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Township of Alfred and Plantagenet 

Area: 391.7 km2

Population: 8620

Towns & villages: Alfred, Plantagenet, Curran, Wendover, Treadwell, Lefaivre, Pendleton.

 

On January 1, 1997, the villages of Alfred and Plantagenet, along with the Township of Alfred and the Township of Plantagenet, were merged to form the Township of Alfred and Plantagenet. 

Strategic Choice Location

Part of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, the township is advantageously located between two major urban centres; Ottawa,  45 minutes to the west, and Montreal 75 minutes to the east.  The US border at Cornwall Ontario is only 45 minutes to the south.  County Road 17 which runs from Ottawa to highway 417 near the Quebec border provides a continuous flow of visitors to the region.   In addition, Route 9 allows you to cross the region from north to south and at Lefaivre a ferry provides direct access to the province of Quebec.  Another important feature is that Alfred and Plantagenet is ideally situated close to both Ottawa's and Montreal's international airports as well as Mirabel's cargo airport.

Principal Demographic and Geographic Characteristics 

The township is made up of five essentially Francophone villages including: Alfred, Curran, Lefaivre, Plantagenet and Wendover.  Located at the centre of the United Counties, the municipality is divided from east to west by Highway 17 and from north to south by Highway 9, as well as the south Nation River.  More specifically, the township:

  • Extends eastward to Champlain
  • Extends as far south as of The Nation
  • Borders the west by Clarence-Rockland
  • Borders the north by the Ottawa River and the province of Quebec

Community ProfiIes", Statistics Canada, 2001.

With an average of 22 residents per km2, the township is characterized by relatively low population density as compared to the regional average of 40 persons per km2.  Only East Hawkesbury and The Nation posses lower population densities.  The township posts a median age slightly higher than the Ontario average, that being 38.8 years and 37.2 years respectively.

The township is home to 4 school boards and posts a level of academic achievement slightly below the Ontario average for 15 year-olds with less than a Grade 9 education (8.5% versus 16%)20.  More specifically, 19.5% of the population of the Village of Alfred and 13% of the Village of Plantagenet do not possess education beyond a Grade 9 level.


"The Prevention Operating System" Communities that care, 2003.

Principal Economic Characteristics

Agriculture

The primary economic engine is agriculture.  As with the majority of the townships that make up the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, agriculture makes up a large part of the economic activity within the township of Alfred and Plantagenet.  Based on 2001 census data, almost 10% of active residents in the township are employed by agriculture or related industries.  In fact, within the United Counties of Prescott-Russell and based on population percentage, Alfred and Plantagenet has the third highest number of residents employed in agriculture, behind East Hawkesbury and The Nation.  Population densities of these three townships (20 residents per km2, 14.5 residents and 16.1 residents respectively), illustrates the importance agriculture related industries play.

The agriculture industry in Eastern Ontario differs considerably from that of the southwest of the province.  There is less commercial growing and more dairy farming.  In general, the topography and soil are less suited to intensive farming as to dairy farming.  This fact is particularly noticeable in Alfred and Plantagenet where dairy producers are reputed for having the highest daily output across Canada.

With almost 40% of all the farms specialized in dairy production, the dairy industry constitutes the principal activity of overall farming agriculture operations in the region.  In 2003, dairy farms of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell delivered 178,095 kilolitres of milk to dairy producers, that being close to 27% of total deliveries in Eastern Ontario2l.  This being said the region also possesses a number of grain farms.

These farming operations are mostly "family corporations" and are subject to the same constraints dairy farmers face in the rest of Canada (raised prices of milk quotas, the problem regarding succession, the tendency towards consolidation among farms, etc.).  The increased price of milk quotas levied by the province has had a profound impact on the industry.  Milk quotas represent additional costs that dairy producers must assume to do business and constitute a significant barrier to market.  These raised prices for quotas has encouraged farmers to sell their operations and is the main contributor the increasing consolidation of the agricultural industry.  As elsewhere, the last several years the region has seen a decrease in the number of operational farms.  In May 2002 there remained 1,048 in operation, a loss of 350 since 1986.  Statistics show that from 1991 to 2001, the number of dairy producers decreased
by 52% in Ontario. 

The agricultural sector continues to be an important part of the active population total in the region (5.9%) compared to Ontario (3.2%).  With 21% of the farms occupying land operating between 240-399 acres of land, the average size of the farms is superior to the provincial average and the value of average sales per farm is also higher than the provincial average.  In effect, the average revenue of farms is estimated at $159, 639 CDN in 2001, which places the region in the top position for Eastern Ontario.

"Milk Delivery to the Processing Factories by Counties," Ministry of Agriculture and Food of Ontario, 1998-2003, (kilolitres), January 13, 2004.

Ministry of Food and Agriculture (Ontario), 2004.

"Number of Farms and Data According to the Number of People by Farm, by Province, Agricultural      Region of Census," Statistics Canada, 2001,

Agricultural Research and Development

Alfred and Plantagenet is the site of the University of Guelph's Alfred Agricultural College, a Francophone institution specialized in agri-food education and research. 

The College has highlighted the expertise of the local dairy farming industry and shown it to be one of the most technologically modern.  The College as an educational institution and agricultural research facility is a precious resource for the region and a national leader in the development of a modern agricultural sector.

The Alfred College offers customized services that correspond to the needs of clientele including training, consulting services, technical support and research and the coordination of agricultural events.

The team at the College has developed expertise in training for agricultural stakeholders helping them improve their management capabilities, productivity, competitiveness, and profitability.

The College's development projects are now focussed on agriculture transformation activities with more of an approach toward assisting the region with its agricultural future.  One such project aimed at developing new technologies for water treatment.  In our agriculture based region, water treatment requirements caused by agricultural operations is a serious concern.

Manufacturing and Construction

Composed primarily of small and medium sized enterprises, these sectors provided employment for 20% of active residents in 2001.

In total, there are close to 600 companies that are made up of the following; over 350 commercial and industrial companies and approximately 200 agricultural-based companies.  The relatively high number of small and medium sized enterprises constitutes one of Alfred and

Plantagenet's greatest strengths.

Employment Statistics

According to Statistics Canada's 2001 census, the Township boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates (4.6%) in all of Ontario.  However, based on data from a regional study entitled "The Prevention Operating System" prepared by Communities That Care, the unemployment rate of men aged 15 and over is closer to 11.5%, which is significantly higher than the Ontario average of 8.7%.

Tourism

Tourism industry is a growing business in Alfred-Plantagenet.   The natural beauty of the township provides considerable drawing power from the two major urban centres within close proximity.

The well-known Alfred bog is an eco-system of national importance that features a 1000 foot long trail that allows visitors to discover the animals, birds, plants and insects that live in this 4 200 hectare natural haven.  The Bog is home to a large number of rare species, (more than 18), of provincial, national and continental importance.

The Alfred College offers an agricultural summer camp experience for youngsters between 7 and 16 years of age during July and August.  A favourite with tourists is the College's Agri-Tour weekends in September.

The Ottawa River, which runs along the north limit of the Township, offers great sites for summer residences.  The South Nation River crosses the Township, through rich valley lands.  The area offers great sites for cross-country skiing and exciting snowmobile trail.

Both the villages of Wendover and Alfred hold annual western festivals.  These events attract visitors from several provinces and the northern US.  Wendover in particular plays host to several hundred travel trailers and motor homes during their event.