Deschênes has deep roots in the natural environment and the history of the Outaouais. Looking out over one of the few remaining undeveloped rapids of this size on the Ottawa River, our neighbourhood is surrounded by woods, stands of mature trees, fields, marshes, and wetlands, with a diversity of wild birds, mammals, reptiles and other creatures.
We take pride in our river, green spaces, heritage sites and small businesses, and we welcome the many visitors to our heritage sites: cyclists, cross-country skiers, fishermen, kayakers, strollers, families, bird watchers, and lovers of the river.
This website is brought to you by the Deschênes Residents’ Association (ARD).
Our objective is to preserve the culture and history of Deschênes by taking a proactive role in the future development of our neighbourhood.
We welcome your comments and input: email@example.com
I. HistorySince its founding in the early 1800s, our community has housed sawmills, grist mills and a generating station which powered the Hull Electric Railway connecting Ottawa and Aylmer, all powered by the rapids. These developments have left heritage sites, including the old dam, the Hull Electric train buildings (now converted into apartments) and the Hull Electric house. Today our neighbourhood is a residential area with its own distinct character. More about the history of Deschênes is found in the following:
a. Archaeology, a preliminary archaeological survey was carried out by GRAO (Groupe de recherche archéologique de l’Outaouais) in the summer of 2012 to determine potential areas for archaeological exploration. Some sites containing aboriginal material were found near Deschênes in the early 20th century. (Sowter Report)
EVENT:GRAO (the Outaouais Archeological research group) and the historian, Michelle Guitard, gave a presentation on the heritage and archeological potential of Deschênes on February 9 to a sizable audience at the André Touchet Community Centre, as a part of Heritage Month
If you missed it, see the following links to their reports:
b. Oral Histories : a small group of us, youth and adults, are in the process of interviewing elders in Deschênes whose families have lived here for generations. We hope to share a resulting video showcasing our community's history this spring. If you have great Deschênes stories to tell or would like to participate as an interviewer, call Michelle at 819 684-6653.
II. Mettre Deschênes sur la Mappe (Deschênes on the map)
III. Natural Environment Residents clearly expressed their wish to protect and obtain greater recognition of the natural areas around their neighbourhood, in consultations held during the project "Deschênes on the map". These natural areas attract numerous visitors by bike, on foot and by car from all surrounding areas, as well as further away.
The Outaouais birding club (COO) has conducted a species inventory of animals and plants. The results have shown an astonishing diversity in our green spaces, 797 in all, with birds alone accounting for 263, among which numerous rare or endangered species. No wonder Nature Canada has identified this area as significant bird habitat! We hope this study can form a basis for the conservation of this special ecosystem.
Deschênes Placenames Toponomie
Eco-education in the Boisé
Deschênes bike path wins
in the Aylmer Bulletin's "Best of Aylmer" competition
Other Community Organisations:
make yourself at home in Deschênes' Community House
- Find a book in our library,
- Look for a job on our computers
- Come do your homework
- Join a social group
- or make your own!