Top Neighbourhoods in Ottawa

Canada's capital, Ottawa, a major political and business centre of approximately 890,000 population, is located in the province of Ontario, and has a lot to recommend it. It is one of the prettiest cities in the country, with a rich and varied mix of historic and innovative architecture, a setting on the Ottawa River which it shares with Quebec, and a cultural and ethnic diversity that has contributed to the charm of many of its neighbourhoods.

In 2012, Ottawa was ranked as the Best Community in Canada to live in by MoneySense Magazine, for the third consecutive year. Mercer Consulting cites the quality of life in Ottawa as second best of any large city in the Americas, and it has also been dubbed the second cleanest city in Canada and the third cleanest in the world.

A World of Options

With a varied economic base and a multitude of distinct communities, some historic, some rural in feeling, and some decidedly trendy or upscale, it is difficult to pick just 10 to highlight. But those in the know point to Byward Market , Golden Triangle and New Edinburgh/Lindenlea as up and coming trendy areas favoured by the younger movers and achievers in the city. Byward, by the way, is the original name of Ottawa, prior to the building of the Rideau Canal, which runs alongside Golden Triangle and is the home of some of the city's most interesting, not to mention expensive, condos.

First-time buyers are often directed to the areas of Orleans and Hunt Club , where they can find affordable housing in pleasant areas that also have access to community amenities, shopping and transportation. Riverside South is a rapidly growing area of younger families and, like the other two noted, is popular because of its low crime rate and walkability. Residents tend to be active, fit and health-conscious in these areas.

More established families happily head for Kanata Lakes and Pheasant Run , which boasts the two highest ranked schools in all of Ottawa. Both are filled with pretty, single-family homes, and traversed by quiet, tree-lined streets.

Island Park is a small neighbourhood filled with embassies and diplomats, quaint shops and eclectic delights such as the Experimental Farm. Many of its homes date to the 1920s, and exude a "well heeled" aura. It is just across the Champlain bridge from Gatineau, Quebec, and is an option for those who love stately old homes and have the financial standing to afford them.

Finally, Rothwell Heights , running along the River, is a hidden jewel in Ottawa's crown, but it is also for the affluent. Rockliffe is usually at the top of the list of most exclusive, expensive communities, and Manotick' s housing options range from about $300,000 to just under $3 million, but you won't find any condominiums here