The village of Richmond began life as a military settlement in 1818, laid out along the north bank of the Jock River. It takes its name after the Duke of Richmond, Charles Lennox, who had just been appointed Governor General of Upper Canada at the time.
The duke paid his first and only visit to the town on August 26, 1819, and promptly died two days later from an infection. His body was ceremoniously transported along his namesake, Richmond Road.
When the town of Richmond became a municipality in 1850, many of the early buildings were made of local stone, including the Richmond Hotel, which still stands to this day. Moving into the 1900s, buildings tended to be constructed from red brick. Richmond operated as a town until 1974 when it was amalgamated to form Goulbourn Township, and the area was amalgamated again in 2001 into the City of Ottawa.
Today the Village of Richmond retains its old world, small-town feel. Sitting west of Manotick and south of Stittsville, the village maintains a small population of just under 5,000 people. Close enough to Ottawa for an easy commute, but far enough to avoid the hustle and bustle of city life, Richmond has become a sought-after community for young families to live.
With a bit of dark humour, the village has taken the fox as its mascot. Local legend says that it was a rabid fox that bit the Duke of Richmond, and caused the deadly infection. The fox can be found in the logo for the Richmond Village Association, sitting directly above a portrait of the Duke himself.
CHRISTMAS IN RICHMOND
Christmas season kicks off with the Village of Richmond Holiday House & Business Tour, on December 1. The charitable event supports the Richmond Food Bank and takes you on a map-guided tour of village homes and businesses decorated by local interior designers and decorators, led by Richmond local Sonya Kinkade. Tickets are $25 and more information is available on their Facebook page.
The Lighting of The Park on December 8, when the village’s Memorial Park is brought to life with a colourful display of Christmas lights, is a long-standing Christmas tradition in Richmond. It features the display of a winter banner hand painted by local youth, and the night is capped off with a Santa Claus Parade.
THINGS TO DO
Don’t let the small-town label fool you into thinking there’s not a lot going on here. Richmond offers a few stand-out experiences loved by locals and visitors alike, such as a night out at the Royals Restaurant, opened 40 years ago and still run by the Mamalis family, on Perth Street.
CC’s Corner is a new favourite, just passing their fourth anniversary, that offers coffee and curiosities in a funky little shop on Lennox Street. Come for thecurated selection of local baked goods and Bridgehead coffee beans; stay for the ever-changing collection of antiques and oddities.
The Country Quilter on McBean Street is everything you could want from a small-town quilt shop. Set in a charming heritage house that dates back over 100 years, it has a past life as the post office, a shoemakers, a tailors and an undertakers. They offer DIY workshops on everything from quilts to purses to placemats.
Richmond also has its own vineyard. Jabulani Vineyard and Winery has been operating on Jock Trail Road since 2011, and owner Tom Moul has been making wine since he was a teenager living in South Africa. Bringing together African methods with grapes grown in Ottawa’s climate has been a winning combination for Jabulani.
For anyone looking for a new home in Richmond, Caivan Communities are working on a new development along Perth Street called Fox Run. Built along the tree-lined shore of a large pond, it brings modern amenities to complement the village charm and an opportunity for growth in Richmond.