Your location: Rideau Canal Home Page > History > Communities > Town of Kemptville

Town of Kemptville

View Larger Map

checkedDocking checkedGrocery Store checkedRestaurant
uncheckedMarine Services checkedLiquor Store checkedGas Station
checkedBank checkedPharmacy checkedPost Office
checkedBank Machine checkedLaundromat checkedDoctor/Clinic

Google Earth View Kemptville in Google Earth
(You must already have Google Earth - click here for more info)


Kemptville is located near the junction of Highway 43 and Highway 416 and so is very accessible to the Rideau visitor. In town (population 3900) there are a variety of stores and restaurants and Kemptville Hospital offers medical and emergency services. Along County Road 43 the visitor can find food, fuel, hardware and supplies.

The Ferguson Forest Centre (part of the former G. Howard Ferguson Forest Station) is a major source of tree seedlings. There is a large tract of Crown Land (part of the former Forest Station) which has 22 km of hiking trails taking you through pine forests, marshland and beech stands.

Kemptville is accessible from the Rideau Canal by way of Kemptville Creek. Kemptville Creek is navigable by shallow draught boats to the town. Limiting depths are 3 feet (1 m) at datum, but local boaters report depths of from 7-15 feet (2-5 m). The other limiting factor is the Bridge Street bridge which has a clearance of 11 feet (3.5 m). Boaters will find a boat launch with a small dock and washrooms at Curry Park just south of the Bridge Street Bridge. However, this water access point is a fair distance from any Kemptville services.


Kemptville was founded by Lyman Clothier when he settled here with his four sons. In about 1815-1816, Clothier built his first saw mill. The settlement was first known as "The Branch" for its location on the South Branch of the Rideau River and later became known as Clothier Mills after Clothier's thriving saw mill business. In 1821, Clothier expanded his business to include grist milling. The town was on the new road route between Prescott and Bytown and soon became the centre for regional activity. In 1828 the town was renamed "Kemptville" in honour of Sir James Kempt, then the Governor General of British North America. With the completion of the Rideau Canal, Kemptville drew weekly visits from steamers en route from Ottawa to Montreal.

In January 1857, the Village of Kemptville was incorporated by a Special Act of the Legislature of Upper Canada.

For more information about Kemptville, follow the Kemptville links on the Links Page.

You will also pass through Kemptville on the Ecology Tour North, the Heritage Tour North and the Picnic Tour North driving tours.

Back to Map Page or to Community History Page

Comments: send me email: Ken Watson

©1996- Ken W. Watson