By 1866, Carp was a post village with a population of 200 of the Township of Huntley on the Carp river, 32 km (20 mi) from Ottawa. The village contained three stores, workshops, three hotels, and a town hall.
The village takes its name from the Carp River which runs through the village. The main street used to be a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and carried much of the traffic coming from the west into Ottawa. However the village has been bypassed with the development of the Highway 417.
With the amalgamation of municipal governments in the region in 2001, Carp is now governed as part of the new city of Ottawa.
Carp is about 10 km north of exit 144 of Highway 417 west from Ottawa. The trip takes about 40 minutes.
There is no public transportation in the town of Carp, although due to the to town's size, walking or biking will allow you to see much of what the town has to offer.
- 1 Diefenbunker (Canada's Cold War Museum), 3911 Carp Road (next to the town library; from ON-417, take exit 144 for Carp Road, drive 8–10 minutes through village of Carp and look for "Diefenbunker" billboard), ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ email@example.com. Mar-Dec: daily 11AM–4PM; Jan-Feb: Tu–Su 11AM–4PM, M closed. Built at the height of the Cold War (1959-1961) as the Central Emergency Government Headquarters, this giant four-story underground bunker reinforced to stand a 5-megaton nuclear blast was designed as the site where Canada's leadership could ride out a nuclear holocaust. The name is a play on the name of the Prime Minister at the time, John Diefenbaker. Decommissioned in 1994, the site is now run by a dedicated group of volunteers working to preserve and restore it to its glory days in that paranoid era, complete with period maps showing what parts of Canada (and the US) would have faced nuclear doom in the event of World War III. Self-guided tours with audio narration. Or, 90–120-minute English tours at 11AM and 2PM daily all year around, French tours W Sa Su 2PM, more on weekends and in the summer. Probably wise to book in advance. Bring a sweater. $14+tax.
- Attend the Carp Fair in late September. The Carp Fair is the only fall fair close to Ottawa and was established in 1863. The Carp Exhibit Hall, one of the few remaining octagonal frame fairground buildings in Ontario, continues to function as the main fairground hall for the Carp Fair held in September each year since 1880.
- Carp Farmers' Market, 3790 Carp Road. Sa 8AM-1PM. The largest farmers' market in Eastern Ontario.
- Indulge in the delicacies at the main bakery on Donald B. Munro Dr.
"Downtown" Carp amounts to a handful of local spots. You've got your ice cream stand named "Twisty Cream", owned by local entrepreneur Helen Hood, Carp Pizza, a Chinese take-out, and a chicken and potatoes shop. There are some dining out options but your best bet is probably:
- The Swan, 108 Falldown Rd, ☏ . In 2004, two Cordon-Bleu trained chefs turned new owners brought to this traditionally styled pub a menu with international fare. An impressive drink selection awaits. Try also, one of their homemade desserts. $12-25 (not including drinks, tax, or tip).
- JD's Dining Lounge, 111 Walgreen, ☏ .
- Main Street Pub, 1408 Main St, ☏ .
- 1 Alice's Village Café, 3773 Carp Road, ☏ , ✉ Alice@alicesvillagecafe.com. M–W 6AM–9PM, Th–F 6AM–10PM, Sa 7AM–10PM, Su 7AM–9PM. Alice's straddles the line between a coffee-house and a burger grill. The have lattes of every description and pastries, but also tasty cuisine-burgers and salads. A few vegetarian choices, including a juice portobello-burger. In warm weather the sidewalk tables, under the awning that lines the red-brick building, are pleasant. Entrees $10-14, Kids' entrees $7.
There is an LCBO store on the main strip.
- Cheshire Cat, 2193 Richardson Side Rd, ☏ . Traditional English pub.
- Windsong Manor Bed & Breakfast, 1342 Corkery Road, Carp, ☏ .