L'Orignal, Ont, urban area, population 2068 (2011c), 2072 (2006c). L'Orignal is located on the Ottawa River, 88 km east of Ottawa. The seat of the united counties of Prescott and Russell, it was amalgamated into the new township of Champlain in 1998. Also part of the amalgamation were the former town of Vankleek Hill and the former townships of West Hawkesbury and Longueuil. Named after nearby Pointe à l'Orignal [Fr, orignal, "moose"], it was granted as part of the Seigneurie de Longueuil by the Company of New France to François Prévost in 1674. With La Salle's Cataraqui [Kingston] it was the only seigneury granted in the French regime in what is now Ontario.
L'Orignal was acquired in 1796 by Nathaniel Tredwell, a wealthy American from Plattsburg, NY. In 1812 when Tredwell refused to swear allegiance to the British Crown, his property was confiscated and he fled to the US. He returned in 1840, but meanwhile his son Charles had recovered it and sold it to some 100 settlers. The village was made capital of the new Ottawa district.
Preserved from its past are St Andrew's church (1832), a pioneering Presbyterian congregation and a fine example of Regency architecture. The District Court House and Jail (built 1821 and still in use) is the oldest remaining courthouse in Ontario. L'Orignal is a French-speaking alcove in a predominately anglophone region.