The Carp Farmer's Market - April/May to October, every Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm

The Village of Carp

The Village of Carp in the Township of Huntley lies in the western-most ward of Ottawa, approximately ten kilometers west of Kanata. The population as of 2012 is estimated to be approximately 2000. The official boundary for the village was established in 1979 and Huntley Township was amalgamated with the City of Ottawa in 2001. The village sits on the edge of the Carp Escarpment (or Carp Ridge), a geological fault running through the Carp River Valley. The Carp Hills and the Carp River are other principal geographic characteristics of the village terrain. One of the main streets, Donald B. Munro Drive, was once a part of the Trans-Canada highway until the building of the "Carp bypass" as part of highway 17/417 in the mid 1960s. Carp has been a major centre for agricultural activities since the 1800s. The Carp Agricultural Society and the annual Carp Agricultural Fair date back to 1863. The Carp Fair draws visitors and participants from all over Ontario, Quebec, and the New England States. The Carp Farmer's Market is held every Saturday from April/May to October on the the southern part of the Fair Grounds and attacts regular visitors from Ottawa and many of the towns and communities around Carp. Located a short distance from the Carp Fair grounds is the other well known feature of Carp, namely the Diefenbunker, built in the 1960s to house the principals of the Federal Government in the event of a nuclear attack.

The Annual Carp Fair

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The Annual Carp Agricultural Fair (the Carp Fair, for short) is held in September and occupies nearly all of the extensive Carp Fair grounds. This Fair is one of the most popular rural fairs in all of Ontario. It features a rich variety of agricultural exhibits, a midway, many shows and exhibits, musical artists, antique displays, strongman competitions, and many other venues and events. The Carp Fair caters to families and the midway has rides and attractions for all ages. The Fair runs three full days from Friday morning through to Sunday evening. Admission for the Fair is $10 for ages 13+, $5 for children 6-12, and children 5 and under are admitted free. There is ample free parking. There are additional fees for the midway rides and for some of the entertainment events. See the Carp Fair website for more details.

The Carp Farmer's Market

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The Carp Farmer's Market has been a favourite attraction since its inception in 1990 not only for Carp residents but for many regular visitors from Ottawa and the area about Carp. The market runs from April to October every weekend except the weekend of the Carp Fair. The Carp Farmer's Market boasts a rich and varied list of vendors which are located in the southern end of the Carp Fair grounds and inside the round-house pavilion. A wide variety of fresh produce is available according to the seasonal harvest schedule. There is a different theme to the Market each and every week and a much anticipated Garlic Festival is held in August as a part of the weekend market. There is also a special Christmas Market held approximately 3-4 weeks before Christmas. Well behaved dogs (on leashes) are welcome. For further information, visit the Carp Farmer's Market website.

The Diefenbunker

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The Diefenbunker, referred to as Canada's Cold War Museum, was owned and operated from 1959 to 1994 by Canada's Department of National Defence. Its intent was to provide a durable and safe refuge for the principals of the Federal Government in the event of nuclear war. It was so named after John Diefenbaker, the Prime Minister of Canada at the time when construction of the bunker was initiated. The bunker along with the entire site was sold to the Township of West Carleton in 1994 and first opened as the Diefenbunker Museum in June, 1998. It is described by the Historical Sites and Monuments Board as the most important surviving Cold War site in Canada. The 2017 film "Zygote" was filmed entirely in the Diefenbunker while parts of the Diefenbunker were used for scenes in the 2002 movie "The Sum of All Fears".

Read the latest issue of the "Carp Villager", the Carp BIA newsletter

OCTranspo offers a weekly, free bus service from Carp to Bayshore, Lincoln Fields, and Carlingwood shopping centres.

Retire in Carp

A multi-storey 'retirement campus' located in the centre of the Village opened its doors in March, 2019. The centre is being actively promoted with the byline "Retire in Carp" and includes an assortment of new shops, dining, and services. More information can be found at the Carp Commons Retirement Village website.

A Train Runs Through It

At least once a week, Carp residents can hear the haunting sound of a train whistle as it makes its way to and from Arnprior and Ottawa. Brian Gilhuly, an authority on Eastern Ontario Railway History, writes "this railway line is actually the Arnprior-Nepean Railway (ANR). It is owned by Nylene Canada (above ground) and the City of Ottawa (the land itself). It was created in 1992 when the company (then BASF) and the city (then Ottawa-Carleton RM) purchased the line from CN. The RMOC was thinking ahead to possible commuter use; BASF was trying to preserve a plant that is totally rail-dependent. The ANR has contracted operation of the line to CN ever since."
An excellent accounting of the history of this short-haul line along with many others in Eastern Ontario can be found in the e-book "Tracing the Lines" by Brian Gilhuly which is available free as a PDF online from the Arnprior and McNab/Braeside Archives web site.