Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton

The Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton was a regional government area and census division in Ontario, Canada which existed from 1969 until 2001. It was created in 1969 from the former Carleton County plus Cumberland Township, previously part of Russell County.

Constituent Municipalities

The Regional Municipality originally consisted of the Cities of Ottawa and Eastview, the Villages of Rockliffe, Richmond and Stittsville, and the Townships of Torbolton, Fitzroy, Huntley, March, Goulbourn, Nepean, Osgoode, Marlborough, North Gower, Gloucester and Cumberland. At the same time as the creation of the Region, the City of Eastview was renamed the City of Vanier.

In 1974 the police villages of City View, Kenmore, Manotick, Metcalfe, North Gower, Osgoode Station, and St. Joseph d'Orleans were dissolved. Goulbourn Township annexed the villages of Richmond and Stittsville. The Townships of Marlborough and North Gower merged to become Rideau Township. At the same time the Townships of Torbolton, Fitzroy and Huntley merged to become West Carleton.

In 1978 the Township of March and parts of Goulbourn and Nepean Townships became the City of Kanata. At the same time the Township of Nepean became the City of Nepean. In 1981 the Township of Gloucester became the City of Gloucester. In 1999 the Township of Cumberland became the City of Cumberland.

Purpose of Regional Government

The Region, known as an "upper-tier" level of municipal government, was created to manage municipal services that crossed municipal boundaries and were more efficiently provided to residents on a regional, as opposed to local, basis. Over time, more and more services were transferred from the "lower-tier" municipalities to the Region and, by the end of the 1990s, 85% of municipal services were delivered by the Region. This included mass transit, policing, arterial roads, sewage, water, social services, garbage collection and Regional planning.

Originally, the Region was controlled by a Council consisting of members cross-posted from the lower-tier municipal councils. The Regional chair was selected by these councillors. In 1991, the Regional chair was directly elected by the people of the Region for the first time, a move that had been resisted by the lower-tier mayors for fear that the Regional Chair would effectively become a "super mayor". In 1994, Regional councillors were directly elected to represent Regional wards, rather than being appointed from the lower-tier municipal councils. In fact, many of the new Regional wards crossed lower-tier municipal boundaries, thus undermining the distinctions between the lower-tier municipalities in the eyes of many local residents. It has often been said that the Regional-government reforms of the 1990s led the preparation to the eventual creation of a "single-tier" local government (i.e. amalgamation) in the 2000s, as they reduced the status and importance of the lower-tier municipalities and created one elected municipal Council that served all of Ottawa-Carleton.

To cut costs and simplify the government, all the municipalities of the Region were amalgamated to form the City of Ottawa "megacity" in 2001. This city retained many attributes of the Region, including most of its ward boundaries and the RMOC building, which became City Hall.


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