Bells Corners, which is named after Hugh Bell who owned a tavern there from 1834 to 1863, is located on Richmond Road, which once connected Bytown with the settlement at Richmond. Today is typically spelled without the apostrophe. Bells Corners suffered a massive fire in August 1870, and grew slowly until 1950, when Ottawa annexed the main urban areas of Nepean, including Westboro, which made Bells Corners the commercial hub for what remained of Nepean. Bells Corners became a bustling community, with two retail strip along its main artery, Robertson Road (the name for Richmond Rd, west of Baseline) and along Moodie Drive. Its retail stores benefited greatly from extended shopping hours in Nepean, drawing many shoppers from Ottawa (and was home the IKEA's first store in the city)
The oldest building in Bells Corners is Al's Steakhouse, formerly Hartin's Hotel, which was built right after the fire in 1870. Bells Corners was also the home of Nepean's City Hall until the new city hall was built at Centrepointe in the 1980s. Bells Corners was a hi-tech area and home base for defence electronics company Computing Devices Canada, (now owned by General Dynamics), which established the foundation for other ventures that became known as Silicon Valley North and clustered in neighbouring Kanata.
The community is nestled between Highway 416 on the east, with a nice toboggan hill in a long-abandoned gravel pit across from Bell High School, and the Stony Swamp Conservation Area to the south and west, with lots of trails for hiking and cross-country skiing. North of Robertson Rd is mostly light industrial & retail plus a mobile home park.
Bells Corners has excellent bus service, connecting to Bayshore Shopping Centre, Kanata, Algonquin College, Billings Bridge and Downtown.
Bells Corners has a population of about 10,000.
Bells Corners was once a rural community, surrounded by dairy farms, which have transitioned into the Greenbelt that surrounds Ottawa. Bells Corners East or Lynwood VillageArbeatha Park, just east of Moodie Drive was developed in 1955-58. The townhouses along Old Richmond Road date to the 1970s.
Bells Corners East is a relatively new neighbourhood, with 21% of homes dating to prior to 160, 72% built 1961 - 1980, and 4% built after 1981. 60% of homes were single detached, 1% are semi-detached, 24% are row houses, and 15% were mobile homes. 87% of Bells Corners residents owned their homes, and 13% rented.
To the west of Moodie Drive is Westcliffe Estates (Bells Corners West) which began to be developed in 1969, primarily by Assaly Construction (which became the Thomas C. Assaly Corporation) which built higher density housing & townhouses built between 1978 and1989. This neighbourhood has a multi-storey housing complex operated by Nepean Housing, a multi-storey senior's residence, and a co-operative housing project. The Terrace Drive/Mill Hill area of Westcliffe Estates was developed in 1986.
Bells Corners West (of Moodie Drive) has 7% of homes pre-dating 1970, 51% of homes were built between 1971 and 1980. 19% built between 1986 and 1990, and 20% built after 1991. Very different form east of Moodie Drive, here, 20% of homes are single detached, 8% are semi-detached, 61% are row houses, 4% were apartments in buildings higher than 5 stories and 6% were apartments with less than 5 stories. Fairly consistent with Bells Corners East about 75% of residents owned their homes and 25% rented.
Bells Corners has a reputation as a retirement community, hosting three retirement homes in Lynwood Village and another in Westcliffe Estates. Bells Corners is also the home of Bellwood Estates mobile home park (formerly the Bellwood Mobile Home Park) with 256 homes, which has been there since 1959.
There are five schools in Bells Corners: a public and a Catholic elementary school, a public middle school, and a public and a French Catholic high school. Algonquin College's Woodroffe Campus is close and Ottawa University and Carleton University are accessible by Public Transit. Bells Corners has a public library on Richmond Rd, south of Robertson.
Bells Corners has a busy commercial strip along Robertson Road and along Moodie Drive, which became designated as a Business Improvement Area in 2009. About a km to the north is Bayshore Shopping Centre.
Bells Corners has nine public parks, two tennis clubs, the Bell Centennial arena and two seasonal outdoor rinks, used in wintertime for skating and ice hockey, and in summer for lacrosse. Entrance Park has an outdoor public swimming pool