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Blackburn Hamlet is a community in eastern Ontario, Canada in the city of Ottawa. It is considered an outer-suburb of Ottawa, and before the 2001 amalgamation of the city of Ottawa, it was in the city of Gloucester. It is still a partially rural area, but with several older and newer areas of settlement. Population (2006): 8,527.
"Blackburn" as it is known locally, is one of only two suburban areas (the other being Bells Corners) surrounded by National Capital Commission (NCC) Greenbelt lands as well as Canadian Federal Conservation Authority lands and Lands owned by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) which were formerly the National Defence Proving Grounds. Together, these lands form part of Ottawa's "Greenbelt" and provide Blackburn Hamlet residents and visitors with over 250 km of hiking and cross country skiing trails. The forested areas of Blackburn and along these trails one can find many geocaches, a sport where participants make use of a GPS unit to find hidden caches.
As well, these lands house one of the region's most sought after toboggan hills at Green's Creek, a series of outdoor soccer fields, known collectively as the Hornet's Nest, which host international soccer tournaments and a cooperative garden maintained by residents for over 25 years. The Hornet's Nest includes an air-supported indoor recreation dome, called the SuperDome. The SuperDome is set in the middle of the beautiful fields and woods of the Hornet's Nest. A private, for-profit business, the SuperDome was constructed in cooperation with the city of Ottawa. Blackburn Hamlet's French public high school, Louis Riel, is home to North America’s largest air-supported fabric structure indoor recreation facility, at 12,422 square meters (133,705 square feet). Louis Riel's more discreetly located facility was planned and initiated before the SuperDome.
Blackburn is closer to downtown Ottawa than almost all the "new" suburbs (only a 10 minute drive), yet offers an old-fashioned country village feeling rarely found in neighbourhoods today. Connected end to end via a series of treed parks and bike paths, Blackburn is pedestrian friendly. Blackburn offers all modern amenities within no more than a 10 minute walk from most homes. Those include: grocery store, medical, dental & legal practices, 3 drug stores, several pubs and restaurants, 2 banks, service stations, convenience stores, pizza delivery, video rental, dry cleaners, pawn shop, seniors residences, public, catholic and French schools, private schools and day-cares, many baseball diamonds, soccer fields, indoor arena and several outdoor rinks, large community centre, public library, outdoor pool, tennis courts, 11 children's play parks, and access to the Ottawa Regional bike paths. There is a host of activities and amateur intramural sports available as well.
Blackburn is represented at city council but there is active community volunteer involvement as well through the Blackburn Community Association (BCA). Many activities, clubs, events and committees are run through the BCA.
Blackburn Hamlet took its name from Robert Blackburn, former Member of Parliament for Russell.
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