Our History

The Leader is an independently owned weekly newspaper serving west and central Renfrew County.

Founded in 1902 by Patrick McHugh, it was one of two newspapers in the community at the time of the great 1911 fire which destroyed most of the north side of Eganville and several businesses along the river on the south side. The village’s two newspapers, the Leader and the Star Enterprise, were both destroyed in the fire and only the Leader rose from the ashes.

In its 117 year history, the Leader has always been located on John Street. Its current location is its fourth home.

The Leader was purchased in 1944 by Ambrose and Sylvester Tracey. Ambrose became the sole owner in the early 1960s. Ambrose passed away in 1968. Son Ronald had been in the business with his father since 1956; another son, Gerald, joined the paper full time in 1971. Ron and Gerald were partners in the business for 34 years. Ron retired in September, 2007 after 51 years in the business.

The Leader boasts one of the largest paid circulations of any community newspaper in Ontario that publishes in a village of 1300. With a weekly circulation of 6,000, the Leader is the largest paid circulation community newspaper in Renfrew County.

In the last 25 years, the Leader has won numerous awards in annual competitions sponsored by the Ontario and Canadian Community Newspapers Associations.

The Leader is available by subscription — $75.00  (tax included) to addresses within Renfrew County or $80.00 to addresses outside of Renfrew County or $50.00 for online access — and at stores throughout the area.

In 2002, the Leader produced a 945-page book to commemorate its 100th year of publication. Entitled Reflections of A Century, the book contains the top news stories in the county over the 100 year period along with hundreds of photographs and images. More than 8,000 copies of the book were sold and some remain available for sale. It is fascinating reading, especially for those who enjoy reflecting on time. There are still a few books available at a cost of $50 each.

If you are new to the area, we invite you to become a subscriber to the Leader to keep abreast of what is going on in your community. If you are a long-time resident of the area, or maybe even a native like us, and have been a regular reader of the Leader, we hope you will remain among our readership.

The staff at the Leader is committed to producing a quality and informative newspaper. We welcome your comments and input, please contact our office at 613-628-2332 or leader@nrtco.net.