Ottawa Neighbourhood Guide

The HHT Insider’s Guide to Ottawa’s Urban Neighbourhoods

If you’re asking yourself: where should I live in Ottawa, this is a great place to start. Perhaps you’re planning to move to Ottawa, or you’re looking to relocate within the City to an area that better fits your lifestyle. If you’re looking for a home in one of Ottawa’s urban or central communities, our Insider’s Guide to Ottawa’s Urban Neighbourhoods offers the details you need to focus your home search. This is the definitive guide that outlines what it’s like to live in the urban communities where you’ll find a mix of traditional and modern homes with mature trees and lots of character, and where amenities — like grocery stores, restaurants, and banks — abound. Our hope is that it will give you a sense of what each neighbourhood has to offer, and will provide the background you need to begin your own neighbourhood search.

The HHT Insider’s Guide to Ottawa’s Urban Neighbourhoods is divided into five sections, one for each main urban neighbourhood within Ottawa: The Canal Neighbourhoods, Central Ottawa, South Ottawa, East Ottawa, and West Ottawa. Each section provides you with useful information about the area: neighbourhood boundaries, recreation and community centre information, and links to schools  —  both inside and outside neighbourhood boundaries — that serve each community.

The recreation information includes a link or links to the recreation web sites for that neighbourhood. And the school listings provide a link to the Ontario Government’s profile for each school. This profile includes everything you need to know about the school like how to contact them and where to find their website, along with demographic and academic achievement information.

We also include our take on what makes each neighbourhood great. And we finish each neighbourhood section with Local Picks, a list of our favourite neighbourhood attractions, parks, shops, cafes, and restaurants.

Our guide gives you insider information on these urban neighbourhoods:

The Canal Neighbourhoods

The Canal neighbourhoods are some of Ottawa’s most sought-after central neighbourhoods. They surround the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, and offer a mix of traditional homes and modern infill developments. We consider these neighbourhoods to be: The Glebe, Dow’s Lake, Old Ottawa South, and Old Ottawa East.

Learn more about Ottawa’s Canal neighbourhoods. 

Central Ottawa

These include the neighbourhoods within or immediately surrounding Ottawa’s downtown core. They include Centretown, Golden Triangle, and The Byward Market.

Find out more about Central Ottawa neighbourhoods.

South Ottawa

Just south of Ottawa’s Canal neighbourhoods lies the large community of Alta Vista, which actually encompasses several sub-neighbourhoods including Faircrest, Playfair Park, Rideau Park and Urbandale, to name a few. These areas provide a unique mix of urban conveniences and the advantages of quiet suburban living.

Learn more about South Ottawa neighbourhoods.

East Ottawa

East of downtown are the neighbourhoods of Sandy Hill, New Edinburgh and Rockcliffe Park. These neighbourhoods offer something for everyone with their parks, proximity to downtown and the University of Ottawa, along with some great restaurants and shopping.

Find out more about East Ottawa neighbourhoods.

West Ottawa

Ottawa’s early suburban expansion was mostly to the west of downtown. And what was considered to be suburban between the turn of the last century and the 1950s is now unmistakably part of Ottawa’s urban core. Ottawa’s original suburbs to the west are now some of Ottawa’s most sought-after urban neighbourhoods. When they were originally formed, they developed like little towns, each with its own main street and all the conveniences: a grocery store, a drug store, a butcher, and a few restaurants. And each continues to maintain their small town feel. West Ottawa’s urban neighbourhoods include Hintonburg, Wellington West/Tunney’s Pasture, and Westboro.

Learn more about West Ottawa neighbourhoods.