Orleans is one of Ottawa's fastest growing suburban communities, about 16 km east of Ottawa, and was started as a bedroom community in Gloucester just outside the NCC Greenbelt. It grew so fast, part of Orleans ended up in Cumberland. After being amalgamated into Ottawa in 2001, Orleans has grown into a charming set of neighbourhoods.
The community was thought to be named for Orleans near Quebec City, but its first postmaster, and was incorporated as a village in 1922, with the original name of near Quebec City. Orleans was an incorporated police village from 1922 to 1974 and was known as St. Joseph d'Orléans. The Orleans ties continues with main streets, St. Joseph Boulevard, and Jeanne D'Arc Boulevard (named for the 15th century French martyr from Orleans, France).
Experiencing rapid and constant growth since the 1970s, Orleans now has a population of 108,000, and has a sizeable French speaking population, and has many French language schools. In total there are two secondary schools and seven grade schools located in the community.
Access to the 417 means downtown is a ten minute drive away, and OC Transpo provides excellent transit service
The traditional centre of the area has been the Place d'Orleans shopping centre, a large shopping centre set just off the Queensway, which has been open since 1979, and undergone several expansions.
The Elizabeth Manley skating rink is inside the Bob MacQuarrie Orléans Recreation Complex (formerly Orléans Recreation Complex). The Ray Friel Recreational (off 10th Line Rd) has a public library, a high school, an indoor wave pool, exercising facilities, a physiotherapy clinic, a sports store, a restaurant, 2 soccer fields and 3 skating arenas.
The Shenkman Arts Centre, just east of Place d'Orléans, includes a concert hall, black-box theatre, several art galleries and studio spaces for both visual and performing arts. There is also a multiplex cinema beside the Place d'Orleans Shopping Centre
In the Ottawa River, in the north-east of Orleans, is the Petrie Island parkland, spread over several small sandbar islands, and a beach, connected via Trim Road. The marina there offers canoe and kayak rentals.
There are also several nature trails and paths throughout the area including the Bilberry Creek Trail and the Princess Louise Trail through which Taylor Creek runs and which results in a beautiful waterfall near St. Joseph Boulevard.