• By: Anne Dion

Neighbourhood Spotlight: Centretown

The Ottawa landscape is changing. Soon Light Rail will link more people to more places, making house prices go up and transit times go down. Our downtown juggles politics, business, and culture, a balance which disperses the rest of our city into an eclectic collection of residential pockets. Every neighbourhood has something going for it, with its own commercial strip, green spaces, and entertainment — no matter where you live you can find what you need.

With Light Rail on the horizon, here at Ottawa Life we’ve decided to start a series where we break down Ottawa into its patchwork of neighbourhoods. We’re profiling each area by price, transportation, and lifestyle. Whether you’re a young professional or a family-making nest-builder, we’re giving you the details on every corner of our city.

These statistics were found at neighbourhoodstudy.ca, and viewit.ca, and kijiji.ca. Ottawa Neighbourhood Study (ONS) is based at the Centre for Research and Ottawa Neighbourhood Study (CRECS) at the University of Ottawa.

If you or your company would like to participate in our neighbourhood breakdown, let us know by emailing info@ottawalife.com

This week’s spotlight: Centretown

Centretown is (you guessed it) Ottawa’s downtown core — an area south of Parliament Hill and the Ottawa River, with the Canal to the East and Bronson Avenue to the West, bordered by the Queensway on its southern edge.

The average walking time to the Confederation line of the LRT is 15 minutes, to either the Parliament or the Lyon stop. It is also approximately a 20-minute walk from the neighbourhood’s core to the Rideau Shopping Centre, home to two of the OCTranspo system’s major stops, Rideau and Mackenzie King.

The most common dwelling types in this area are high or low-rise apartment buildings, and the average monthly rent for an unfurnished two-bedroom apartment is $1,600.


Centretown might be part of Ottawa’s bustling downtown, but it has an abundance of green and open space, thanks to the seven dog parks, Rideau Canal, and of course, the Ottawa River. Located near many of Ottawa’s most popular tourist destinations, residents of Centretown  are surrounded by some of the city’s most beautiful scenery, as a lot of Ottawa’s beautification projects are concentrated in the downtown core.

Like all Ottawa neighbourhoods, Centretown has its own commercial areas which provide for the needs of its residents. During the day, Sparks Street is alight with government and office workers out to lunch, and is especially popular when happy hour hits. Bank and Elgin Street both have plenty of restaurants and bars, as well as shopping and grocers.


If you work downtown and enjoy being mobile, then Centretown is a perfect location. Less ideal for car owners, as parking can be difficult or expensive, the accessibility to both Light Rail and OCTranspo lines makes it a great neighbourhood for young professionals, small families, or the newly retired. Having access to both the Ottawa River and the canal, as well as the neighbourhood’s several parks, makes the area great for small dog owners, although the limited square footage of downtown apartments might be a little cramped for bigger pets.

Stay tuned for next week’s spotlight on Sandy Hill!