Vanier is an historically francophone neighbourhood in the Rideau-Vanier Ward in Ottawa, Canada's east end. The neighbourhood was a separate city until being amalgamated into Ottawa in 2001. It no longer has a majority francophone population. In fact, in 2012 its francophone population has shrunk to less than 40% from 63% in the early 1980s. The neighbourhood is located on the east bank of the Rideau River, across from the neighbourhoods of Lowertown and Sandy Hill, and just south of Rockcliffe Park, New Edinburgh, Lindenlea, and Manor Park . To the east of Vanier are the suburbs of Gloucester. Vanier has a relatively small area with a high population density. Montreal Road is the main thoroughfare of the community.
In 1908, the communities of Janeville, Clarkstown and Clandeboye were joined to form the village of Eastview. In 1913, Eastview was incorporated as a town. Originally it was a popular destination for civil servants who wished to live at a distance from downtown. It later saw a large influx of French Canadians and became the main francophone area in the capital.
During the Depression, Eastview held the attention of the entire nation, as it became a public forum for national debates on birth control during The Eastview Birth Control Trial, which lasted from 1936 to 1937. Significant controversy erupted when Dorothea Palmer was believed to have been distributing birth control information to the poorer, predominantly Catholic neighbourhoods. Later, in 1963 it became a city, and in 1969 was renamed after the recently deceased Governor General of Canada, Georges Vanier.
Vanier offers a wide choice of retail shops, strip malls, eateries, bars, etc. Both subsidized and self-financed housing is available here, with several existing and proposed upscale condominiums and infill developments. The population on the western edge of Vanier closer to the Rideau River, esp. the Kingsview Park neighbourhood, is among the more affluent.
Like nearby Lowertown, Ottawa's Vanier neighbourhood is home to a number of French-speaking immigrants from Africa and elsewhere. It is also the site of an urban maple syrup Maple Sugar Festival (Festival des Sucres) held in spring, and home to an outdoor Catholic shrine, the Grotte de Lourdes.
Vanier is part of the federal riding of Ottawa—Vanier, and the Ottawa—Vanier provincial riding. It is traditionally one of the staunchly Liberal ridings in Canada, having voted for the party consistently since the riding's creation. Federally, it is represented by Mauril Belanger, and provincially by Madeleine Meilleur.
According to the Canada 2001 Census:
Map of Ottawa and Carleton County from Wikipedia Commons
The primary source for basic documents (vital statistics, land records, wills) for people who lived in the Province of Ontario is the Archives of Ontario, 134 Ian Macdonald Blvd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M7A 2C5.
Civil registration did not begin in the province until 1869. Before then there may be church records of baptisms and burials. For the most part these are still held by the denomination who recorded them. Copies of marriage records made pre-1869 had to be sent by individual clergymen to the registrar of the county in which the marriage took place. These marriage records are available through Ontario Archives, on micorfilm through LDS libraries, and on paid and unpaid websites, but because they were copied at the registrars' offices, they cannot be considered a primary source.
Vital Records after 1869
Birth, marriage and death registrations are not open to the public until a specific number of years after the event occurred. Births to 1915 are now available [October 2014]; dates for marriages and deaths are later. Birth and death registration was not universally carried out in the early years after its adoption. Deaths were more apt to be reported than births for several years. The more rural the area, the less likely it would be that these happenings were reported to the authorities.
Land Records and Wills
Information on how to access land records and wills is best sought on the Archives of Ontario website. An ancestor's land holding might be found on Canadian County Atlas Digital Project if he was in occupancy circa 1878.
Association for the Preservation of Ontario Land Registry Office Documents (APOLROD). A list of Land Registry Offices for all Counties of Ontario.
The original censuses are in the hands of Library and Archives Canada, known to Canadians as "LAC". Copies of original microfilms are online at the LAC website for all censuses up to 1911. Each census database is preceded with an explanation of the geographical area covered, the amount of material retained (some census division material has been lost), the questions on the census form, and whether there is a name index. Census divisions were redrawn as the population increased and more land was inhabited. The 1921 census is only available through Ancestry.ca, but it is free-to-view.
E-books and Books
Researching in Eastern Ontario
The website of the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society offers a number of search engines for databases of material they maintain:
The Society covers the counties of Carleton (combined with the city of Ottawa), Lanark, Renfrew, Prescott and Russell. There is a note on the website that the URL will be changing soon (Jun 2012). It may be best to “google” the Ottawa Branch of OGS.