Renfrew County

Coordinates: 45°40′N 77°15′W / 45.667°N 77.250°W / 45.667; -77.250
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Renfrew County
County of Renfrew
The administration building of the county government
The administration building of the county government
Location of Renfrew County
Location of Renfrew County
Coordinates: 45°40′N 77°15′W / 45.667°N 77.250°W / 45.667; -77.250
Country Canada
Province Ontario
County seatPembroke (independent)
 • Land7,419.00 km2 (2,864.49 sq mi)
 • Total88,512
 • Density11.9/km2 (31/sq mi)
 • Population (census division)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Area code(s)613 and 343

Renfrew County is a county in the Canadian province of Ontario. It stands on the west bank of the Ottawa River. There are 17 municipalities in the county.


Bathurst District[edit]

When Carleton County was withdrawn from Bathurst District in 1838, Renfrew County was severed from part of the remaining Lanark County,[2] but the two remained united for electoral purposes.[3] By 1845, all lands in the District had been surveyed into the following townships:

Counties comprising Bathurst District (1845)
Lanark Renfrew
  • Bathurst
  • Beckwith
  • Drummond
  • Dalhousie
  • Darling
  • North Elmsley
  • North Burgess
  • Levant
  • Lanark
  • Montague
  • Ramsay
  • North Sherbrooke
  • South Sherbrooke
  • Admaston
  • Blithefield
  • Bagot
  • Bromley
  • Horton
  • McNab
  • Pakenham
  • Pembroke
  • Ross
  • Stafford
  • Westmeath

United Counties of Lanark and Renfrew[edit]

Effective January 1, 1850, Bathurst District was abolished, and the "United Counties of Lanark and Renfrew" replaced it for municipal and judicial purposes.[4] The counties remained united for electoral purposes in the Parliament of the Province of Canada, referred to as the County of Lanark,[5] until Renfrew gained its own seat in 1853.[6]

The separation of Renfrew from Lanark began in 1861, with the creation of a Provisional Municipal Council[7] that held its first meeting in June 1861.[8] The United Counties were dissolved in August 1866.[8]

Geographical evolution[edit]

The territory was originally described in 1838 as consisting of:

...the Townships of Packenham, McNab, Horton, Ross, Westmeath and Pembroke, together with the unsurveyed lands within the District of Bathurst, and all the islands in the Ottawa River, wholly or in greater part opposite to the said Townships and unsurveyed lands...[2]

In 1851, Pakenham was transferred to Lanark,[5] while Renfrew was expanded through the addition of:

...all that tract of land lying between the Western Boundaries of the Townships of Lavant, Blithfield, Admaston, Bromley, Stafford and Pembroke and the Ottawa River, and a line drawn parallel to the general course of the said Boundaries of the said Townships from the western corner of the Township of Clarendon to the Ottawa River.[5]

In 1860, the newly surveyed townships of Miller and Canonto were transferred to Frontenac County, while the townships of Raglan, Lyndoch, Radcliffe and Brudenell were added to Renfrew.[9] The final expansion of the County occurred in 1877-1878, with the transfer of the United Townships of Hagarty, Sherwood, Jones, Richards and Burns, and the United Townships of Head, Clara and Maria, from Nipissing District.[10]

Once all lands had been surveyed, the County consisted of the following townships:

Geographic townships of Renfrew County (1878)

Municipal reorganization (2001)[edit]

Map showing the city of Pembroke, with the five towns and twelve townships of Renfrew County, Ontario.[11]
City of Arnprior
Town of Deep River
Town of Laurentian Hills
Town of Petawawa
Town of Renfrew
Township of Admaston/Bromley
Township of Bonnechere Valley
Township of Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan
Township of Greater Madawaska
Township of Head, Clara and Maria
Township of Horton
Township of Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards
Township of Laurentian Valley
Township of Madawaska Valley
Township of McNab/Braeside
Township of North Algona Wilberforce
Township of Whitewater Region
Current municipality consisting of the townships of
Town of Arnprior
Town of Deep River
Town of Laurentian Hills
  • Buchanan
  • McKay
  • Rolph
  • Wylie
Town of Petawawa
  • Petawawa
Town of Renfrew
Township of Admaston/Bromley
  • Admaston
  • Bromley
Township of Bonnechere Valley
  • Grattan
  • Sebastopol
  • South Alcona
Township of Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan
  • Brudenell
  • Lyndoch
  • Raglan
Township of Greater Madawaska
  • Bagot
  • Blythfield
  • Brougham
  • Griffith
  • Matawatchan
Township of Head, Clara and Maria
  • Clara
  • Head
  • Maria
Township of Horton
  • Horton
Township of Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards
  • Hagarty
  • Richards
Township of Laurentian Valley
  • Alice
  • Fraser
  • Pembroke
  • Stafford
Township of Madawaska Valley
  • Burns
  • Jones
  • Radcliffe
  • Sherwood
Township of McNab/Braeside
  • McNab
Township of North Algona Wilberforce
  • North Algona
  • Wilberforce
Township of Whitewater Region
  • Ross
  • Westmeath

The county seat, Pembroke, is a separated municipality.


Entering Renfrew County from Quebec on QC148

Renfrew County is known for its lakeside cottages and white-water rafting along the Ottawa River, and has more than 900 lakes.[12] It is located in the primary region of Southern Ontario and the secondary region Eastern or Southeastern Ontario. Renfrew County is also the largest county in terms of area in Ontario, ahead of Hastings County.


As a census division in the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Renfrew County had a population of 106,365 living in 44,952 of its 51,134 total private dwellings, a change of 3.9% from its 2016 population of 102,394. With a land area of 7,357.94 km2 (2,840.92 sq mi), it had a population density of 14.5/km2 (37.4/sq mi) in 2021.[13]

Canada census – Renfrew community profile
Population106,365 (+3.9% from 2016)102,394 (1.1% from 2011)101,326 (3.9% from 2006)
Land area7,357.94 km2 (2,840.92 sq mi)7,440.81 km2 (2,872.91 sq mi)
Population density14.5/km2 (38/sq mi)13.6/km2 (35/sq mi)
Median age45.2 (M: 43.2, F: 47.2)
Private dwellings44,955 (total)  49,860 (total)  48,229 (total) 
Median household income
References: 2021[14] 2016[15] 2011[16] earlier[17][18]

Arts and culture[edit]

At Wilno, Ontario Canada's Kashubian community celebrates their heritage.


The county is home to CFB Petawawa and gives its name to The Lanark and Renfrew Scottish Regiment.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Renfrew County census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Archived from the original on 2015-07-25. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
  2. ^ a b An Act to erect certain townships now forming parts of the Districts of Bathurst, Johnstown and Ottawa, into a separate District, to be called the District of Dalhousie, and for other purposes therein mentioned, S.U.C. 1838, c. 25, s. 23
  3. ^ An Act for better defining the limits of the Counties and Districts in Upper Canada, for erecting certain new Townships, for detaching Townships from some Counties and attaching them to others, and for other purposes relative to the division of Upper Canada into Townships, Counties and Districts, S.Prov.C. 1845, c. 7, Sch. A, B
  4. ^ An Act for abolishing the Territorial Division of Upper-Canada into Districts, and for providing temporary Unions of Counties for Judicial and other purposes, and for the future dissolutions of such Unions, as the increase of wealth and population may require, S.Prov.C. 1849, c. 78, Sch. B
  5. ^ a b c An Act to make certain alterations in the Territorial Divisions of Upper Canada, S.Prov.C. 1851, c. 5, Sch. C
  6. ^ An Act to enlarge the Representation of the People of this Province in Parliament, S.Prov.C. 1853, c. 152, s. 2(19)
  7. ^ An Act to provide for the separation of the County of Renfrew from the County of Lanark, S.Prov.C. 1861, c. 51
  8. ^ a b Mitchell, S.E. (1919). "The County Council". In Smallfield, W.E.; Campbell, Rev. Robert (eds.). The Story of Renfrew: From the Coming of the First Settlers about 1820. Vol. One. Renfrew: Smallfield & Son. p. 191.
  9. ^ An Act to amend "An Act respecting the Territorial Division of Upper Canada", S.Prov.C. 1860, c. 39
  10. ^ Proclamations of June 2, 1877 and January 6, 1878, implementing An Act to apply the Municipal Law to certain Townships in the District of Nipissing, S.O. 1877, c. 30
  11. ^ Restructured municipalities - Ontario map #5 (Map). Restructuring Maps of Ontario. Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. 2006. Archived from the original on May 11, 2020. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  12. ^ Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada located in the Ottawa Valley, County of Renfrew
  13. ^ "Population and dwelling counts: Canada and census divisions". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  14. ^ "2021 Community Profiles". 2021 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 4, 2022. Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  15. ^ "2016 Community Profiles". 2016 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. August 12, 2021.
  16. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". 2011 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. March 21, 2019. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
  17. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". 2006 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. August 20, 2019.
  18. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. July 18, 2021.

External links[edit]