Narrow tree lined streets, 19th century homes, and a tranquil rural atmosphere characterize Kars. Located on the shore of the Rideau River, Kars has changed little from its village origins. A public dock offers the boating visitor access to the town. The general store is an easy walk from the dock.
There are golf courses located just a few kilometres north of town, and the nature enthusiast will want to visit the W.A. Taylor Conservation Area, the Baxter Conservation Area, and the Rideau River Provincial Park, all located on the Rideau River, south of Kars.
The actual founding of Kars appears to be lost to history, but there is some indication that a small settlement had started at the confluence of Steven Creek and the Rideau River by about 1820. An 1828 map shows the creek named as Stephens Creek. In 1829, James Lindsay moved into the area and built a wharf just south of the present dock. The building of the Rideau Canal provided a commercial boon, and a six street village was laid out and named Wellington. The early industry was lumbering and with vast forests extending to the west, Wellington became a busy shipping point. In 1856 the name of the community was changed to Kars. There was already a Wellington in Prince Edward County, and Kars was chosen to commemorate the British defence of Kars in Turkey in 1855 against a Russian siege. In 2001 Kars was almalgamated into the City of Ottawa.
The railroad passed Kars by and it never grew beyond its rural roots.
At the corner of Wellington and Nelson Streets you will find the Adam Eastman house, built in 1854. Adam Eastman was one of the first mill owners. On Rideau Valley Drive, just north of the corner with Ann Street you'll find the St. John's Anglican Church, built by John Eastman in 1850. About half a kilometre south of Kars is the stone house of James Linday, built in 1850.