whose Corners?

Bells Corners (Bell’s Corners) emerged from the intersection of Richmond Road and the concession road that led to Goulbourn, now known as Robertson Road, which opened in 1833.

The intersection in 1833 contained just one building, a tavern inn owned by a man named Robert Malcolmson. Malcolmson soon had competition across the road from another tavern inn owned by Hugh Bell, a recent immigrant from Ireland. Here’s a Bell grave near the library

In time, other business owners set themselves up on the corner, which came to be named after Bell. In 1863 it was a rural service centre roughly halfway between Ottawa and Richmond (with the village of Fallowfield halfway between Bells Corners and Richmond).

The village was totally gutted by a fire in 1870. Arnold’s store and post office, the most important business, was devoured by flames. It was rebuilt shortly afterwards and then demolished in 1966 to make way for Nepean’s City Hall. The fire station occupies the space now.

To protect them from future fires, most of the buildings were rebuilt in stone, like The Spa and Als Steakhouse:

The few houses on Stinson near the Shell station are the oldest “modern” houses in Bells Corners (1950).

In 1957 Bells Corners was mostly scrubland and farmers’ fields. The tract housing boom took off with the construction of Lynwood Village in the late fifties and early sixties, a partnership between land speculator Lloyd Francis and Bill Teron.

Registration dates of subdivision plans: Arbeatha (1955-58), Lynwood Village (1958-62), the triangle inside of Richmond, Moodie and Robertson (1966), Westcliffe (1969-76).

According to a local real estate agent, when the original owners moved to Lynwood, cows wandered into their backyards and the roads were not yet finished. The kids went to Bells Corners Public School.

Al’s Steak House was the home of the Steenbakker family, gas stations were few and far between, LaSalle Factory was the main shopping outlet, and there was lots of vacant land.

Bill Teron outdid himself in his designs in Lynwood. While there were probably fewer than ten floorplans, great pains were taken to make each home appear different. The houses were situated at different angles on the lots, the roof lines were not all alike, the window treatments were varied and some had garages or carports and others did not.

At that time, there were two different types of homes … the PLANNER Series and the more expensive EXECUTIVE Series. Today, at first glance, because of varied renovations and extensive additions, the difference is not easy to notice. Probably the easiest way to tell, in most cases, is the ensuite bathroom. The Executive Series had a two-piece ensuite bath while the smaller models did not. At the time of building, the homes in the Executive Series had a window in the dining room, two double closets in the master bedroom and were approximately two hundred odd square feet larger. The basement stairs in the Planner Series ran behind the dining room eliminating the possibility of an outside window at the back of the room. Each room was just a bit smaller in the Planner Series; however, the models were similar.

In the late 1960’s, fresh from his spectacular success as the innovator of Kanata, Bill Teron returned to Lynwood and built roughly one dozen larger two-storey homes, most with double garages and almost all backing on the NCC Greenbelt. These houses became homes to many who had started out in Lynwood bungalows, loved the neighbourhood and required more space for growing families.

The streets, crescents and avenues wind around Lynwood Village in a most interesting pattern, many of them backing onto NCC Greenbelt, making these lots “premium.” Some streets offer access into the Greenbelt for hiking and cross-country skiing. While mini-buses once travelled within the neighbourhood, public transportation is now limited to the perimeter of the neighbourhood.

Lynwood Village homes started out selling at just over $12,000 in 1959. In 2005, there was not much around under $200,000 with several homes going at over $300,000.

In 2010, 29 Lynwood Village houses were sold, at an average price of $332,878. Many people think that prices in Lynwood Village will soon skyrocket because of DND taking over the Nortel campus.

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1 Response to whose Corners?

  1. Barry Wellar says:

    We moved onto Ridgefield Crescent several months ago after living in the Carlingwood area for 36 years. We are adjusting to the downsizing process, do not miss the heavy traffic one bit, and are quite enjoying ourselves. The article is very useful as context.

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