🇨🇦 Arnprior is a town in Renfrew County, in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario, Canada. It is located 65 km west of Downtown Ottawa, at the confluence of the Madawaska River and the Ottawa River in the Ottawa Valley. Arnprior has experienced significant growth in population with the widening of the 417 Provincial Highway to four lanes. The town is a namesake of Arnprior, Scotland, and is known for lumber, hydro power generation, aerospace, farming and its proximity to the National Capital Region.
Industry Arnprior has drawn new business to Eastern Ontario. Proximity to the city of Ottawa, easy access to highway 417, access to a local airport, full services and infrastructure have contributed to making Arnprior the location for multinational corporations including Arnprior Aerospace Inc, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada Inc, Nylene Canada Inc, Pacific Safety Products, Pillar 5 Pharma, Sandvik Materials Technology Canada, and a host of other innovative businesses.
The Arnprior and Area Chamber of Commerce has over 100 members and is a support and advocate for many of the corporations and small to medium-sized businesses within the Arnprior area.
Some of the major corporations and top employers: • Plaintree Systems Inc. • Nu-tech Precision Metals • Pillar 5 • BWX Technologies, Inc. • M. Sullivan & Son Limited • Nylene Canada • Pacific Safety Products • Arnprior Aerospace • Arnprior & District Memorial Hospital.
The lumber trade continued in the form of the Gillies sawmill in nearby McNab Township until its closing in 1993. Pictures of the early days of the lumbering industry are seen at the online Charles Macnamara Retrospective.
Kenwood Mills, initially a blanket manufacturer which developed woven fabrics for the pulp and paper industry, was a significant employer in Arnprior and was bought in 1918 by Huyck Corporation. It was a strong contributor to Arnprior remaining viable during the Depression. The building has now been renovated into the Kenwood Corporate Centre which houses a number of offices, warehouse spaces, conference rooms, a café and a gym.
Sullivan and Sons and Smith Construction companies were significant economic drivers and employers based in Arnprior. In 2014 they celebrated their 100th year in business and continue to be a major employer in the town and a large community supporter.
Arnprior Airport was built for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and hosted No. 3 Flying Instructor School. Post war, the facility was used by the Canadian military and a training base known as the Civil Defence College, later known as the Emergency Measures Training Centre. The airport, operated by Arnprior Airport Commission, still operates with two runways for land-based aircraft and Arnprior Water Aerodrome with a dock and fuelling station for floatplanes. The airport property also houses many private hangars and a skydiving company.
After the Second World War, companies such as Playtex, Pfizer and Boeing came to Arnprior. Boeing Aircraft Company began manufacturing in 1955 and maintained an operation until selling to Arnprior Aerospace in October 2005.
The Madawaska River at McEwen's Creek was dammed to create a hydro generating station with approval given in 1972. The dam, which became operational in 1976, has created a new body of water known as Lake Madawaska. This was the fifth and last dam to be built on the Madawaska River, and they have a total generating capacity of 614 MW.
Tourist Industry With Arnprior's central location between the National Capital Region and the Ottawa Valley it offers visitors and residents alike access to the entertainment and events of the city as well as access to nationally recognised outdoor activities all within a short travel time.
Arnprior has several historical landmarks together with the many required modern conveniences, including shopping, hospital, recreation, restaurants, water sport facilities, and beaches. Arnprior has been recognised by the Communities in Bloom organisation as the top community in its class for its heritage conservation, landscaping, beautification, tidiness, environmental efforts and community involvement.
Arnprior's recreation facilities include four walking trails, a marina, three ball diamonds, civic centre with two year-round ice surfaces and indoor pool, a curling rink, two municipal beaches, 14 parks covering 126.6 acres (512,000 m²), and an airport that offers charter tours, skydiving and flying lessons.
Arnprior also has a large number of cultural groups, including historical organisations, live theatre, chamber music, dance and choir, service clubs and an active artistic community with numerous studio tours and exhibits.
Some main attractions for the town are: • Arnprior Market: This annual event is held on Sundays along John Street in Downtown Arnprior. From the May long weekend until the last Sunday in September John Street is closed to traffic and over 30 vendors lines the street selling everything from fresh produce and preservatives to unique crafts and giftware. The Market runs from 9 am – 2 pm. • Robert Simpson Park. The park houses a guarded beach, a splash pad, a canteen and a band stand where free live music can be found throughout the summer on Sundays from 2 – 4 pm. Robert Simpson Park features views of the Ottawa River and many activities take place at the park such as the annual Priorpalooza Music Festival, beach volleyball, and yoga on the beach. • There are many walking trails in Arnprior including the Millennium trails and Macnamara Trail which provides scenic views of the waterfront, downtown heritage homes, and two nature trails including a walk-through of the Gillies Grove, a 45-acre (180,000 m²) tract of old-growth forest, preserving the white pine which was the foundation of the local lumber industry. Gillies Grove is also home to the tallest tree (45 m [ ft]) in Ontario. Additionally the rivers and local lakes encourage boating, fishing and canoeing. • Arnprior & District Museum, housed in the former Arnprior Post Office Customs House and built in 1896, offers a unique glimpse into the town's early days. It has undergone many renovations including a completely renovated 2nd floor which is home to a new modern exhibited. The museum also features travelling exhibits from the Royal Ontario Museum often and hosts the Annual Quilt Exhibit every November. • Priorpalooza, 12 hours of music celebrating local artists, this is a free event hosted at the beachfront on the first Saturday in June every year. • White Pine Festival, a three-day event held all around town that includes vendors, music, food, a highland dance competition and a movie in the park. • The Arnprior Fair, a mix of musical entertainment, livestock showing, educational displays and rides.
Galilee Centre, which is the former McLachlin Estate along the Ottawa River, is a holistic spiritual life centre that hosts programs, groups and individuals. On site is a Royal Oak planted in 1860 by His Royal Highness, Edward Prince of Wales.
Arnprior has a population of over 8,795 people. Arnprior also forms part of the wider Renfrew County which has a population of over 111,781 people. Arnprior is situated 29 km east of Renfrew.