The Toll Gate at Merivale Road

The Toll Gate at Merivale Road

Warren Foster shares an article about Merivale when it was a toll road from “Hopper’s Corners,” to Carling and Parkdale, and seems to have been in existence from 1872 into the 1920s.

Writes Warren: “The newspaper article that talks about the toll booth on Merivale road, that my great great great grandfather ran for most of his life. My great great grandfather was Alex Dynes, who had a large Yorkshire pig farm on what is now Dynes road.”

The Merivale areas was once known as “Hopper’s Settlement,” I read on the internet, but exactly where the corners were I don’t know.

Lost Ottawa


Your Morning Commute to downtown Ottawa circa 1925 — on the Merivale Road.

Original record doesn’t say exactly where, but middle of nowhere seems about right!

The note at the bottom says “asphalt macadam.” That makes me think that this picture was taken for the Ottawa Suburban Road Commission which was responsible for maintaining road to the city through the townships in those days.

(City of Ottawa Archives CA019368)

Lost Ottawa


Your Morning Commute from Bell’s Corners to Ottawa on the Bytown and Nepean Macadamized Road, circa 1920.

You are going to need 20 cents for this one day pass, one-way pass.

The road in question was Richmond Road and I think the toll got you as far as Westboro. Previously I found out that that toll lasted until 1920, when the road was expropriated by Carleton County.

(LAC e003895338)

Sunday Driver! We’re all about Merivale Road today and here we are on the “outskirts” of Ottawa in 1926 as a gent clears snow with a road grader below Shillington Hill in 1926.

Shillington is just a few blocks south of Carling (and the photo Dave Allston shared earlier).

The gent is operating a WEHR One-Man Power Grader. Look at those cool tracks on the back! And his three steering wheels! One for the actual wheels. The others for the blades, I’m guessing.

(City of Ottawa CA018513)

Cheryl Lacasse

Old Ottawa’s past – forgotten and fond memories

Richmond Rd Toll House – History

(Kitchissippi Times – Dave Allston)


In 1893, Robert Cowley created a new subdivision “Ottawa West” on his family’s farm, years before most development had begun west of Parkdale. Ottawa West was a small plan situated between Richmond and Scott, bordered by Western and Rockhurst.

One of the first structures to be built in the subdivision was actually a toll house. Richmond Road from 1853 until 1920 was a toll road operated by the Bytown and Nepean Road Company, and those travelling west from the city limits of Ottawa into Nepean Township were required to pay in order to use it. Up until 1895, the eastern toll house was situated within Hintonburg (the western toll house was in Bells Corners).

The Company purchased a lot at the western edge of Cowley’s subdivision (there was no intersection at the time; Island Park Drive was still 28 years away), and constructed a modest house for the tollgate keeper, who operated the gate at all times. A small office was constructed in front of the house, extending onto the roadway, and a large bar stretched across Richmond Road to ensure travellers would stop and pay the required toll, which would vary depending on the time of year, the number of horses, and whether the driver was on horseback or in a carriage.

Richmond Road toll house, circa 1911-1912.

Pictured is toll master Richard Bassett and likely his wife.

The Toll Gates of Lanark County on Roads that Were Not Fit for Corpses

Floating Bridges, Toll Gates and Typhoons– Clippings of Billings Bridge

Mary ( Minnie) Elizabeth Jones Born at the Toll Gate

For Whom the Toll Gates Tolled– Revised

Running the Toll Gate on Scotch Line– Mary Scott Reynolds — The Buchanan Scrapbook

Armstrong’s Corners: Cross Roads of History

Rolling Down Highway 15

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s