Kanata is one of the largest suburbs of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Located about 22 km (14 mi) west-southwest of the city’s Downtown, Kanata has a population of 80,781 (population centre: 101,760) as of 2011 and is growing rapidly. Before it was amalgamated into Ottawa in 2001, it was one of the fastest growing cities in Canada and the fastest growing community in Eastern Ontario. Located just to the west of the National Capital Commission Greenbelt, it is one of the largest of several communities that surround central Ottawa. It is a planned community and an important hi-tech centre.
The area that is today Kanata was originally part of the Township of March, and was first settled by Europeans in the early nineteenth century. One site dating from this era is Pinhey’s Point.
It remained mainly agricultural until the 1960s when it became the site of heavy development. Modern Kanata is largely the creation of Bill Teron, a developer and urban planner who purchased over 3,000 acres (12 km2) of rural land and set about building a model community. Unlike other suburbs, Kanata was designed to have a mix of densities and commercial and residential properties. It contained large amounts of open space, and was to be surrounded by a greenbelt. A reflection of the garden city movement, the area was divided into a series of communities, each of which was intended to have their own commercial centres and unique cultures. These include Beaverbrook, Glen Cairn, Bridlewood, Katimavik, Hazeldean, Morgan’s Grant, and Kanata Lakes.
The community grew rapidly due to the influx of high tech workers looking to capitalize on the new economical cityscape. The Province of Ontario incorporated Kanata as a city in 1978 out of the Township of March, and portions of the Township of Goulbourn and the Township of Nepean (subsequently the City of Nepean). On September 20, 1998, the city of Kanata dedicated a cenotaph in “Village Green Memorial Park” dedicated to those who served their country in War and Peace. It remained a city until 2001, when the province created a new (amalgamated) City of Ottawa that included the City of Kanata (pop. 59,700). The Castlefrank Road overpass which opened in December 2003 was renamed Valour Bridge on December 1, 2006 is dedicated to all Canadians who have served in defence of freedoms in the great battles and campaigns since the turn of the 20th century.
As of the 2006 census, the population of Kanata had increased to 85,000, and is now estimated to be just over 90,000. The city became an important hi-tech centre. DEC was one of the pioneer technology companies in Kanata. The DEC campus has been successively Digital, Compaq, HP, and is now the Gilmore Printing group of companies. Kanata remains home to many of the major hi-tech employers of Ottawa, such as Avaya, Juniper Networks, Research In Motion now BlackBerry, Mitel, March Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, Bridgewater Systems, DragonWave, Solace Systems, CounterPath Corporation, Protecode, Dell Canada, HP, Smart Technologies, Norpak, MDS Nordion, Breconridge, AMCC, and Cisco Systems, Inc.. Nortel Technology and the former Bell-Northern Research had a major campus of buildings just outside the Kanata boundary to the East. The hi-tech industry is clustered along March Road, in the Kanata North Business Park and Kanata Research Park, and along Eagleson Road, in the Kanata South Business Park.