Prescott-Russell is a county in Eastern Ontario, Canada. It has a population of about 90,000 (2016). It is just east of the national capital city of Ottawa, and south (across the Ottawa River) from the province of Quebec. The Saint Lawrence Seaway (and the state of New York) are a short distance to the south.
Towns and villages
Prescott-Russell has no cities, but has several towns and villages.
- 1 Embrun — a vibrant boomtown
- 2 Hawkesbury — Prescott-Russell's largest town, yet still with a rural feel
- 3 Limoges — at the edge of the forest
- 4 Russell — with a quaint village flair
- 5 Vankleek Hill — a town 11 km south of Hawkesbury, roughly halfway between Ottawa and Montreal
- 1 Larose Forest — A beautiful plantation forest just waiting to be discovered.
- 2 Voyageur Provincial Park — Breathtaking park by the shore.
Prescott-Russell is sometimes called "Prescott and Russell".
Prescott-Russell is officially called "Prescott and Russell United Counties" or "United Counties of Prescott and Russell" because the county was once two separate counties.
While First Nations tribes lived here thousands of years ago, the first European settlements in the area didn't arise until the 1700s, when the village of L'Orignal was built. However, many other villages weren't built up until the 1800s. For example, Embrun, Casselman and Russell were built in the mid-19th century.
Across the river from French-speaking Quebec, the majority of the people in Prescott-Russell as a whole are francophone, but there are many anglophones, and many francophones have a good knowledge of English and vice versa. Most towns are predominantly francophone and a few are majority anglophone.
Getting to Prescott-Russell by car is easy. Trans-Canada Highway 417 travels right across the county, with easy access to the South and Northeast from Highway 417.
Also, County Road 17 crosses the northern part of the county, which provides easy access to both the Northwest and the Northeast. County Road 17 continues off of County Road 174 in Ottawa and merges with Highway 417 about 6km east of Hawkesbury.
While less convenient, you can enter the county by train. There is only one train station in the county, at Casselman. The nearest car rental store to the train station is Thrifty Car Rental at 821 Notre-Dame Street in Embrun. The taxi fare between Casselman and Embrun is about $35.
Getting around Prescott-Russell is easy by car.
If you're travelling across the south, Highway 417 is an easy way to get around. All towns in the south are within 15 km of Highway 417. Russell can be accessed by Exits 96 or 88, Embrun can be accessed by Exit 88 or 79, Limoges can be accessed by Exit 79, Casselman can be accessed by Exit 66, and St. Isidore can be accessed by Exit 51.
If you're travelling across the northwest, Highway 17 connects Rockland, Wendover, Plantagenet and Alfred. To get to Bourget, get to Caron Road, in Rockland, which ends at Baseline Road. From there, turn left on Baseline Road, then turn right on Champlain Road North, which leads into Bourget. Highway 17 continues eastward to the northeast.
If you're travelling across the northeast, then three highways help you navigate around. Highway 417 connects Highway 34, Highway 17, and Prescott and Russell Road, which leads to East Hawkesbury (St. Eugene). Highway 34 connects Highway 417 with Hawkesbury and Vankleek Hill. Highway 17 connects Highway 417, Hawkesbury and L'Orignal. Highway 17 also continues westward to the northwest. Highway 417 continues southeast towards the south.
In Hawkesbury, you'll find the oldest jail in Ontario and the second oldest jail in Canada. L'Orignal Old Jail is a historic building where you can experience the penitentiary atmosphere of long ago.
The Église St. Jacques is a beautiful 19th-century church in the heart of Embrun.
The Keith M. Boyd Museum in Russell has photographs and artifacts dating back to the early 1800s.
The Embrun Recreational Bike Trail in Embrun is a beautiful recreational trail.
The Calypso Water Park in Limoges is Canada's biggest theme waterpark, with more than 35 slides, 100 water games and 2 theme rivers
The J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area is a 16-acre greenspace in Russell that links with the Russell Township New York Central Fitness Trail to Embrun.