Canal Neighbourhoods

Ottawa’s 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.

The Glebe and Dow’s Lake

The Glebe is one of Ottawa’s first suburbs. The area was opened up for development in 1870, and was informally referred to by land developers as “The Glebe”, which means church-owned land. This was shortened from its official name, “The Glebe Lands of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church”. But the shortened “Glebe” handle soon stuck, and became the official name for this historic neighbourhood. For more on the Glebe’s fascinating history from pre-confederation to present day, visit: The Story of the Glebe‘s website.

The Glebe is located just south of downtown Ottawa, and is bordered to the north by the Queensway, to the south and east by the Rideau Canal, and to the west by Bronson Avenue. The area includes the pocket bordered by Bronson Avenue, Carling Avenue and Dow’s Lake, known simply as Dow’s Lake.

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Schools

Elementary Schools
Secondary Schools

Community Centre/Recreation

The Glebe Community Centre: 175 Third Ave. Programs run by the Glebe Neighbourhood Activities Group.

Why We Love This Area

We love that you  can go a very long time without ever having to leave the neighbourhood –  because it has everything. To start, the Glebe offers grocery and food shopping to please gourmets and locavores alike. The Metro Glebe offers a wide selection of local and organic meats and produce. Nacastro’s is a cheese lover’s paradise, and offers a range of carefully selected gourmet and Italian products. Glebites are spoiled for choice with the selection of bakeries, local restaurants and pubs. And there are clothing boutiques for every taste – from the traditional to the whimsical. Need a bike or other sporting goods to better enjoy the Glebe’s Canal parks and bike paths? Kunstadt and Joe Mamma, both located on Bank Street, have you covered (both stores also offer ski and snowboard equipment and service). Come on a Saturday afternoon, and you may want to stay for a lifetime.

Local Picks

  • Bring home the flourless chocolate cake from Second Avenue Sweets – amazing!
  • Spend a warm summer evening enjoying a glass of sangria or a margarita on the patio at Feleena’s.
  • Get started with your next home repair or reno project. With its small-town hardware store feel, Capital Home Hardware on Bank Street never stops impressing us. The super-friendly staff will help you find almost anything you need from their seemingly endless inventory – all somehow stored neatly in their relatively small space. The big box stores have nothing on the Glebe’s friendly neighbourhood hardware store.
  • Bloomfields: Fresh flowers, lovely plants, and creative gifts  — all wrapped up in that distinctive Bloomfield’s style with cellophane and raphia. Owners Jamie and Virginia Vince, along with their helpful crew of flower mavens, will help you choose the perfect gift for the next special occasion, or the next time you just feel like brightening up your home on a Tuesday.
  • Flapjack’s: Just try to walk past the parking lot tucked in behind Mrs. Tiggywinkles on Bank Street without being drawn in by the wonderful smell of fresh pancakes. With toppings like PB&J and Nutella, you can’t lose. The rustic lumberjack outdoor decor helps complete the experience, and there are boardgames to entertain you while you wait. Tip: Next time you’re really hungry, try the Big Joe Panwich: bacon, eggs and cheese served between two pancakes (with maple syrup, of course).
  • Saturday morning waffles at Café Morala— served with fruit and whipping cream — are the perfect weekend treat. This cosy café will have you coming back to sample their lunch and dessert offerings as well. For a light lunch, try a gazpacho andaluz with a key lime square for dessert.
  • Music lovers will appreciate a neighbourhood where they can browse through new and vintage vinyl in not one, but two local shops: Compact Music and Birdman Sound.
  • If you love great wine, and you love to pair that wine with wonderful food, 107 Fourth Avenue Wine Bar is not to be missed. Tip: Order the steak and frites, medium rare, and have the knowledgeable staff recommend a great wine to go with it. We think it’s one of the best steak and frites in the city.
  • There’s no better place to take the kids (or just feel like a kid again) than Mrs. Tiggywinkle’s on Bank Street, near Third Avenue. With their helpful staff, a full range of gifts for every age, including novelty items upstairs in Lost Marbles (a store within a store for more grownup tastes), selecting a gift for your child’s next birthday party will be a snap.

Old Ottawa South

Old Ottawa South is a vibrant neighbourhood originally developed as a suburb of downtown Ottawa at the turn of the last century. Its carefully maintained red brick and clapboard homes, famous for their front porches, still give the area its historic charm. Growth of the area continues to this day, as most infill homes adhere to an aesthetic and scale that maintains the historic character of the neighbourhood.

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Location

Old Ottawa South is located just South of the Glebe, between the Rideau Canal to the North and the Rideau River to the South, Avenue Road on the East, and Bronson Avenue to the West. Although Carleton University is on the West side of Bronson, it is considered to be within the boundaries of Old Ottawa South.

Schools

Elementary Schools
Secondary Schools

Community Centre/Recreation

The Ottawa South Community Association runs programs out of the Old Firehall at 260 Sunnyside Ave, www.oldottawasouth.caBrewer Pool and Arena are operated by the City of Ottawa, and run a range of swimming and skating programs year round.

Why We Love This Area

Great restaurants, gelato, the many parks and great bike shopping top our list for this neighbourhood. The tree-lined streets of this family-friendly neighbourhood are always bustling with activity — kids playing road hockey, friendly neighbours chatting on street corners, and families out for a bike ride are all common sights around Old Ottawa South. The eclectic selection of  boutiques, access to many local parks and recreation facilities, you’ll have no trouble keeping busy all weekend long.

Local Picks

  • Take in a show at the Mayfair Theatre. Built in 1932 and maintaining its vintage décor, this theatre will take you back to the Golden Age of Hollywood.
  • Sample world-class gelato at Stella Luna Gelato Café. Co-owner Tammy Giuliani trained at Italy’s “gelato university”, Carpigiani. So you know this stuff has got to be good!
  • Stop at Taylor’s Genuine Food and Wine Bar (before or after a movie, perhaps) for some charcuterie and delicious artisan cheeses. Pair that with one of their selection of wines, and you’re in for a treat.
  • We love kitchen gadgets. And C.A. Paradis has it all. From the latest in mixers, juicers and coffee makers to top-of-the-line accouterments for serving wine.
  • Shopping for a unique gift? Check out Greyhorne Interiors. While it’s fun to walk among their selection of  high-end contemporary furniture and dream about purchasing a super-funky accent chair, Greyhorne also has innovative gift items for all budgets.

Old Ottawa East

The community of Old Ottawa East is located on either side of Main Street, east of the Canal, west of the Rideau River, south of Sandy Hill and north of Old Ottawa South. It includes what was once the Village of Ottawa East. Main Street was the centre of the community and primary business area in the village and, because Ottawa had no other Main Street, the name remained after it was annexed to the City of Ottawa in 1907.

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Community Centre/Recreation

Community programming, recreation, and special events are run by the Old Ottawa East Community Activities Group (CAG). And many of their events and activities take place at or around the Old Town Hall at 61 Main Street.

Schools

Elementary Schools
Secondary Schools

Why We Love This Area

This central, family-oriented community gives residents a taste of nature in the heart of the city. The area is bordered by both the Rideau River and the Canal, and offers lots of parks and green space, including Windsor Park and Brantwood Park. And with many homes sitting on larger lots, the area offers a distinct feeling of space that sets it apart from other urban neighbourhoods.

Local Picks

  • Spend a Saturday morning choosing fresh local produce at the Ottawa Farmers Market, running Saturdays from May through November on the grounds of St. Paul’s University on Main Street.
  • Enjoy some of Ottawa’s best vegetarian food at The Green Door. The menus change each season as the local supply of fresh food changes. They use as many organic products as possible and offer a selection of gluten free and dairy free items. Tip: Try the potatoes with kale and the peanut butter chocolate pie.
  • Take in the local architecture: Just steps away from the Rideau Canal, you’ll find The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons building on Echo Drive. This was once the Monastery of the Precious Blood, built in 1921 in the neo-classical style. With its distinctive rooftop and belfry, it’s an unmistakable landmark of the area.
  • Watson’s Pharmacy on Main Street is worth a visit. Whether you’re looking for some relief from a cold, or something from their selection of gifts, you’ll find what you need at this family-owned neighbourhood drug store. Their integrated, holistic approach to health has earned them recognition as the top integrated pharmacy in Canada at the prestigious 2013 Commitment to Care & Service Awards.
  • Have a picnic in Brantwood Park. This is one of the best places in central Ottawa to forget you’re in the city. Take the family and enjoy an afternoon by the riverbank.