History of Killaloe


The name Killaloe hails from an Irish community in Ireland of the same name and salutes the Irish heritage of many of the first settlers to this area who came to Canada in the early 19th century seeking a better life. The early beginnings of this little town centered around the lumber trade. In those days it was known as Fort McDonnell, but it became known as Killaloe Station as early as 1894 when the Ottawa, Arnprior, Parry Sound Railway was expanding at a furious pace through the rugged countryside of the Madawaska Valley in response to the demands of the lumber industry. Timber, supplies and people would arrive by train and disperse to neighboring hamlets by horse and wagon.

Today the lumber industry is still important to the livelihood of many in the surrounding communities. Both large and small logging operations and sawmills still support the local economy even though the railway no longer runs through the village. The last passenger train rolled through in 1962, and in 1968 the train station was torn down. Killaloe still maintains a flavour of the turn of the century in many of the commercial buildings which are more than 100 years old. The Beresford Hotel at the corner of the Queen and Lake streets, now Quinn’s Tavern, opened in 1896 as a popular stop for a drink and accommodation on a once thriving railway line.

Killaloe Ontario Historic Photo of the train station