Britannia Village

This community initially grew around property developed by Capt. John Lebreton in the early 1820s; a grist mill, saw mill and a house that he called Britannia. The CPR line (now the Trans-Canada Trail) stimulated growth, with the first subdivision created in the 1870s. Britannia Village benefited from its location on Lake Deschenes and an increasing number of people sought out the area for pleasure activities; The Ottawa Electric Railway completed its streetcar line to a new park on Britannia Bay, a 1000 foot pier, auditorium, bathing houses, and pavilions, attracting up to 6000 visitors each day in the early 1900s. Britannia Village remained a predominantly summer cottage community until after WWII, when large numbers of returning veterans moved to the area in search of affordable housing. The village was annexed to the city of Ottawa in 1950, and by the time that the streetcar line closed in 1959, Britannia Park and OER were both owned by the city. A venue for teen dances and theatrical productions, Lakeside Gardens (now named for Ottawa city councillor Ron Kolbus), was built in 1958. The path taken by the CPR line is now part of an extensive network of pedestrian and cycling pathways.

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photo by: @aboucherfuse