Ottawa's Top 5 Family-Friendly Neighbourhoods

By Matthew Birks

Though there are many reasons why our nation’s capital is a great place to live, it is an especially popular spot to settle down and raise a family. The city is wonderfully cultural and historically rich, with an abundance of family-friendly museums, galleries and educational facilities to explore. Above all else, Ottawa is a safe and peaceful city, which boasts a reliable public transit system and values bilingualism (all definite pluses!). Read on to discover our top 5 picks of the best family-friendly neighbourhoods Ottawa has to offer!

A beautiful stretch of homes in Barrhaven (photo credit:  Mattamy Homes )

A beautiful stretch of homes in Barrhaven (photo credit: Mattamy Homes)

Barrhaven is a residential neighbourhood nestled into Ottawa’s suburbs. The area is the perfect spot to raise a family for countless reasons.  Rich with an abundance of French and English schools, Barrhaven boasts a superior school system. Parents can choose from a number of private and public options; the sheer number of which can make parents feel secure that they’ve made the best choice for their little one. The area is also home to a number of parks and playgrounds, which are sure to keep children happy, healthy and active during both winter and summer months. The Walter Baker Sports Centre is also a wonderful feature of Barrhaven. The complex is home to a library, two ice rinks for skating and hockey and an impressive pool equipped with a water slide (who doesn’t love water slides?) Barrhaven is a safe and suburban community with plenty of single-family homes to accommodate growing families. We are sure families will love it!  

Britannia Village:
Britannia Village is a group of neighbourhoods in Ottawa’s west end located right on the beauty of the Ottawa River.  Like other family-friendly neighbourhoods in the city, Britannia Village is wealthy, safe, wonderfully diverse and multicultural and also boasting a number of great schools. The Belltown Dome is perfect for recreational activities such as skating and hockey and Britannia Beach is a family-fun activity for young and old to enjoy (just hold tight until those warm, summer days roll back around—I promise they’re coming!). 

Glebe-Dows Lake:
Better known as the Glebe, this downtown neighbourhood is trendy, friendly and full of green spaces. One of Ottawa’s oldest neighbourhoods, the community is situated right on the Rideau Canal which makes it an ideal spot to jog, run, skate and take part in a host of other activities during both the summer and winter months. The area is also home to a wonderful school system, which gives parents a number of options to choose from. There are also a number of parks that pepper the area and serve as great spots for family outings. We are sure you will love the overall safety and family-friendly vibe that the neighbourhood offers!

Island Park:
Island Park is a beautifully quaint and picturesque community in Ottawa. The area is peaceful and safe and home to the scenic Island Park Drive, which is a landmark street of the area.  Amid the beautiful greenery that the neighbourhood has to offer, Island Park also boasts a great school system for young and old alike. 

Kanata Lakes:
Kanata Lakes is a beautiful, suburban neighbourhood in Ottawa’s west end. The area is safe, wealthy and diverse, with a number of elementary and secondary schools to choose from. The community is full of single-family homes and has a number of parks, playgrounds and sports fields for year-round outdoor fun and activities for kiddies of all ages. In terms of recreation and entertainment, Kanata Lakes is home to Kanata Theatre for all your cultural and intellectual needs and tennis, soccer, figure skating and hockey clubs as well. For those lazy, rainy days, don’t forget Landmark Theatres, the largest movie theatre in the city, which will prove the perfect outing for the entire family. 

Navut is a company that helps match people (mainly newcomers to Canada) with neighbourhoods suited to their desired lifestyle - read more about them in The Toronto Star. Check out their Neighborhood Finder to discover the perfect neighbourhood for you and your family!