Discover Carp, Ontario: A Rural Gem in the Heart of Canada

Carp, Ontario is a charming rural community nestled in the northwestern portion of the City of Ottawa, Canada. Located in the West Carleton-March Ward, Carp is approximately 33 km (21 mi) from downtown Ottawa. This compact community is situated on the Carp River and is part of the Kanata—Carleton electoral riding. As of the Canada 2011 Census, the area around Carp was home to 1,965 residents.

A Glimpse into the History of Carp, Ontario

By 1866, Carp had evolved into a bustling post village with a population of 200. It was part of the Township of Huntley, located on the Carp River, and was 32 km (20 mi) from Ottawa. The village was home to three stores, workshops, three hotels, and a town hall. The Loyal Orange Lodge, No. 439, held meetings at the Orange Hall Carp on the first Wednesday of each month. The village was named after the Carp River which runs through it.

The main street of Carp was once a section of the Trans-Canada Highway, carrying a significant amount of traffic from the west into Ottawa. However, with the development of Highway 417, the village was bypassed. Following the amalgamation of municipal governments in the region in 2001, Carp became part of the new city of Ottawa. Today, Carp serves as a mailing address for most of the former Huntley Township. As a result, residents of this large area often identify themselves as living in Carp, even if they live a considerable distance from the village proper.

Exploring the Features and Attractions of Carp, Ontario

Carp is situated on the southern end of the Carp Hills, a pristine range of hills often compared to Gatineau Park. Several walking trails start in or near the town. The Carleton Masonic Lodge #465, a turn-of-the-century church building, has been the Masonic Lodge in Carp since 1925. The building features original stained glass windows and is adorned with beautiful oak furniture originally located in a World War I Military Masonic Lodge in France.

Carp was the site of an alleged 1989 UFO landing, which has been dubbed "one of the most significant cases in UFO history." The incident was filmed by an individual known as 'Guardian' and was featured in an episode of the American TV show Unsolved Mysteries in 1993.

The Carp area is home to three schools: Huntley Centennial Public School, St. Michael's (Corkery), and Venta, a private school which closed in late 2017. The Carp Airport is located just south of the village, and Carp also boasts a junior ice hockey team, the West Carleton Inferno.

The Diefenbunker: Carp, Ontario's Cold War Museum

The Diefenbunker, Canada's Cold War museum, is Carp's main attraction. Located just north of the village, this former top-secret underground bunker was built to house key members of the government in the event of a nuclear attack on Ottawa. The bunker was featured in the film The Sum of All Fears.

In 1960, NATO and the Canadian Department of National Defence built a satellite communications (SATCOM) station at the site. The station supports a 68 ft (21 m) diameter metal space frame radar dome (radome) on its roof, which provides environmental protection for the 50 ft (15 m) diameter SATCOM antenna it houses. The site was decommissioned in 1999 and was purchased by Canadian Space Services Ltd. to serve as its corporate headquarters.

The Carp Fair: A Tradition Since 1863

With the closure of Ottawa SuperEX in 2011, the Carp Fair has become one of the only fall fairs close to Ottawa. Established in 1863, the Carp Fair is held in September each year at the Carp Exhibit Hall, one of the few remaining octagonal frame fairground buildings in Ontario. The rest of the year, the buildings and grounds serve the popular Carp Farmers' Market, held each Saturday from May to October. The red-painted Exhibit Hall with white trim remains a focal point in Carp and was included in Doors Open Ottawa in 2012.

The Carp River: The Heart of Carp, Ontario

The origin of the name of the Carp River is unknown. According to "Carleton Saga" by Harry and Olive Walker, early French explorers found the river to be abundant with fish, specifically suckers and mud-pout, which translate to "carpe" in French.