Embrun, Ontario

Embrun, Ontario
Embrun, Ontario
—  Community  —

Coat of arms
Motto: Fibri Ad Exemplar
Location of Embrun, Ontario
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
Counties Prescott and Russell United
Township Russell Township
Settled 1845
Named May 15 1856
 – Mayor Jean-Paul Saint-Pierre
 – Governing Body Russell Township
 – MPs Pierre Lemieux
 – Community 81.694 km2 (31.5 sq mi)
 – Urban 9.05 km2 (3.5 sq mi)
Elevation 60 m (197 ft)
Population (2006 Census)[2][3]
 – Community 8,048
 – Urban 5,655
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal Code K0A 1W0 and K0A 1W1
Area code(s) 613

Embrun (ˈɛmbrən in English; French pronunciation: [ɑ̃bʁœ̃]), UN/LOCODE: CA EBU, is a community in the Canadian province of Ontario in the Eastern Ontario region. Embrun is also part of the National Capital Region. Embrun is part of the larger Russell Township in Prescott and Russell United Counties. In 2006 (the year of the most recent census), the urban area of Embrun had a total population of 5,655,[3] but if surrouding agricultural areas closely tied to the community are included, the population figure rises to 8,048.[2] This makes Embrun the largest community in the Township of Russell.

Embrun is a rapidly growing community. The population of the urban area grew by 26.6% from 2001 to 2006.[3] This is the fastest growth rate in Eastern Ontario, and the eight fastest growth rate in all of Ontario.[4]

The town has a French speaking majority, with a significant English-speaking minority. According to the 2006 Census, 57% of Embrun's population speaks French at home, while 41% speak English at home. The remaining 2% speak either both languages equally, or speak a non-official language.[5]

The community is located approximately a twenty-five minute drive from Ottawa, an hour and a half from Montreal, and a five hour drive from Toronto. Embrun is located near Trans-Canada Highway 417.

Politically, the community is situated in the electoral district of Glengarry—Prescott—Russell both provincially and federally.



The first residents of Embrun settled the town in 1845.[6] François Michel named the town in 1857 after Embrun, France.[6] The town was prosperous throughout the Victorian era, but much of the 20th century was spent in a period of economic stagnation.[6] Embrun has since recovered and is now experiencing economic prosperity.[6] The population of the town was 8,048 in 2006.[2]


In 1898 the New York and Ottawa Railway was built. This railway, which travelled between Tupper Lake, New York and Ottawa, stopped at Embrun six times every day except for Sunday.[7]

This railway line continued operation until 1957, when a combination of pressures from the National Capital Commission, who wished to cut down on the number of railway lines through Ottawa in an effort to eliminate noise pollution, as well as from the Saint Lawrence Seaway project, which required the removal of the railway's bridge in Cornwall, caused the railway line to shut down. The last trains ran in February 1957,[7] and in April CN purchased the railway track and proceeded to demolish it. Although some segments in Cornwall and Ottawa were retained, the line through Embrun was scrapped. A few decades later, the municipal government constructed a rail trail on the right of way, which remains in use to the present day.[7]


Embrun is a bedroom community: a majority of the population works in nearby Ottawa and commutes into the city on a daily basis. A large proportion of these people are people with post-secondary education who work in the Canadian civil service or Ottawa's large high-tech sector. This has been the case since the mid-20th century. Prior to then, agriculture employed the majority of the community's population.

Agriculture still has a significant presence in the area. It is one of the major distributors of dairy products and bovine in the region. These farms also include hundreds of sheep, corn (sold to local grocery stores and markets) and numerous other products.


Three newspapers[8] are published in Embrun: La Nouvelle[8] (weekly newspaper published in French), Le Reflet[8] (another weekly French language newspaper) and The Prescott-Russell News[8] (in both English and French).

A newspaper that is published in Rockland called Vision is delivered in Embrun as well. The Villager, a newspaper that is published in the neighbouring town of Russell, is also delivered in Embrun. Unlike Vision, The Villager is a paper that people must subscribe to or buy at a local store.


Being a primarily French-Canadian community, the community is well-served with francophone schools. There are two French-Catholic schools in Embrun: École St. Jean [1] is the elementary school (grades JK-2), La Croisée is the second building of the elementary school (grades 3-6), and École Secondaire d'Embrun [2] is a high school (grades 9-12) that also has a middle school extension (grades 7 and 8). There is also a French public school: École Publique de la Rivière Castor. There is no French public secondary school in Embrun. Instead, a French Public High School in nearby Casselman serves Embrun.

The anglophone minority in Embrun typically relies on the primarily English speaking nearby town of Russell for education. English Catholic students in Embrun attend Mother Theresa Elementary School and St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School, both in Russell. Non-Catholic anglophones in Embrun go to Russell High School. When attending elementary school, they have the choice of attending either École Saint-Joseph [3], Russell Public School or Cambridge Public School (the latter of which is nearby La Nation Township[9]), depending on whether they would prefer Full French, French Immersion or Core French[10] (École Saint-Joseph is a French language school, Russell Public provides French immersion, while Cambridge Public provides Core French).

The Ottawa Carleton E-School is based out of Embrun.


The neighbourhoods of Embrun colour-coded

Embrun has several distinct neighbourhoods. With the exception of the Lapointe & Town-Centre neighbourhoods (which have built onto each other as a result of infill development), each of the neighbourhoods are physically separated by open space, although much of this open space will likely be eliminated in the near future as the municipality pushes for more infill.[11]

In the map to the right, the neighbourhoods of Embrun are colour-coded. Below is a legend as to what neighbourhood each colour represents.

  • Yellow - Industrial Park
  • Red - Business Park
  • Green - Chantal Development
  • Light Blue - Centre ville (town centre)
  • Purple - Bourdeau Development in the Embrun-Sud (Embrun South) area
  • Pink - Lapointe Development and Mélanie Construction
  • Orange - Maplevale

The smaller community of Brisson may be considered part of Embrun, as it is no longer recognized by any municipal entity.[12]

The municipality has recently adopted smart growth principles to guide its future development. The official plan calls for densification and infill of existing urban land, rather than acquiring more rural land. A near-doubling of Embrun's population will be accomplished in the next 10–15 years with only two new neighbourhoods (both in land already designated as urban land use zones) being built. The rest of the population growth will be done by building housing units in the open spaces between existing neighbourhoods, and by eventually replacing single-family homes on some busier streets with apartments and condos. Through this plan, Embrun's population will increase from its current population of around 6,000 people to upwards of 10,000 people in 2021, with only a small amount of land to the west being added to the urban zone.[11]

Business Park

The place d'Embrun shopping mall

The Embrun Business Park is located in the extreme western part of Embrun, west of the Chantal Development. The area is home to nearly all of the town's major businesses. In this area is the Place d'Embrun Shopping Centre as well as some of the town's chain restaurants (e.g., Tim Hortons and Dairy Queen) and large businesses such as renovators, grocery stores and automobile garages. However, this part of Embrun lacks small businesses. Most of the small businesses are in other parts of Embrun.

This part of Embrun, however, has almost no permanent residents due to the fact that it is almost exclusively commercial. There are a few people living on Notre-Dame Street in this area, however, these people are counted as part of the Chantal Development in population counts. The area is paved with many asphalt service roads crisscrossing the area.

Industrial Park

Embrun also has an Industrial Park. Despite the name, the Industrial Park doesn't really have any industry, just semi-industrial commerce such as warehouses. The Ontario Provincial Police Station is also located here. The Industrial Park is located just to the north of the Embrun Business Park.

The Industrial Park is one of the westernmost areas of Embrun. It has three streets: Industrial Street, New York Central Avenue, and Bay Street.

As a result of municipal zoning regulation reform undertaken in 2010, the Industrial Park technically no longer exists, as the old commercial & industrial zones were replaced with a new "Business Park" designation.[11] Nonetheless the two areas are distinct in the types of enterprises operating in them.

Chantal Development

The Chantal Development

Chantal Development is a rather quiet residential area in the Western part of Embrun. To the east of Chantal Development lies the town centre (officially called Centre-Ville). To the west lies the Business Park and the Industrial Park.

There are several streets in the Chantal Development: Olympic Street, Domaine Street, Menard Street, Isabelle Street, Loiselle Street, Chantal Crescent, Promenade Boulevard, and Chateau Crescent.

An infill subdivision is planned for the area and will be located immediately to the north of the current development.[11]

Town Centre/Centre-Ville

Town Centre/Centre-Ville is home to two of the town's schools (École Publique de la Rivière Castor and St. Jean/La Croisée). Also, the Église St. Jacques is in this part of town. To the west of Town Centre/Centre-Ville is Chantal Development. To the east is Lapointe Development. To the south is the neighbourhood of Embrun South. To the north is rural areas.

The major streets are Ste. Jeanne d'Arc Street, Blais Street, Centenaire Street (also in Lapointe Development), St Jean Baptiste Street, Castlebeau Street, St. Augustin Street, and Lamadeleine Boulevard.

Some infill has occurred in recent years, and more is planned along the western and northern fringes of the neighbourhood.[11]

Lapointe Development

The Lapointe Development is in the eastern part of Embrun. To the west is Town Centre/Centre-Ville and to the south is the small neighbourhood of Maplevale. To the north is Brisson. The Lapointe Development is currently undergoing infill expansion. The term Melanie Construction (after the developer who is building the infill projects) refers to the newer infill subdivisions. Another infill subdivision is planned just northwest of the current infill area, and will be integrated into infill projects in the Town Centre/Centre-Ville. In addition, an entirely new neighbourhood (not infill) is also planned to the northeast along St-Thomas Road.[11]

There are several streets in the Lapointe Development: Lapointe Boulevard, Fleurette Street, Sophie Street, Alain Street, Chateauguay Road, Filion Street, La Prairie Street, Centenaire Street (also in Town Centre/Centre-Ville), Frontenac Boulevard, Citadelle Street, Louis Riel Street, La Croisée Street, Radisson Drive and Normandie Street.

Embrun South

The area of Embrun south of the Castor River is called Embrun South (Embrun-Sud in French). The area has a housing subdivision, as well as older, mixed development along arterial roads. To the north lies Town Centre/Centre-Ville. To the east, west and south lies rural areas. The area is near the Embrun Water Tower on St-Jacques Road. The land area formerly known as the Norm's Gym summer camp (condos will replace the camp), as well as the École secondaire catholique Embrun are in this area. No infill developments have taken place, although a completely new neighbourhood to the east of the current development, along St-Joseph Road, is planned.[11]


The small neighbourhood of Maplevale, located to the immediate south of the Lapointe Development, is a more affluent area with a higher land values and larger homes.



In the 2006 Russell Township election, citizens of Embrun showed a particularly strong support for current mayor Ken Hill,[13] with 1,431 Embrun voters voting for Ken Hill compared with 678 for Denis Bourdeau and 560 for Michael McHugh.[13]

Lorraine Dicaire, Jean-Paul St. Pierre, Donald St. Pierre and Jamie Laurin received the most votes in Embrun for councillors, in order of most votes to least votes.[13] These four councillors were also the ones who received the most votes in the township as a whole.[13] The candidates that ran for councillor, but didn't get into council were Charlie Harland, Jean-Serge Brisson, Pierre Brulotte, and Marthe Lepine.

The newly elected mayor was tested when major blackout (caused by a freezing rain storm which was part of the Early Winter 2006 North American Storm Complex) affected the town from December 1–2, 2006, which left virtually the entire town without electricity. Hill declared a state of emergency, which lasted for several days.[14]

In the 2010 election Ken Hill was defeated soundly, falling to third place. The election was won by Jean-Paul St. Pierre who became the township's new mayor, however Embrun voters favoured second-place candidate Lorraine Dicaire (1246 Embrun votes for Dicaire compared to 889 Embrun votes fo St. Pierre) This was balanced out by overwhelming support for St. Pierre in the rest of the township, however, so in the end St. Pierre won handily.

Provincial & Federal

Embrun is part of the electoral district of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell for both federal and provincial elections. Traditionally this seat is a Liberal stronghold in both governments. This is starting to change, however, as the Conservatives gain support in the area. Federally, the riding was Liberal for many decades until 2006 when it was narrowly taken by Conservative candidate Pierre Lemieux. Lemieux's support has gradually increased, and in 2011 he won re-election by over 10,000 votes.

Provincially, however, it has remained Liberal. In the 2011 provincial election, the riding stayed Liberal (albeit by a narrow margin) despite the retirement of popular Liberal incumbent Jean Marc Lalonde, and despite the fact that the Liberals lost nearly twenty seats across Ontario.


As the community of Embrun grows, traffic concerns also grow. The community's primary road, Notre-Dame Street, is projected to reach a level of traffic volume beyond its design capacity in the near future.[15] The municipal council considered either expanding Notre-Dame Street into a 4-lane roadway or by re-routing traffic on Notre-Dame Streets' collector roads.[15] The latter option is considered preferable by the municipal government.[15]

St. Guillaume Road, which connects Notre-Dame Street with Trans-Canada Highway 417, is projected to start nearing its design maximum capacity in the near future as well. Widening St. Guillaume Road was discussed as an option during a study by the Prescott and Russell United Counties government, as well as introducing a new corridor to connect Notre-Dame Road with Highway 417.

In recent years, public transit service has been introduced to the community. The municipal government runs three peak-hour express routes to downtown Ottawa from Embrun. The local government has expressed interest in joining Transit Eastern Ontario to improve local transit service.[11]


Embrun has a continental climate with cool winters, humid summers, and short autumns and springs.

Summers in Embrun usually last about 5 months long, and winters are about 4–4½ months long. Autumn and spring are shorter.

The first snowfalls of the year usually occur in mid-to-late November, but snow doesn't actually cover the ground until December. Before that, snow usually melts as soon as it hits the ground.

In the spring, the snow usually starts melting in March, although occasional "warm breaks" with temperatures as high as 10°C (50°F) usually occur once or twice in January and February.

Also, in the spring, the area tends to smell of cow manure, and the run-off into the Castor River begins.

In recent years, winters have gotten much warmer, so often in the winter freezing rain will occur. This makes driving very hazardous and often cancels school buses and makes the roads very icy for a few days.

In the summer, humidity is often common, especially in July. Although temperatures are usually just under 30°C (86°F), with the humidity it can feel as hot as 35°C or higher.

See also

References and footnotes

  1. ^ Industry Canada (2006). "Broadband Canada". Broadband Canada, Industry Canada. Archived from the original on 2007-03-11. http://web.archive.org/web/20070311103920/http://broadband.gc.ca/demographic_servlet/1329. Retrieved 2006-08-29. 
  2. ^ a b c The figure of 8,048 assumes that Embrun is defined as the Census Tract 5050184.00 and the Census Dissemination Areas 35020145, 35020163, 35020166, 35020168. This area is coterminous with Canada Post's definition of Embrun.
  3. ^ a b c Statistics Canada
  4. ^ Statistics Canada data for urban areas. This table sorts urban areas in Ontario by growth rate during the intercenal period. The seven communities ahead of Embrun are all located outside the Eastern Ontario region
  5. ^ Statistics Canada (2010). "Census tract profile for 0184.00 (CT)". Statistics Canada. http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2006/dp-pd/prof/92-597/P3.cfm?Lang=E&CTCODE=5099&CACODE=505&PRCODE=35&PC=k0a1w1. Retrieved 2010-07-24. 
  6. ^ a b c d (French)Paroisse St. Jacques (2007). "Historique (History)". Paroisse St. Jacques. http://paroissestjacques.com/historique.html. Retrieved 2007-01-15. [dead link]
  7. ^ a b c Chris Granger (2006). "NYC Ottawa Division". NYC Ottawa Division. http://www.nyc-ottawadivision.com. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  8. ^ a b c d Russell Township web site
  9. ^ Government of Ontario (2007). "School Board Profiles - Upper Canada District School Board - Cambridge Public School". Government of Ontario. http://esip.edu.gov.on.ca/english/profiles/school_info.asp?ID=B66192&schoolid=076643. Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  10. ^ Students in a Core French program take a French class that is of normal length, while students in a French Immersion program study French far more extensively.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Township of Russell Official Plan Final Draft 2010
  12. ^ Brisson is not on the list of communities supplied by the United Counties of Prescott and Russell at this url and is not recognized as a community by Russell Township according to this url.
  13. ^ a b c d The candidate with the second most votes in Embrun was Russell Township's previous mayor, Denis Bourdeau. The candidate with the least amount of votes in Embrun was Michael McHugh, the previous mayor Official Results
  14. ^ Ottawa Sun
  15. ^ a b c Township of Russell (2007). "Township of Russell, Master Plan, Transportation chapter". Township of Russell Municipal Council. http://twp.russell.on.ca/en/Master_Plan_84/0/6.html. Retrieved 2006-08-29. 

External links

History of Embrun at Wikibooks

Coordinates: 45°16′27.60″N 75°16′54.51″W / 45.274333°N 75.2818083°W / 45.274333; -75.2818083

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