Neighbourhoods in Ottawa

A short guide to Ottawa neighbourhoods

Ottawa Neighbourhoods

Ottawa neighbourhoods

Ottawa neighbourhoods. Ottawa is fortunate to boast distinctive and unique districts that have something to offer to anyone looking for a property in the city. From historical early 20th century homes to modern North American style suburbs, waterfront homes to entertainment oriented lifestyle areas Ottawa never disappoints in its vibrant and individual neighbourhoods.

Traditionally Ottawa is divided into four main areas:

  1. Centre

  • Byward Market
  • Sandy Hill
  • Business District
  • Lower Town
  • Centre Town
  • Golden Triangle
  • The Glebe
  • Old Ottawa South
  • Old Ottawa East
  • Lebreton Flats
  • Downtown
  1. East

  • Beacon Hill South
  • Beacon Hill North
  • Lindenlea
  • Manor Park
  • Vanier
  • Rockcliffe Park
  • New Edinburgh
  • Overbrook
  1. West

  • Ambleside
  • Bel-Air Heights
  • Bel-Air Park
  • Carlington
    Civic Hospital
  • Carleton Heights
  • Central Park
  • Copeland Park
  • Highland Park
  • Island Park
  • McKellar Heights
    Mechanicsville Lincoln Heights
  • Ottawa West
  • Queensway Terrace North
  • Rideau View
  • Tunney’s Pasture
  • Westboro
  • Woodroffe
  • Whitehaven
  1. South

  • Alta Vista
  • Ellwood
  • Elmvale Acres
  • Greenboro
  • Riverview
  • South Keys
  • Hunt Club
  • Heron Gate
  • Mooney’s Bay

Ottawa Neighbourhoods, the Suburbs: The main suburban districts are Barrhaven, Riverside South, Kanata, Stittsville and Orleans.

The village of Manotick is located south of Barrhaven and Riverside South.



Ottawa offers a number of great areas and some neighbourhoods will suit your lifestyle and budget than others. This short guide will assist you finding an Ottawa neighbourhood you will enjoy most.

People have different expectations and needs. In this post we’ll be considering these important factoring:

  1. How long a commute can you handle?
  2. Do you want to use transit or would you rather drive?
  3. Are good schools for your kids something you need?
  4. Do you love to go out in the evening or are you a homebody?
  5. Do you prefer a modern neighbourhood or an older, historical area?

Fun, Entertaining, Easy to Walk ‘Anywhere’

If you’re looking for:

  • Culture, nightlife, boutique shopping, restaurants, walkability and transit access.
  • You don’t mind buying a small condo or an older, higher maintenance house

Neighbourhoods you’ll love (click to view on Google maps): Hintonburg, Centretown, Westboro, the GlebeChinatown/Little Italy, the Market, and New Edinburgh.

Drawback of these neighbourhoods:

  1. Parking will be a challenge. Street permit may be essential and winter parking can be tricky. Some houses have no parking and many come with only one parking spot.
  2. Homes are expensive (compared to the suburbs). They tend to be older structures so budget more for updates and maintenance. If you’re a condo buyer there are great finds in and close to the Market with many modern condo buildings to chose from.
  3. The Market is loud at night even on weeknights. On weekends you won’t be able to escape the party atmosphere.
  4. Backyards can be small, and there are less public parks.

Most of these neighbourhoods are either downtown or right outside downtown. Either way, with any of these locations you’ll never be out of walking range of a chic boutique, a bakery, an art gallery or a yoga studio.

For Young Families and Singles

If you’re looking for:

  • An affordable townhouse not too far away from Ottawa.
  • Great schools.
  • A reasonably short commute.
  • After school activities
  • More green space

Neighbourhoods you’ll want to check out (click to view on Google maps): Hunt Club, Carlingwood, Overbrook.

Cons of these neighbourhoods include:

  1. The homes and yards tend to be smaller than suburban homes.
  2. The homes don’t tend to have the kinds of premium finishings people love, like granite countertops. But there are exceptions.

If you need 3-4 bedrooms for your family and don’t want to spend your entire life in your car, you can look at some of these neighbourhoods. House prices tend to be less than in the previous group, but if you want the best of finishings prepare to do some of the renovations yourself. Hunt Club and Greenboro are newer neighbourhoods and has mostly fairly modern houses.

These neighbourhoods have great transit if you’re headed downtown, but not so great if you’re headed south of the main transit corridor (which basically follows the 417).

Great Neighbourhood for Ottawa Families

If you’re looking for:

  • Wide selection of available housing.
  • Lots of schools.
  • Lots of public parks, soccer fields
  • Modern shopping
  • After school activities

You’ll like (click to view on Google maps): Kanata, Orleans, Barrhaven, and Riverside South.

Cons of these neighbourhoods include:

  1. Longer commutes, lots of traffic during rush hour

These are Ottawa’s classic suburbs. There’s a huge range of home sizes, styles, and price ranges so if you work nearby or are prepared to put in the commuting time you’ll find what you want here. Prices are very affordable when compared with similar sized homes close to downtown. Modern housing stock generally means great layouts, newer appliances and less maintenance.

All of these suburbs are expanding outward. If you want the newest built homes you will have to drive a bit more. The older areas of these suburbs are closest to the city but most homes are now 25-40 years old there.

Country Living

If you’re looking for:

  • A taste of country life not too far the city.
  • Larger, more beautiful homes that cost less than in the city.
  • Large lots with more privacy
  • Two and three garage homes

You’ll love (click to view on Google maps): Stittsville, Dunrobin, Navan, Greely, Metcalfe, and further out Kemptville and Manotick.

Cons of these neighbourhoods:

  1. They can be far from the centre of Ottawa.
  2. Can be isolated.
  3. Teens will hate it.

There are lots of beautiful homes available all around Ottawa if you want to escape the city. There are lots of outdoor recreation activities for adults and kids, but teens and young adults will find it boring, unless they’re active in sports.

Handy Buyers and Serious Renovators

If you’re looking for:

  • A cheap home close to downtown, and don’t mind a little sketchiness.

You’ll love (click to view on Google maps): Vanier, South Keys/Greenboro, Hintonburg, Lowertown, Bayshore and New Edinburgh.

Cons of these neighbourhoods:

  1. The aforementioned sketchiness in some places.
  2. Some homes are in tear-down condition.
  3. Older infrastructure

Hintonburg, Lowertown and New Edinburgh are partway through gentrification, but there are still great opportunities to be found if you’re willing to invest time and money in the property. If your goal is to own a rental property, these neighbourhoods are great bets.

Vanier and South Keys represent some of the last remaining areas where you can buy a bargain home and do some serious fixing up.

If you want to live in Vanier and South Keys, you may need to deal with some of the higher crime rate areas in the city, in spite of the thousands of honest people around you.

Ottawa Has Something for Everyone

The average Canadian owns 4.5 – 5 homes over the course of their lifetime. It makes sense to make every purchase count. This is a very high-level overview, so if you’re looking for more detailed information you may need to consult a realtor.