Get to know Ottawa South
Welcome to Ottawa South
Ottawa South is the southern part of Ottawa that is made up of Gloucester-Southgate, Greenboro, and Hunt Club. It has a population of around 70,000 and stretches for 73.26 km2. Commonly perceived by other Ottawans to be the poorer, maybe even unsafe part of the city, what many do not know is that Ottawa South is a vast residential area primarily inhabited by families. A welcoming neighbourhood to immigrants and refugees from an array of countries, it is also home to first-time home buyers and the newly retired.
Ottawa South is composed of government-subsidized housing for those with lower incomes, disabilities, and new Canadians. These take the forms of co-ops and Ottawa Housing strips. The neighbourhood is also home to a great deal of middle class families. Friendly townhouses and rentable apartment towers are scattered across the area. Within a close proximity are single family homes. It is a popular neighbourhood for new buyers getting in the real estate as the prices can be far more affordable than busier parts of the city.
Close to nature
Ottawa South is a more sparsely populated than other parts of the city. Thanks to the lower levels of construction there is far more green space, perfect for walking dogs, hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, golf, biking, or simply walking through the natural scenery. One of Ottawa South’s most popular nature destinations is Conroy Pit, a loop trail of vegetation that stretches 3.2 miles. From sun-up to sun-down, hundreds of happy dog owners and nature lovers can be seen taking a stroll through peaceful paths, no matter the season.
Getting a bite to eat
Ottawa South has one of the highest populations of Lebanese-Canadians in the city. The neighbourhood is very restaurant-dense with Lebanese-owned restaurants on nearly every corner, including the widely visited and famously generous Shawarma Palace in the Southgate Plaza, and the long-loved Shawarma Station across the street at Towngate Plaza. These restaurants, and others like them, are a place to celebrate the abundant Lebanese culture and cuisine that Ottawa has to offer.
Other unique food spots include Chips and Dairy, a cozy and approachable fast food restaurant can be found on the far Southern side of Bank Street, serving an intriguing assortment of fast food such as a classic burger and fries, classic Chinese dishes, and widely praised ice cream. Situated in an old house with a playground by the patio, Chips and Dairy is a family favourite destination for enjoying a relaxing meal on a pleasant day.
For a slightly fancier evening, a nice spot to visit is KS On The Keys. It is a contemporary restaurant that serves a variety of cuisines including Italian, Asian Fusion, and Canadian fare. The large, ambient restaurant is just across the street from South Keys Plaza and is a wonderful place to gather with friends.
A hidden gem is O’Grady’s Outpost. Humbly located at the end of the Greenboro Plaza strip on Tapiola Crescent, O’Grady’s offers a menu of classic pub dishes including wings, fries, and their beloved deep fried ice cream. Wash it all down with one of their many fan-favourite drinks. With an wood-paneled interior, the restaurant is a cozy spot with a lighthearted and friendly Irish pub atmosphere.
Activities in Ottawa South
Skateboarding culture extends throughout the city and in the south end it is alive at Conroy Skate Park, on Conroy road. Skateboarding brings a great sense of community and the park is a spot for people of all ages to connect through their love of the sport. The park has been customized with a variety of street art.
The Greenboro Community Centre is great place for people living in Ottawa South to connect and stay active. The centre offers classes for wide range of interests including Zumba, yoga, dance, sports, summer camps, haunted houses during the Halloween season, and youth nights for nearby pre-teens. It is also home to a large library.
South Keys Plaza is the neighbourhood’s largest shopping center. With over 25 stores, food services, and a sizeable movie theatre, South Keys Plaza is often busy with people from numerous areas of Ottawa. Clothing lovers can take a look at some of the retail stores including Mark’s, Winners, the GAP factory store, the Roots factory store, or Joe Fresh in the Loblaws. The plaza also includes a Cineplex Odeon movie theatre, Walmart, Marshalls-HomeSense, and Chapters. If shopping-driven hunger bites, there are several food spots to satisfy including Thai Express, Sushi Shop, Mucho Burrito, and Montana’s BBQ & Bar.
Head south for a visit
Ottawa South is filled a diverse assortment of people from all walks of life. After taking a tour of the area, it is clear that it is simply a great place to live.
Header image via South Keys Greenboro Community Association