All the strip malls and pavement make it hard to imagine today, but 50 years ago Hazeldean Road, all the way through Kanata South and into Stittsville, was lush green farmland.
The village of Hazeldean was situated at the crossroads of what’s now Hazeldean Road and Young Road. In the spring you would have seen rolling hills of green, cows and pigs alongside the road, children playing in the fields. There was a cheese factory, a brass band, a schoolhouse.
There are still a few hints of this history. There’s the gorgeous Sparks House that’s now “The Spa” on Castlefrank. There’s the Grierson Residence in front of the Goodlife on Hazeldean. Along Young Road you’ll find the old Masonic Hall and an old church, and there’s a hidden cemetery not far from the Tim Hortons on Edgewater – one of three cemeteries in the area.
Roger Young grew up in Hazeldean, and now calls Stittsville home. His family was one of the earlier 19th century settlers in the area and their name is still prominent: Young Road, Young’s Pond Park, John Young Elementary School.
“I was born in 1950 in Hazeldean and until the mid-60s it was almost as it had been at the turn of the century, if not longer,” he says. “One side of our farm is marked now by Terry Fox and the other by Young Road. I grew up there and knew all the elderly people and all the past residents of Hazeldean. I photographed the entire community before any of the housing was built. The original settlers came to Canada with the Talbot group in 1818 on the Brunswick and we would be the last family remaining.”
Over the past few months Roger has been kind enough to share some photos from his family’s collection. Many of the colour photos were taken by Roger himself when he was a young man in the 1960s. Most of them show scenes from along Hazeldean Road and Young Road. He’s been collecting and organizing them as part of a family history project.
The 1960s photos were taken just before the area started its transformation into a suburban community, with the development of Glen Cairn and later Katimavik. They provide a fascinating view into into the history of our community.
I’d like to thank Roger for his generous hospitality, and the time he’s spent to meet with me and share his photos and fond memories of the old village.
(Click on any photo to view larger size.)
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