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At the Confluence

Located at the confluence of the Madawaska and Ottawa Rivers, Arnprior boasts an abundance of green space and parks. Its crowning jewel, named after one-time mayor Robert Simpson, is a 4.15 hectare green space along the shores of the Ottawa. In 1825 this location was used as a major landing site for steamers bringing supplies into Arnprior. In 1851 the family of lumber baron Daniel McLachlin developed a vineyard, apple orchard and flower gardens on this site. The late 1940s saw the move toward the development of a municipal park, which over the years has developed into a showcase for Arnprior’s natural heritage.
On the northwest side of town stands Gillies Grove – one of the last tracts of old growth forest in the province of Ontario. This rare woodland encompasses 175-year-old white pines, and massive hardwoods, including the largest basswood in Canada. The Grove’s natural environment harbours various rare and elusive creatures including scarlet tanagers, pileated woodpeckers, red-shouldered hawks and barred owls. At ground level, the forest floor is a living carpet of Hepaticas, spring beauties, violets, and red and white trilliums. In summer, white baneberry and Indian pipe punctuate the lush green understorey.

Built to Last

Arnprior’s cultural heritage is evidenced in the churches, homes, commercial buildings and institutions, which reflect its economic, social and historical development – much of it owing to Scottish settlement and the development of great lumber mills.
First settled in the early 1800s, the town’s growth was spurred in 1825 by the arrival from Scotland of 100 families and their leader Laird McNab. The community grew again in the mid-nineteenth century with the development of the lumber industry promoted by Daniel McLachlin.
Today, the town boasts dozens of homes and businesses – many of which merit heritage designation – dating back to Arnprior’s early settlement. For instance, The Emmanuel Anglican Church was built in 1869 on land donated by Daniel McLachlin. The recently revitalized St. John Chrysostom Church was constructed before 1873. In 1890 St. Andrew’s Presbyterian – the Stone Church, was built. It is now home to the Grace St. Andrew’s United Church congregation.
In the downtown core there are many buildings dating back to the mid- and late-nineteenth century. These include the O’Brien Theatre, Guardian Drug Store, The Campbell Block, the Bank of Nova Scotia, and Arnprior’s most famous edifice, the D.A. Gillies Building, which houses the Arnprior and District Museum.