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For other places with the same name, see Hawkesbury (disambiguation).

Hawkesbury is a pleasant town of 10,000 people (2016) on the Ottawa River near the Ontario-Quebec border about midway between Montreal and Ottawa. English and French are widely spoken here. More than three quarters of the population is francophone, so it's not surprising that some people think that the town is actually called "Oxbury". A bridge crosses the river to the town of Grenville, Quebec.



St-Alphonse-de-Liguori Catholic Church

Hawkesbury was founded in 1798, and named after Charles Jenkinson, Baron Hawkesbury.

Thomas Mears and David Pattee, two Americans, entered into a partnership in 1805 to harness the power of the lower Ottawa River and built the first sawmill on the Upper Canada side of the river. The town of Hawkesbury developed around this mill. Demand for timber during the Napoleonic Wars created a boom. The mill complex continued to grow for at least the next half century, and by 1870 it included 145 different saws and created over 35 million board feet of lumber per year.

Timber and pulp-and-paper industries have been supplanted by textiles, synthetic fibres, metal extrusions, steel, glass and plastics. Hawkesbury has also become the business and service centre of the county of Prescott-Russell, although Rockland has become the largest community. New developments today are happening due to baby boomers from Ottawa, Montreal and area purchasing some of the many new condos in town.

Get in[edit]

Hawkesbury Chenail Cultural center with a view of the Long-Sault Bridge spanning the Ottawa River.

By car[edit]

South of Hawkesbury, Highway 417, a freeway, travels east from Ottawa and west from Montreal. Highway 417 becomes Autoroute 40, a freeway in Quebec. Between Ottawa and Montreal, Highway 417 and Autoroute 40 are part of the Trans-Canada Highway. To reach Hawkesbury from Highway 417, take Russell County Road 17 if heading westbound or head north on Highway 34 if heading eastbound.

The Long Sault Interprovincial Bridge between Hawkesbury, Ontario and Grenville, Quebec, means that Hawkesbury is within minutes of Autoroute 50, a freeway, and Route 148. Both enable travel from eastbound from Gatineau and westbound from suburbs north of Montreal.

By bus[edit]

Leduc Bus Lines, in partnership with OC Transpo, offers a commuter bus service to Ottawa and Gatineau. This service has been suspended (as of Jan 2021).

The town is served by two small private airports:

  • Hawkesbury Airport
  • Hawkesbury (East) Airport

Get around[edit]


L'Orignal Jail
  • 1 L'Orignal Old Jail (Ancienne Prison de L'Orignal), 1023 Rue Queen, L'Orignal, +1 613-675-4661. The oldest jail in Ontario and the second oldest jail in Canada. The L'Orignal Old Jail is a historic building where you can experience the penitentiary atmosphere of long ago. Adults $7, seniors (65+) and students $6, children (5 – 12) $4, family (2 adults + 2 children) $20. L'Orignal Jail (Q6455834) on Wikidata L'Orignal Jail on Wikipedia
  • 2 Cultural Centre Le Chenail (Le Centre culturel Le Chenail), 2 John St. M-F 10AM-4PM, Sa Su 1-4PM. Cultural centre for the promotion of francophone culture.
Group of monuments erected near the Chenail Cultural Center, on Chenail Island, in Hawkesbury, along the Ottawa River.
  • 3 Jacob's treasures (Les trésors Jacob), 329, Main St. East, +1 613-632-5800. It is an art gallery with several paintings, antiques, teas, coffees, stuffed animals, figurines and other treasures.


  • Bike Fest Hawkesbury (Fête du vélo de Hawkesbury). Every year in September, a festival welcoming several motorcyclists is held there. Having started in 2015, Bike Fest Hawkesbury has grown very large with several activities, shows and booths.


At this point the Ottawa River is wide and good for boating and sailing. Nearby on the Rouge River, whitewater activities such as rafting, kayaking and canoeing are popular.


In Hawkesbury, there are several places where you can participate in leisure activities such as skating, baseball, basketball, soccer, etc. There is a sports complex, the Robert Hartley Sports Complex, with exhibition halls, tennis courts, a swimming pool, indoor ice rinks, etc. However, there are several parks that allow Hawkesbury residents to participate in outdoor activities.

Here is a list of these parks:

  • 3 Cadieux Park, 454, rue Kitchener.
  • 4 Confederation Park, 2, rue John.
  • 5 Cyr-de-LaSalle Park, 571, rue Main est. This place is on the river with a dog park, baseball diamond and boat launch.
  • 6 Larocque Park, 470, rue Abbott. This park has many attractions, including a basketball court, an outdoor skating rink, a children's playground and water games.
  • 7 Memorial Park, 433, Cartier Blvd.
  • 8 Old Mill Park, 527, rue James.
  • 9 Sidney Park, 906, rue Sidney.


Gas prices in this region are generally lower (i.e. 5-10 cents per litre) than in Montreal and Ottawa.






The telephone prefixes for Hawkesbury are 613, and the newer 343. You must dial the telephone prefix and the 7 other digits in order to call someone.


The Hawkesbury General Hospital provides health services for the region's population. It is the most recommended community hospital in Ontario according to the NRC Picker survey.

  • 10 Hawkesbury & District General Hospital (Hôpital Général de Hawkesbury & District), 1111, rue Ghislain, +1 613-632-1111.

Go next[edit]

  • 11 Voyageur Provincial Park, 1313 Front Road, Chute-à-Blondeau, +1 613-674-2825. Formerly called "Carillon Provincial Park", this park is a few miles east of Hawkesbury (exit 4 of highway 417). Forest park built around a bay on the south shore of the Ottawa River and offering camping sites and recreational tourism activities: biking, wildlife observations, boating, fishing, hiking, four beaches, and activities winter (10 km of cross-country ski trail and snowshoe hikes). Voyageur Provincial Park (Q3364696) on Wikidata Voyageur Provincial Park on Wikipedia
  • 12 Casselman. Founded in 1844, Casselman by a loyalist has developed in its history by the timber trade (sawmill) and the railroad. The village has a commercial vocation for travelers. Around the village, agriculture is the main economic activity. The main attractions are: Richelieu Park, Splash Casselman and the High Falls conservation area (on the "Rivière Nation North Road"). Casselman (Q681272) on Wikidata Casselman, Ontario on Wikipedia
  • 13 Embrun (Embrun (Ontario)). One of the most important villages in the Township of Russell. Initially, it was colonized by French-speaking Canadians. In 1932, a terrible fire destroyed many buildings in the village. Embrun has several parks and nature trails. Embrun (Q1335200) on Wikidata Embrun, Ontario on Wikipedia
  • 14 Vankleek Hill. A locality founded by loyalists, the old buildings in the village feature red brick walls, usually with white trim. In the past, several cheese factories were operated there; today, the dairy industry is the main economic activity. The public can visit the former L'Orignal Prison, the Vankleek Hill Museum, the Higginson Tower and several agri-food farms, among others. Vankleek Hill (Q3554614) on Wikidata Vankleek Hill, Ontario on Wikipedia
  • 15 Grenville, 1313 Front Road, Chute-à-Blondeau (North of the Ottawa River). A picturesque and modern municipality located on the north shore of the Ottawa River, in the MRC d'Argenteuil, in the province of Quebec, opposite Hawkesbury. The remaining submerged part of the Grenville Canal has a magnificent natural and historical park with a footpath. Locality with a great history and offering various services to travelers and boaters. Grenville (Q3116515) on Wikidata Grenville, Quebec on Wikipedia
Routes through Hawkesbury
END  N  S  → Vankleek Hill → ENDS at

Routes through Vankleek Hill
OttawaLimoges ← Jct S  W  E  → becomes RigaudMontreal
ENDHawkesbury  N  S  ENDS at

This city travel guide to Hawkesbury is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.