Pembroke – The County of Renfrew turned 160 on Tuesday, but the event was marked in quite a different fashion than the elaborate EXPO 150 anniversary a decade ago.
EXPO 150 was an event which brought not only County residents together to explore and celebrate but also visitors to the area as a large event showcasing the area’s history and present. The county also marked its special connection to Renfrewshire in Scotland and further twinning plans are ongoing. In 2021, the celebration was a tad more low key with a press release noting June 8th marks the 160th Birthday of the County of Renfrew.
In 1861, the separation of Renfrew from Lanark began with the creation of a Provisional Municipal Council. The County of Renfrew held its first council meeting in June of 1861 and consisted of 37 geographic Townships by 1878. This is a stark contrast from the 17 local municipalities established in 2001 that now make up the governing body of today. It is also hard to imagine how those original mayors and reeves would have dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic, the restrictions, closures and virtual meetings.
Warden Debbie Robinson, in her second year as warden, pointed out there is much to celebrate about Renfrew County.
“Renfrew County is blessed as a county, with such natural beauty and filled with diverse people who are rich in culture, stories, traditions and a sense of community. We are thankful for the continued good friendship and partnerships we share with the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation, “she said. “As we look back on our history as a municipality, we must also look forward to the next 160 years as an opportunity to build upon the efforts we have made, and to continue to make this great and diverse county a place everyone is proud to call home.”
Renfrew County is in the heart of the Ottawa Valley. It is comprised of seventeen diverse municipalities. The area is rural in nature and is made up of distinct physiographic regions, covering 7,645.68 sq. km.
Renfrew County is very diverse, offering vast opportunities for research, business growth and investment. The area offers a range of living styles including historic towns, scenic rural areas and waterfront locations, with amenities and services. Outdoor adventures including World-class white-water experiences, historical locations, access to the Ottawa River a World Heritage River, and several other rivers across the vast county make this area highly attractive for those seeking adventure or recreation. The COVID-19 pandemic has also seen house prices soaring in the area as an influx of residents from other areas move to the county.
Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader