Goulbourn Street and Elm Crescent street signs

Where the streets have new names

As many as six Stittsville street names could be soon be switched. That’s because they’re too similar to other street names in Ottawa.

The six being considered for change:

  • Bell Street
  • Goulbourn Street
  • Elm Crescent
  • Long Meadow Way
  • Meadowland Drive
  • Walker Road

But just because they’re on the list doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be changed. There are a number of factors that the City weighs in their decision, from historical significance to the number of affected addresses on the street. The city is currently asking residents for feedback and ideas for new names.

“There is a lot of weight the community can have working with the city, it’s not just who has the most houses on site,” said Councillor Scott Moffatt at Saturday’s Goulbourn Historical Society (GHS) annual general meeting.

He pointed out that a few years ago, Church Street in North Gower had the same name as a street in Vanier, but it was the Vanier street that ended up being re-named to “Rue de l’Eglise”.

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City staff asked the GHS to provide research about the origin of Stittsville’s names.

The Walker family was one of the earlier settlers in the region, arriving in 1819.   The Bell’s were a prominent family in the area (and still live here), and Goulbourn comes from the name of the former municipality, Goulbourn Township.

Outgoing GHS president Barbara Bottriell suggested that tweaking the street names to “Henry Walker Road” and “Billy Bell Street” could preserve the local significance of the street names.  (Billy Bell – aka William J. Bell – owned a 200-acre farm between Abbott and Fernbank.)

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The city has changed several Stittsville street names since amalgamation.  Main Street became Stittsville Main Street; Carleton Street became Carleton Cathcart Street, and Ralph Street is now Ralphpark Street.  Johnwoods was once John, after John Hartin.

Years ago there used to be a First, Second and Third street off of Hobin Street.

Phil Sweetnam, a GHS member, says that there was a second Elm Street in the Fringewood area, but when it joined Stittsville township they re-named it to Bradley Green Court. (Not to be confused with Bradley Street further to the south.)

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If you’d like to dive deeper into the origin of Stittsville street names, the Goulbourn Museum has an exhibit called Back to our Routes, focusing on street names from the 1879 Belden’s Atlas.

“The exhibit features the history behind about 50 street names in the area, and includes photographs of the early street scenes and the first street light in Stittsville, as well as a large replica,” says Kathryn Jamieson, the museum’s curator manager.

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A couple weeks ago Devyn Barrie kicked off a good discussion on the Stittsville Neighbours Facebook group.

Suggestions for new street names included Tysen (for fundraiser Tysen Lefebvre), Marc Leger (a Stittsville resident who was one of the first Canadians killed in Afghanistan), Roger Griffiths (a former Goulbourn councillor and fire department captain).

There were some fun ones too, like: “Dutch Elm Disease Crescent” and “Nightmare on Elm Street”.

“I have seen a number of good suggestions for street names in Stittsville and I am particularly interested in ones that represent the history of the area and/or the suggestions which would be a commemorative naming of an individual,” says councillor Shad Qadri.

You have until February 8 to send in your comments or ideas.  Get in touch with Rebecca Anderson, Program and Project Management Officer, Building Code Services Branch at rebecca.anderson@ottawa.ca or 613-580-2424, ext. 28121.

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DOPPLEGANGERS

  • Bell: The other Bell Street is downtown parallel to Booth Street. It’s named after Robert Bell, a journalist, member of the municipal council, promoter of railroad construction and Member of Parliament for Russell County from 1861-1867.  It was registered in the late 1800s, whereas Stittsville’s Bell Street was registered in the mid-20th century.
  • Elm: Elm Crescent dates to the mid-1900s; Elm Street (off Booth near Lebreton Flats) dates to the mid-1800s.  Both are named after the tree.  In the downtown, it’s close to a number of tree-themed streets stemming off Booth including Spruce, Poplar, Willow and Baslam.
  • Goulbourn: The other one is in Sandy Hill, but spelled “Goulburn”.  Both are named Sir Henry Goulburn, Undersecretary of State in the British Government who signed the Ghent Treaty.  Stittsville is formerly part of Goulbourn Township, now amalgamated into the City of Ottawa.  Goulburn Avenue downtown is home to the Embassy of Mali.
  • Long Meadow: There are two similar ones in Stittsville.  Long Meadow Way is off Manchester Street. Lone Meadow Trail is just north of Abbott in the Amberwoods area.  There’s not much to distinguish these two.  The “Trail” suffix fits in with the other “Trails” in Amberwoods.
  • Meadowland: Stittsville has Meadowand Drive; Nepean has Meadowlands Drive, with an “s”.  You can see how that might get confusing.
  • Walker: The other Walker Road is in Metcalfe. Both are named for local families.

(via City of Ottawa)


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3 thoughts on “Where the streets have new names”

  1. I get the reasons for this, though I wish these things didn’t need to happen. Richmond Road sure got botched IMO.

    Having said that, if they need to do it, I suggest keeping part of the name, like was done with Stittsville Main. I still call it Main, and people know. Old Elm might work for instance.

  2. The instructions are so confusing. The City gave a deadline of February 1 and now this article gives a deadline of February 8th. Which one is the right one? I am also confused by the paperwork we are to submit. The City has a short online form but where is the longer 8 pg form? Is there a link for that? Thanks.

  3. I submitted Elm Tree Cres and Old Elm Cres. I think it is important to keep the name to preserve the historical reason that name was chosen in the first place. Plus not as confusing when having to change your address on everything.

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