull and Bytown. Agricultural lots were given to Loyalists from Massachusetts in the early 19th century and Charles Symmes was among the first developers of the area. The post office and county registration office were opened in 1831 in Aylmer in which it was named after then governor general M.W. Aylmer. The village was incorporated in 1847. [http://www.ville.gatineau.qc.ca/Archives/AylmerHis.pdf]

During most of the 19th century, Aylmer like much of the Outaouais was an important center for the wood industry and during that period several steam boats were built alongside the Deschenes Rapids and the Ottawa River across from Britannia. Railroad construction during the early Canadian Confederation years and the economy of Aylmer was more focused on the wood and wood pulp industries and later on tourism. In 1921, a destructive fire ravaged large sections of the village destroying dozens of homes and businesses and during the Great Depression its biggest sawmill closed its doors. [http://www.ville.gatineau.qc.ca/Archives/AylmerHis.pdf]

Aylmer would regain importance during the second half of the 20th century when due to urban sprawling from the Ottawa and Gatineau areas became an important suburb to the region. In, 1975 the villages of Lucerne and Deschenes located just east of downtown Aylmer were amalgamated. Several new residential developments were created on the northern and eastern side of old Aylmer and numerous businesses and shopping malls were built along the Main Street including les Galeries D'Aylmer and the Glenwood Plaza, the latter being destroyed by a fire in 2005. In addition, several golf courses, a Sheraton hotel, a movie theater and a horsing race track were added through the city. On August 4, 1994, a destructive tornado tore through the city damaging nearly 400 to 500 homes (including a dozen homes that were completely destroyed) and injuring at least 15 people. Damage figures were estimated at about $15 million. [http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/res/em/nh/to/to-sig-eng.aspx] Rated F3 on the Fujita scale, the tornado tracked for 8 kilometers and was one of the most intense tornadoes in history across the National Capital Region. [http://www.amateurradio.ca/DL16%20Canadian%20Disasters.doc]

Before the amalgamation of the Urban Community Region of the Outaouais, Aylmer had a population exceeding 40 000 with additional growth after 2002 stemming from developments in several areas of the sector including the expansion of the Le Plateau de la Capitale neighborhood which started in the former city of Hull in the early 1990s.


Roads and Recreational Pathways

Aylmer is served by provincial Route 148, known as the Boulevard des Allumetières within city of Gatineau, which extends from Shawville where it becomes the 301, to Montreal, about two hours away.Other main roads include the Chemin d'Aylmer/rue Principale, Lucerne Blvd., Vanier, Eardley, Broad/Klock, Wilfrid-Lavigne, Mountain Rd., Pink Rd.Aylmer is connected to Tunney's Pasture and Westboro in Ottawa by the Champlain Bridge, at the southeast corner.

It has been proposed to build an extension from Autoroute 50 in Gatineau that would come though Chelsea and central Aylmer to become a bridge between Deschênes and Brittania, but the plan is only tentative, mainly due to strong local opposition from the Brittania sector.

Aylmer is home to an effective and generally well-maintained network of bicycle paths that encircle the central portion of the sector and run past many scenic locations, such as the Aylmer Marina and the Deschênes Rapids. The bike path system is maintained by the National Capital Commission.

Public Transit

Public transit is provided by the Société de transport de l'Outaouais or STO, which runs twelve bus lines through the sector (although many only during rush hour). The STO has been criticized by Aylmer residents -- particularly youth -- for not providing enough service to the area, and for not providing enough inter-sector bus lines (the eastern terminus for most Aylmer lines in the Rideau Centre in downtown Ottawa). The STO is planning a bus rapid transit system known as Rapibus that would connect the Hull and Gatineau sectors, with the possibility of an expansion to Aylmer.

The railroad bedding still exists from Aylmer's now-defunct rail line, and pressure has been put on the STO to set up a light rail system in Gatineau that could connect to Ottawa's O-Train network via the Prince of Wales Bridge. If this were to happen, Aylmer could theoretically be served by light rail as well, but at present this appears highly unlikely.



In terms of population, Aylmer makes up about one third of the riding of Hull—Aylmer, which has elected a Liberal member of parliament in every federal election since its conception in 1984 — its predecessors, the ridings of Hull and Wright, in place from 1892 to 1984, also only ever elected Liberals.The riding is currently represented in the house of commons by MP Marcel Proulx, who narrowly beat Bloc Québécois runner-up Alain Charette by 17,573 to 15,788 votes (or 33.7 to 29.4 percent) in the 2006 federal election.With its large anglophone population and many of its residents working for the federal government and/or commuting to Ottawa, Aylmer has traditionally been and remains a federalist stronghold, although support for sovereignty has risen in the last decade.


In the 2005 Gatineau municipal election, Aylmer voters showed particularly strong support for current mayor Marc Bureau, over incumbent and former mayor of "old" Hull Yves Ducharme. Similar voting patterns appeared in the sectors of Buckingham and Masson-Angers, the other two "outlying" regions of Gatineau. This could be due to a perception among residents that the Ducharme administration was more focused on the urban core of the new city, as opposed to the periphery, as well as the rapid development of green-spaces into residential subdivisions. However, six months after the November election, residents are showing the highest level of dissatisfaction with the Bureau administration out of all the sectors, citing Aylmer's being left out of municipal processes, poor quality of municipal services, and little to no action to halt suburban sprawl. Interestingly, Masson-Angers and Buckingham residents are presently showing the most support for the new government.

Recently, the City of Gatineau administration had plans to reuse a former landfill site on Cook Road in the north end of the sector to build a new composting plant. A deal was planned with a non-profit organisation called La Ressourcerie to operate the site. However, local residents are strongly opposed with health and environmental concerns especially due to the past of the landfill site. [ [http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2006/09/19/compost-gatineau.html Residents raise stink over Gatineau composting plant ] ] Despite displaying their fierce opposition, which included acts of intimidation and threats towards some councillors, at a Gatineau City Council Meeting, Mayor Marc Bureau mentioned that he will still build the plant at the Cook site, and that according to him it was the best possible site. [ Duquette, Patrick, Gatineau fera son compostage dans l'ancien depotoir Cook, (Gatineau will do its compositing plant at former Cook landfill site), Le Droit, Ottawa, September 20, 2006, page 3. ] He later added that he will study other possibilities for the plant.

Aylmer's three wards are presently represented on the Gatineau city council by Frank Thérien, André Laframboise and Alain Riel.

Amalgamation and De-Amalgamation

In 2002 the City of Aylmer became a part of Gatineau when the then-Parti Québécois government forcibly merged several clusters of cities and metropolitan areas throughout Québec. Residents of Aylmer were particularly against the amalgamation, citing fears of reduced municipal services, more suburban development, and a loss of cultural identity, as well as geographic differences (Hull and Gatineau arguably constitute a region of conurbation, whereas Aylmer was at the time separated by an expanse of sparsely-inhabited green-space).

A movement was started to halt the "forced fusion" of five cities surrounding Gatineau. The movement had particularly strong support in Aylmer. Signs reading "Je me souviendrai des fusions forcées" (literally, "I will remember forced fusions," a play on Québec's motto "Je me souviens") were a common sight.

When the Québec Liberal Party won the 2003 provincial election, the newly amalgamated former cities were given the opportunity to demerge. A referendum was held to decide the fate of the City of Gatineau which required a double vote: at least 35% of eligible voters from a given sector had to cast ballots, and more than 50% of these had to be in favour of de-amalgamation. Aylmer voters chose to separate from Gatineau but not enough ballots were cast, meaning Aylmer remained a sector of the larger city.

The voting outcome itself was done in such a way that even if Aylmer succeeded in de-amalgamating from Gatineau, they would only do so in name. The de-amalgamation claimed that once Aylmer was its own area once again, it would have to pay for all its own changes, while Gatineau would still be in control of the administration. This meant that the sector of Aylmer would receive no support from the administration that determined what was built where, but would still have to contribute 100% to the costs of the changes voted by the city of Gatineau.

Prior to the merger, Aylmer's residents and municipal laws had strongly opposed extensive construction programs. Following the amalgamation, many of the sector's prized green spaces were cut down for residential construction. Ex-Aylmer neighbourhoods like Wychwood and Village Lucerne have seen their cherished wilderness sold to contractors. As a result of this unchecked development, there is a strong resentment of the current municipal administration among Aylmer Sector citizens. Fact|date=February 2007

List of pre-amalgamation mayors

Sources: [ [http://www.ville.gatineau.qc.ca/Archives/Aylmer%201847-1974_Conseil.pdf Aylmer 1847-1974.PDF ] ] [http://www.ville.gatineau.qc.ca/Archives/Aylmer%201975-2001_Conseil.pdf]
* John Egan (1847-1855)
* Charles Symmes (1855-1858, 1860-1862)
* Robert Conroy (1858-1860, 1866-1868)
* Harvey Parker (1862-1866)
* William McLean (1868-1872)
* Alexandre Bourgeau (1872-1873, 1880-1881, 1881-1882)
* Charles Devlin (1873-1878, 1890-1891)
* Thomas B. Prentiss (1878-1879)
* John Gordon (1879-1880)
* James Henry Mulligan (1881-1882)
* William J. Conry (1882-1884, 1891-1892)
* Narcisse E. Cormier (1884-1890)
* Thomas Ritchie (1892-1898)
* Jean Joseph Emond Woods (1898-1900)
* George C. Rainboth Jr. (1900-1902)
* Thomas John Symmes (1902-1904)
* Thomas D. Sayer (1904-1907)
* Robert Howard Wright (1907-1911)
* Leon Chartier (1911-1913)
* William George Mulligan (1913-1914, 1929-1935)
* James Baillie (1914-1916)
* Armand de Bruyne (1916-1919, 1927-1928)
* Hercule Therien (1919-1921)
* George R. Nash (1921-1925)
* Kenny Edey (1925-1927)
* Amable Elie Beaudry (1928-1929)
* Wilfrid J. Lavigne (1935-1941)
* F. Lloyd Pilgrim (1941-1947)
* Jean-Rene Therien (1947-1948, 1949-1953, 1959-1960)
* Oscar E. Guertin (1949)
* Telesphore G. Lortie (1953-1959)
* J. Neil O'Donnell (1960-1965)
* Eric Acland (1965-1967)
* Edgar Whelan (1967-1970)
* Ernest Lattion (1970-1975)
* Neil O'Donnell (1975-1979)
* Patrick T. Asselin (1979-1983)
* Constance Provost (1983-1995)
* Marc Croteau (1995-2001)


English School Board

Western Quebec School Board

Provides English and French immersion education to primary and secondary students.
* [http://www.wqsb.qc.ca/ Western Quebec School Board home page]

Primary schools

South Hull: Immersion primary school, located in Lakeview Terrace.

Rapides Deschênes: A francophone primary school, located on Vanier road, just south of Lakeview Terrace. Comprised of three buildings, it teaches school from kindergarten to grade 6.The schools were originally knows as St George ( grades 1 and 2 ), Notre Dame ( for girls, with a convent attached ) and St Medard ( for boys ). The schools had English and French classes in the 1950's and 1960's.

Vieux-Verger: A francophone primary school, located on Wilfrid-Lavigne boulevard. It teaches school from kindergarten to grade 6. Before the school was built, an orchard was present on that lot, which inspired the name for the school, which is French for "Old Orchard".

Euclide-Lanthier: A francophone primary school, located on Elizabeth street. It teaches kindergarten to grade 6.

Trois-Portages: A francophone primary school, located on Broad street, in the lot next to École Secondaire Grande-Rivière. It teaches kindergarten to grade 6.

St-Paul: A francophone primary school, located on Dalhousie street. It teaches kindergarten to grade 6.

Lord Aylmer School : Re-named after the amalgamation of Saint Mark's Elementary and Aylmer Elementary. The school has two campuses (located only across the street from each other). The former St. Mark's (known as the "Junior Campus") teaches students from kindergarten to grade 3. Aylmer Elementary (the "Senior Campus") teaches grades 4 to 6. Lord Aylmer Elementary has a program in English and French immersion. Located on Frank Robinson street.(Historical note: Aylmer Elementary was previously Aylmer High School, an English-language secondary school which was de-commissioned with the opening of the Philemon Wright High School in Hull in 1969.)

econdary schools

École secondaire Grande-Rivière: a francophone high school, located on Broad street, this school teaches well over 2000 students, and supports an additional 100+ staff members, including teachers, administrators, janitors, and other service personnel. It is the largest secondary school in the sector. It sports a standard programme, a musical concentration programme, an artistic concentration programme, an IB Middle Years Programme, the International Programme (P.E.I) , and several support programmes for students in difficulty. It also has a small community of highly active students who participate in the organization of school activities.

Other secondary schools are École intermédiaire Symmes Junior High School (grades 7 and 8) and the recently constructed École secondaire [http://www.wqsb.qc.ca/darcymcgee/ D'Arcy McGee High School] (grades 9, 10 and 11), both located on Blvd. du Plateau.

Notable Aylmer individuals

*Paul Duchesnay
*Isabelle Duchesnay
*Matthiew Klinck
*Peter Mach
*Merlin Bronques
*Charlie Major born in Aylmer
*Marc Parizeau also born in Aylmer
*Dan Ackroyd (Ghostbuster) lived in Aylmer as a youth

Geographic Location

Geographic Location (8-way)
Centre = Aylmer
North = Cantley
Northeast =
East = Gatineau
Southeast =
South = "Ottawa River"
Bridge to:
Ottawa, Ontario
Southwest =
West = Pontiac
Northwest =


* Rivermead Lakeview
* Glenwood/Vieux Moulin
* Projet Pilon
* Wychwood
* Deschènes
* Jardins Lavigne
* Aylmer Nord
* La Seigneurie
* McCleod
* Park Champlain
* Vieux Aylmer
* Des Cèdres
* Marina

ee also

* Municipal reorganization in Quebec
*Pontiac Pacific Junction Railway


External links

* [http://archives.radio-canada.ca/environnement/catastrophes_naturelles/dossiers/1735-11907/ Video footage of damage and report from the Aylmer tornado from Radio-Canada] fr icon

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