Ottawa, the centre of Canada’s culture and politics may not sound at first like the vibrant, dynamic city that a young professional may be looking for. Nothing more far from the truth! Ottawa is a lively and active city, with lots of fun for all. Here, enjoy boating in the summer, ice-skating in the winter, parks for cyclists, wonderful restaurants, street festivals and more. Whatever your situation, and whatever your taste, Ottawa is a great place to live. Its neighborhoods, each with something different, offer many fine choices for where to live. Here are the best neighborhoods for young professionals in Ottawa.
Located just south of Ottawa’s downtown area, The Glebe, has the trendy and eclectic vibe that young professionals in Ottawa may be looking for. Its wonderful supply of parks, trails, shopping and historic homes provide something fun for everyone. Lansdowne Park and the Rideau Canal bike path are the perfect spots for your daily workout or for a relaxing stroll. Bank Street, which runs through The Glebe, is one of Ottawa’s premier shopping areas, with many interesting little shops and boutiques, restaurants, chic coffee shops, organic food shops and a wide variety of services. This area is very close to downtown, and offers easy access to the central business district.
The Glebe also has a strong community association, which runs the local community center and campaigns with the local government on issues such as traffic and neighborhood development.
Mostly composed of houses built in the late 20’s, The Glebe’s residential area offers plenty of options for new professionals. , Many of these houses have been subdivided into rental apartments and new residential towers with modern condos are being built.
Sandy Hill’s central location, just east of downtown, and its demographic diversity are what make this neighborhood so unique. It is bordered on the west by the Rideau Canal and on the east by the Rideau River. Due to its proximity to the University of Ottawa, the area is home to a large population of students.
Sandy Hill has quite a variety of homes and apartments available for a wide range of budgets. It has many quiet streets, parks and playgrounds, including a major green stretch along the Rideau River and the beautiful Strathcona Park. However, you may notice that depending on where you are, parts of the neighborhood might seem a bit rundown, so be sure to be on the side that is good for you…
Very wealthy people live near the embassies of the Rideau River, where many of the larger, more historic houses have become diplomatic residences or company headquarters. Then, closer to the university, where many old mansions have been converted into apartments, you will find more students, senior citizens, and more modest homes with a variety of incomes, including some community housing.
Sandy Hill is very well served by public transport and it has a high-end shopping district dominated by The Rideau Centre, with many well-known shops and good restaurants in the surrounding area. Further south there are also numerous ethnic restaurants and bars with student friendly prices, and one can find almost any activity any night of the week.
The ByWard Market
As a young professional in Ottawa you might be looking for a lively neighbourhood. In that case, the ByWard Market is the place to be. Within a square of approximately four blocks, you will find more than you will ever need. A choice of museums, galleries, cafés, specialty food shops, restaurants, pubs, a variety of services and more. But it gets even better; every thing is easily accessible by foot and very well communicated with the rest of the city, via public transport.
If you like exploring, a bit further out of the Market itself you are set for some wonderful surprises. Within the area, there are five open-air courtyards, cobblestone courtyards where you can find amazing restaurants, art, sculptures and historic buildings. If shopping is what you have in mind, the ByWard Market area offers something for every taste from high end shops in Sussex Drive to more more young and trendy places in Dalhousie Street.
Living in the ByWard Market is anything but dull. There is shopping, nightlife, a continuous hustling and bustling and always something new coming up. However, there’s a trade-off for all this goodness. Although still pretty safe, the crime rates here a bit higher than other neighborhoods in Ottawa.
The ByWard Market area has lived a strong residential development over the past few years. Today it offers anything between high-end condos to affordable rents and therefore its residents have become a very eclectic mix. Only children are probably the only group of people that are not easy to find. He last census shows that 97 per cent of residents are over 15 years old!
The ByMarket area is part of the Lowertown community that has a strong association which promotes the development of the neighbourhood and runs the local community center.
Centretown is essentially the residential core of downtown Ottawa. If you are a young professional on Ottawa who recently moved from another big city, you may find that Centretown is a great option for you. It is a vibrant neighbourhood, with a mix of residents with many different backgrounds, homeowners, students and young professionals. It is also a good place to find affordable, quality apartments with great access to services and amenities.
Centretown is very pedestrian friendly and you will always be at walking distance to a green space or a stretch of shops or restaurants. If you prefer to bike, drive or take public transport, there are also plenty of options for you.
Westboro is a small, vibrant neighborhood. Over the past few years, Westboro has had an amazing construction development that includes residential, commercial and office spaces. However, despite all the modern development and shops, the area has not lost its local feel and strolling down one of the main streets, that still have many local shops, is an interesting experience. You can find unique items in cute little shops, fun foodie hangouts, farmers markets, something for every kind of shopper! There are many different restaurants to choose from along the way.
In the residential area you enjoy tree-lined streets and scenic views, high end shopping, trendy spots and gourmet eating, then Westboro is probably the place for you. so if you are looking This area, where sleek, high end condos are available even has it local beach.
As many of Ottawa’s neighbourhoods Westboro is easily accessible by transit, car or bicycle. It is also very pedestrian friendly.
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(Photos: Rick Ligthelm, Douglas Sprott, Idebrot, Julia, Ross Dunn, Douglas Sprott)