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The earliest settlers to the area arrived between 1803 and 1811, most of whom were of English or Irish descent. Primarily and agricultural community, it underwent several name changes until 1858, when the first post office was erected, and the town named after Robert Blackburn, the former Member of Parliament for Russell. One Hundred years later, in 1958, the government gave the National Capital Commission authority to establish the greenbelt, which displaced part of the community and forced redevelopment. Renamed Blackburn Hamlet, the first residents moved arrived in 1967.
As it is known locally, ‘the Hamlet’ is surrounded by the NCC Greenbelt, the Canadian Federal Conservation Authority lands, and land owned by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Together, this land provides residents and visitors with over 250 kms of hiking and cross country ski trails. In addition, these lands house one of the region’s most sought after toboggan hills at Green’s Creek, and a serious 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. This area is also home to an indoor recreation dome, called the SuperDome.
There are several schools in the area, but most notable is the French public high school, Louis Riel, which is home to North America’s largest air supported fabric structure, at 12, 4222 square metres.