Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives

150 Years of Living off the Land

View the Exhibit Gallery

Welcome to the Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives virtual exhibit where you can explore the rural heritage of McNab/Braeside Township. The exhibit compares what it was like to live here 150 years ago with how families make a living off the land today. Follow the links in our Exhibit Gallery to discover oral history interviews, photographs and historical documents from the archives and the families who participated in the project.

This Township once had active cheese co-ops, taverns and saw mills that are no longer part of the fabric of the community.  While some types of businesses have disappeared from the Township, a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit remains a constant in our rural community. Maple syrup and honey is produced on a vastly different scale than it was in the 1860's. While farming methods have changed dramatically over the years, we found that several farms are still being worked by descendants of the original settlers. We interviewed the operator of an award-winning alpaca farm who is committed to presenting alpaca products from local farming co-operatives and well as developing global partnerships.

Many communities are concerned about the emergence of agri-businesses, however we found a very small-scale farm that has successfully established itself using the Community Supported Agriculture model at Terramor Farm in Burnstown. For a glimpse of a large-scale operation, we interviewed Jim and Jane McGregor of McGregor's Produce who shared the history of their family farm in Lochwinnoch.

The exhibit presents oral history recordings (short clips) and transcripts so that if you wish to read more about a particular business or family experience, you may do so. Some of the archival images that link the present to the past were provided by the participants while others were taken from the collection of the AMBA. Complete oral history interviews are available for research at the Arnprior McNab/Braeside Archives as well as many other records that document the early history of the township.

This exhibit is only a small, random sample of farms and businesses that currently exist in McNab/Braeside. To comment, add suggestions or for more information about the subject matter presented in the exhibit, please contact the Archivist at the AMBA at 613-623-0001. For more information about opportunities for economic development please contact the Township of McNab/Braeside at

View Credits and comments by the project team of Laurie Dougherty, Dianne Brearley, Ella Hartwick and Matt Regan.

Charles Wallace c 1927  Clay Bank Women's Institute fonds 1993-0008

Doug MacLaren December 2016

2006-0200 AMBA fonds