city view beginnings
City View was settled by farmers in the first half of the 1800’s, and was part of the Merivale Farming Corridor. In 1913, through a Plan of Subdivision, most of this farmland was divided into small lots with 25-foot widths, to be used as market gardens and planned roads were set out in a grid pattern and named. Once construction of homes started in the 1940’s and 1950’s, three or four of these small lots were required to be purchased for each house. The majority of homes were built on these large lots to accommodate septic systems and wells.
City View became a police village in 1954 until it joined the Township of Nepean in 1974. It was later located in the city of Nepean before amalgamation with the City of Ottawa in 2001.
There are a few heritage homes still remaining in City View. The stone homes were built using quarried stone right from their City View farms. The Scott’s family built the stone house at 21 Withrow Avenue in 1842. In the early 1900’s it became the home of a renowned “Confederate Poet”, William Wilfred Campbell, who named this property “Kilmorie” and entertained other writers and prime ministers at his home. His poems are still part of the curriculum in many Canadian Schools. One such poem is “Indian Summer”:
“Along the line of smoky hills
The crimson forest stands
And all the day the blue-jay calls
Throughout the autumn lands…”
excerpt from Association Report "City View Tomorrow", 1977
In 1809, Rice Honeywell gave his son, Ira, five United Empire Loyalist “location tickets”, each representing two hundred acres of land, some of which are known today as City View. Very early that year, Ira walked from Prescott, and began clearing and surveying his new property. By Spring he could plant four acres of onions, melons, cucumbers and potatoes. While Ira settled personally on a tract which now lies east and north of Woodroofe and Baseline, the “City View” acres were settled later the same year by a boatload of emigrants from Northern Ireland. Ira charged them about $4.00 an acre plus a specified amount of grain to be sent each fall to the “Military Authority”. Thus was land speculation and the urge to sub-divide born in Nepean.
On their arrival these pioneers were confronted by “…a thick dark wall of timber (which) rose a hundred feet above them on all sides and every acre of ground meant laborious toil…until the trees could be felled and burnt away”.(Craig, Sara B., Hello Nepean). The settlers cleaned the land and in time became well known as dairymen and cattle breeders. Some fine stone homes were built as farming families prospered. and many of their sons and daughters distinguished themselves in the clerical, medical, artistic and political life of their community.
In the early years this farming community relied on the village of Merivale, further south along Merivale Road, for postal service, church and school facilities, etc. In 1890, City View became a separate geographical entity from Merivale with the establishment of its own post office.
In March 1952, the Carleton County Council passed a bylaw establishing the Police Village of City View, a form of municipal administration which existed until recently when the Police Village was absorbed by the Township of Nepean.
At the end of the Second World War, City View became the site of the first residential subdivision within the Nepean Township boundaries. This subdivision, known as St. Claire Gardens, was planned with 25′ lots, but sold in parcels of three or more lots each. Today, St Claire Gardens forms the heart of the residential City View. This expanded community has survived the initial “growing pains” of all new neighbourhoods. It contains tall trees and well kept gardens and neat homes owned by people from a large range of economic and cultural backgrounds. It has matured and mellowed, producing an aura of stability and security. Its proximity to local shopping areas and to the diverse cultural activities offered by Canada’s capital city provide a convenient and satisfying lifestyle.