Place, Culture and Community: The Irish Heritage of the Ottawa Valley

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


The Ottawa Valley is a region of Canada straddling the Ottawa River in Ontario and Québec that is well known for its rich singing, storytelling, fiddling and step dancing traditions. Settled largely by the Irish, Scots and the French over the past two hundred years, it had the largest concentration of people of Irish origin in Canada by the late 19th century. Travelling through the Valley one gets the sense of coming face to face with the past. While its dramatic history is filled with incidents of extreme hardship and tragedy, the overriding impression is of a triumphant survivalism associated with its strong men of the past; the voyageurs, the coureurs du bois and the lumbermen. The legacy of this unique heritage - from fiddling and step dancing to tales of priests, lumbermen, and Orange and Green rivalries - is explored in this book through the voices of Valley people themselves. The author reveals the importance of place and history in the transmission of this vibrant regional culture down to the present day.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Number of pages336
ISBN (Print)978-1-4438-1310-5
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Nov 2009


  • Irish
  • Ottawa Valley
  • Canada
  • Quebec
  • Ontario
  • identity
  • migration
  • diaspora
  • place
  • culture


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