What are the best neighbourhoods in Ottawa in 2024? A Guide to Ottawa’s Top 10 Neighbourhoods

The high quality of living, low crime rate, and diverse population make Ottawa's neighbourhoods a great place to live.

Best Neighbourhoods in Ottawa: Ottawa is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River and borders Gatineau, Quebec. It is Canada’s political capital and home to several post-secondary, scientific, and cultural institutions.

When it comes to liveability, high quality of life and a low unemployment rate have made Ottawa and its surrounding suburban and rural regions desirable places for many Canadian families.

From Barrhaven to Gelbe and Westboro, Ottawa is home to some of the best and buzziest neighbourhoods in the world. If you enjoy a quiet afternoon sipping coffee on your front porch or strolling in green parks, you will find Ottawa’s neighbourhoods appealing.  

There are over 140 different neighbourhoods in Ottawa, and they all offer something different. This list will tell you about the top ten neighbourhoods in Ottawa and what makes them the best places.

Some of these neighbourhoods may look familiar, while others might be new to you. One thing that all these neighbourhoods have in common is their sense of community and friendliness (and some great food!).

You’ll find people who welcome you like family, as well as some of the most beautiful landscapes in Canada. 

Are you ready to find your new home?

Ottawa real estate is booming, and there are plenty of opportunities for everyone. Read on to our list and choose the best place to live in Ottawa. 

Table of Contents

What's the best area to live in Ottawa?

The best areas to live in Ottawa have a little bit of something for everyone. If you’re looking for a neighbourhood that will make you feel welcome, this list has lots of possibilities.

1. Alta Vista

Alta Vista is comfortable and salubrious.

Alta Vista was developed in the early 1900s and has a population of over 4,000 people. This is one of the most densely populated neighbourhoods in Ottawa, with almost 10,000 people per square mile. Alta Vista is located east of Ottawa’s walking districts, near the Glebe and Elmvale. This family-friendly neighbourhood, which was built in the 1960s, is home to several parks, churches, and schools.

Elmvale Acres and Billings Bridge Plaza, Alta Vista’s two main shopping centres, are less than 10 minutes away from the lovely Riverside Drive condominiums.

Just north of Smyth Road lies the Ottawa Health Sciences Centre, which includes a children’s hospital, and a rehabilitation center.

Alta Vista is a great place to live because it has lots of green space and is close to downtown Ottawa as well as many major landmarks. It’s also close to the Rideau Canal and Parliament Hill. There are also many events for residents to take part in, such as community gatherings and a summer street festival that showcases local talents and artisans.

Furthermore, Alta Vista has a diverse range of housing options, including low-rise apartments, townhouses, and detached single-family homes on large grounds. 

Alta Vista
Pros
  • Family-friendly atmosphere
  • Diverse housing choices
  • Close to major hospitals
  • Good access to major highways
  • Strong community vibe
Cons
  • May lack nightlife and cultural vibrancy
  • Higher real estate prices
  • Some areas might require renovation
Alta Vista Ottawa Real Estate
Blackburn Hamlet Ottawa Real Estate

2. Blackburn Hamlet

The town has a peaceful, country village feeling, with an array of amenities

In the heart of Ottawa, this neighbourhood is a great place to live. With a community that’s been around for over 100 years, it’s easy to see why so many people enjoy living here.

It’s also close to the city and has access to all types of amenities: shopping, bars and restaurants, and public transportation right on your doorstep.

The town is bordered by the NCC Greenbelt, Canadian Federal Conservation Authority properties, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police property, which includes approximately 250 kilometres of hiking and cross-country ski paths. Beacon Hill, Rothwell Heights, Gloucester, and Orleans are all nearby neighbourhoods.

Blackburn Hamlet is brimming with recreational opportunities that can be enjoyed at any time of year. A soccer field complex known as the “Hornet’s Nest is close by. For the past 25 years, the people of Blackburn have maintained a cooperative garden near Green’s Creek.

 There is an active community association in Blackburn Hamlet. The Blackburn Community Association sponsors a variety of activities throughout the year, including musical concerts, spring cleanups, and a fair.

Blackburn Hamlet
Pros
  • Small-town feel within the city
  • Surrounded by greenbelt
  • Affordable housing
  • Good schools
Cons
  • Limited shopping and dining options
  • Less frequent public transportation
  • May be too quiet for some
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3. Blossom Park

There’s a lot to love about Blossom Park- A close-knit community, plenty of green space and various facilities

Blossom Park is a neighbourhood in Gloucester-Southgate Ward, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The population as of the 2016 census was 12,835.

The area is bounded on the north by Hunt Club Road, the Airport Parkway to the west, Conroy Road to the east and NCC Greenbelt on its south. The southern boundary is marked by a large triangular green space that includes a small park with a playground and an outdoor skating rink.

There are many parks and green spaces in this neighbourhood, including McArthur Park and Belfast Park. The Blossom Park Plaza features various shops, and restaurants such as Farm Boy, the Giant Tiger, a dental clinic, and Kallistro Greek Restaurant. With many schools and recreational facilities, it is an ideal place for families. 

Blossom Park
Pros
  • Peaceful, family-friendly environment
  • Affordable housing options
  • Good access to outdoor spaces
  • Proximity to the airport
Cons
  • Longer commutes to downtown
  • Limited public transit and amenities
  • Noise from air traffic
Blossom Park Ottawa Real Estate
Carlington Ottawa Real Estate

4. Carlington Place

Located in the heart of Ottawa, Carlington is a hidden gem

Carlington is one of the best Ottawa neighbourhoods, bounded to the north by the Rideau River, to the east by Richmond Road, and to the south by Holly Acres.This neighbourhood boasts a variety of attractions as well as convenient access to the Queensway, making it easy to get about the city. 

This neighbourhood has a highly active community organization. You don’t want to miss the annual “Carlington Family Fun Day,” which takes place in May.¬†

Located just minutes from downtown Ottawa, Carlington offers a unique mix of modern and traditional homes. Carlington’s proximity to downtown means it’s a great place for commuters as well as those who want to live close enough for easy access to all that Ottawa has to offer.

The area is heavily populated with singles and families alike. Its main commercial strips are also filled with local businesses catering to young professionals and families alike. 

Carling Place
Pros
  • Close proximity to major employment centers
  • Easy access to public transportation and main roads
  • Nearby shopping and dining options
  • Quiet, predominantly residential area
  • Good mix of housing options
Cons
  • Limited recreational and cultural amenities within the area
  • Some parts may experience heavy traffic during peak hours
  • May lack the community feel of smaller neighborhoods
  • Property prices can be high due to its location

5. Centretown

When you live in Centretown, you live in the centre of sophisticated shopping, fun nightlife, and chic restaurants

Centretown is a central neighbourhood in Ottawa, Ontario. The name of the neighbourhood comes from its central location and the fact that it is the centre of Ottawa’s downtown core. Centretown is home to some of Ottawa’s most important institutions, including Parliament Hill, Library Square, and the University of Ottawa.

It was named Canada’s most livable neighbourhood in 2017 by “Maclean’s” magazine.

Centretown’s main attractions are its nightlife and proximity to downtown attractions such as the Rideau Canal Skateway and Major’s Hill Park. It is close to major public transit hubs at Hurdman Station and Confederation Station.¬†

Little Italy, the cultural centre of Italian immigrants, is also located in Centretown West. Bounded by Albert Street to the north and Carling Avenue to the south, the area is abounding in Italian restaurants. 

The neighbourhoods of Centretown have a large mix of architectural styles, from Italianate mansions to Victorian-era row houses to landmark buildings such as CF Rideau Hall and Elmwood School House. A diverse community and various amenities of life make this neighbourhood a favourite place to live. 

Centretown, Ottawa
Pros
  • Heart of downtown, vibrant urban living
  • Easy access to public transportation
  • Close to Parliament Hill and other government buildings
  • Abundance of restaurants, shops, and entertainment options
  • Diverse housing options, from historic homes to modern condos
Cons
  • Can be noisy and busy, especially on weekends
  • Higher cost of living and real estate prices
  • Limited green spaces compared to suburban areas
  • Parking can be difficult and expensive
  • Higher traffic congestion
byward market Ottawa 600x401 1
Downtown Ottawa Real Estate

6. Sandy Hill

Sandy Hill is a charming and historic neighbourhood located in the heart of Ottawa and known for a younger demographic

Sandy Hill is a charming and historic neighbourhood located in the heart of Ottawa, known for its picturesque streets lined with grand old homes and mature trees. This area is home to a diverse community, including students, families, and professionals.

Sandy Hill is adjacent to the University of Ottawa, making it a vibrant and youthful area. Landmarks near Sandy Hill include the stunning Strathcona Park, which lies along the Rideau River and offers scenic views and ample green space for outdoor activities. The neighbourhood is also close to the Byward Market, one of Ottawa’s most famous areas, known for its cafes, restaurants, shops, and outdoor market stalls. Additionally, Sandy Hill is just a stone’s throw away from the Rideau Centre, a large shopping mall, and the National Arts Centre, a premier location for the performing arts.

Sandy Hill
Pros
  • Historic neighbourhood with picturesque streets
  • Close to the University of Ottawa
  • Near Strathcona Park and the Rideau River
  • Proximity to Byward Market and Rideau Centre
  • Vibrant community with diverse residents
Cons
  • Can be busy, especially during university semesters
  • Parking can be challenging
  • Some areas might be noisier due to student activities
  • Property prices may be high due to location
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7. Tunney’s Pasture

Exploring Tunney's Pasture: A Balancing Act of Work and Lifestyle

Tunney’s Pasture is a prominent neighborhood in Ottawa, primarily known for being a major employment hub, housing numerous federal government offices.

This area has undergone significant transformation in recent years, evolving from a purely administrative district to a more mixed-use community.

The neighborhood is strategically located, offering easy access to public transportation, including the Light Rail Transit (LRT) system, making it highly convenient for commuters. Tunney’s Pasture is also close to the Ottawa River, providing residents with scenic views and pathways for outdoor activities.

The ongoing development plans in the area are set to enhance its livability, adding more residential spaces, retail outlets, and green spaces. This blend of professional and residential life, along with its proximity to both nature and urban amenities, makes Tunney’s Pasture an increasingly attractive area for professionals and families alike.

Tunney's Pasture
Pros
  • Major employment hub with numerous government offices
  • Excellent public transportation access, including LRT
  • Close to the Ottawa River and outdoor recreational activities
  • Ongoing development adding residential and retail spaces
  • Convenient for commuters and professionals
Cons
  • Currently more commercial than residential
  • Can be busy during work hours
  • Limited nightlife and cultural attractions
  • Ongoing construction due to development projects
  • Limited housing options currently, but improving with new developments
Tunneys Pasture Rendering 03
Kanata Lakes Real Estate

8. Kanata

It is a thriving centre of technological innovation

Kanata, located in the western part of Ottawa, is renowned for being one of the city’s most vibrant and rapidly growing suburbs. It’s particularly famous as a technology hub, often referred to as “Silicon Valley North,” due to the high concentration of tech companies situated there. This neighborhood offers a perfect blend of urban and suburban living, with a variety of modern housing options, excellent schools, and abundant green spaces.

 Kanata is home to the Canadian Tire Centre, the venue for major concerts and sporting events, including being the home of the Ottawa Senators NHL team. The area is also well-equipped with shopping centers like Kanata Centrum and Tanger Outlets, offering a wide range of shopping and dining options.

Despite its growth and development, Kanata maintains a strong sense of community, making it an ideal place for families and professionals alike. Its balance of work, leisure, and residential life makes Kanata a highly sought-after area to live in within the Ottawa region.

Kanata Lakes, also known as Marchwood Lakeside is a neighbourhood in Kanata North. Some important buildings are Kanata Centrum power centre and Landmark Kanata Theatres. 

Kanata
Pros
  • Home to many high-tech companies, offering local employment opportunities
  • Family-friendly with a strong sense of community
  • Wide range of housing options, from townhouses to large family homes
  • Good schools and recreational facilities
  • Plenty of shopping centers and restaurants
Cons
  • Can be a significant commute to downtown Ottawa
  • Some areas are still developing, leading to construction activity
  • Public transportation options may be limited compared to central Ottawa
  • Real estate prices can be high due to demand
  • Suburban environment might lack the vibrancy of urban living

9. Barrhaven

Great transit, fantastic location, outstanding recreational opportunities

Barrhaven is the most tempting location for settling down and starting a family. It is a family-friendly town with plenty of housing options. Most people refer to it as a “Bedroom city,” which indicates that it is a calmer and quieter environment that is good for families. There are plenty of green fields and parks, including Bruce Pit, Larkin, and Houlahan Parks. During the summer, the Splash Pad water park on Longfields Drive is worth checking out.¬†

¬†With such a diverse range of schools, activities, shopping, and open areas, it’s no surprise that this southern neighborhood has earned the title “Haven.” Some of the indoor recreational facilities include “The Minto Recreation Complex,” “The Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts,” and “The Walter Baker Recreational and Sports Centre.”

Barrhaven
Pros
  • Family-oriented, peaceful community
  • Good selection of schools and amenities
  • New housing developments
  • Community-oriented with various activities
  • Relatively affordable housing
Cons
  • Suburban layout, car-dependent
  • Can feel removed from the city's core
  • Limited nightlife and cultural attractions
  • Some areas still developing, ongoing construction
barrhaven farmers market
place d orleans

10. Orleans

Inexpensive housing, proximity to downtown, and the best transit

This eastern suburb is vast and growing, which means plenty of home options, in addition to the local attractions, superb recreational activities, and English or French schooling.

It is a relatively inexpensive Ottawa suburb that has grown steadily since the 1970s. This welcoming community, with a wide variety of high-quality schools and recreational possibilities, is ideal for families. Furthermore, its close proximity to downtown Ottawa makes it a popular choice for those who work in the area. 

Orleans real estate encompasses several diverse neighbourhoods, each with its own special attraction. As its southern and eastern boundaries continue to grow, fresh subdivisions are being created, providing a diverse range of housing options. With so many alternatives, you’ll have no trouble finding the ideal neighbourhood to call home.

Orleans
Pros
  • Strong Francophone community and culture
  • Scenic nature trails and outdoor activities
  • Diverse housing options
  • Family-friendly environment
  • Recent growth with new amenities and services
Cons
  • Farther from central Ottawa, longer commutes
  • May lack some urban amenities
  • Less vibrant nightlife
  • Public transportation options could be limited

Choose your Favourite Ottawa Neighbourhood Today

Ottawa is a patchwork of neighbourhoods each with its own unique features. From young expatriates to people with families, there are areas for everyone to settle and live. Our list of top neighbourhoods can help you choose your favourite neighbourhood and buy a house. Contact one of our expert realtors at Labrosse to find your new home today.

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