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Economic Development

Industrial Characteristics

Residents in the Township of Russell work in all three industrial sectors: primary, secondary and tertiary. Historically, the Township's industry was primarily agricultural in nature. This has changed however; there has recently been a decrease in agriculturally based work, a decrease in manufacturing and an increase in service-industry related work.

Agricultural Industry

Although there has been a decrease in the amount of people working in agriculture, it is still an important presence in the Township. Dairy and cattle farms dominate the industry in the Township of Russell. With respect to dairy farming, the Township of Russell has the highest rate in Eastern Ontario for total shipments of milk to processing plants. This fact highlights the success of the dairy industry in the Township.

Looking Towards The Future

The Township of Russell is located within the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, to the east of the City of Ottawa, and within the Ottawa–Gatineau Census Metropolitan Area. One of the key factors affecting growth in the Township of Russell is its proximity to the City of Ottawa urban area, which continues to grow steadily. The Township is primarily rural in nature, with most of the population concentrated in the communities of Embrun and Russell. The current demographic profile of the Township is one of a younger and increasingly English-speaking population. As expected, based on its primarily rural character, employment growth has been based largely on local services and rural activities.

The Township of Russell is currently in a critical phase of planning. For that reason, it has retained Hemson Consulting Ltd in 2009, in order to assist in preparing is a strategy to manage growth and development over the next 20 years. The objective is to be able to plan and control the upcoming growth rather than adjust to it.

Excerpts from the Growth Forecast Report - produced by Hemson

"As part of the larger region east of the City of Ottawa, Russell Township has been affected by broader cycles in the provincial and regional economy:
  1. Over the last 20 years, the Township of Russell has had periods of both rapid and slow population growth, roughly corresponding to the pattern of growth in southern Ontario and the City of Ottawa;
  2. Rapid growth during the late 1980s reflected the general economic buoyancy of the time as well as the regional housing boom of the period. Much slower growth in the 1990s also reflected the economic activity of the day.
  3. Renewed rapid economic and housing growth in the current decade is again reflected in the faster growth of the current period. It is notable that the population has consistently grown faster in the Township than in the United Counties of Prescott and Russell as a whole.

...The Township of Russell has experienced moderate growth in the last 20 years. Given its location within the highly liveable Ottawa–Gatineau region, the Township will continue to be influenced by the healthy economic growth trends of the adjacent City of Ottawa. The medium-growth scenario produced by Hemson indicates continuing strength in the market in Ottawa. Moderate to high residential growth in the Township can be expected to continue over the next 25 years, which will be focused on the communities of Embrun and Russell.

...Except at the highest growth levels, the pressure to accommodate growth can be met by the existing land supply. The key planning issues for the future relate to planning for community services. The Township will need to prepare for a fluctuation in school enrollment over the long term, to maintain policing and to address the needs of an aging population.

...Rather than being in a position of being reactive to development interests, the Township can continue to take the lead in framing its policy direction. There would seem to be a shift underway from a rural municipality to a more ex-urban place, with new, village-based urban residents increasingly having employment ties to the City of Ottawa.


Official plan

The Township is currently review its Official Plan, an extensive project which requires the participation of the residents and the United Counties of Prescott and Russell.. A draft is presently available at the Planning and Building Department.

Plan officiel

For more information:
Daniel Gatien
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