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Ottawa's Maturing Neighbourhoods


Walkable Neighbourhoods

There are two primary components to making a neighbourhood walkable.  To be truely walkable a neighbourhood must be both Practically Walkable and Delightfully Walkable.

Practical, Safe and Efficient walking access to everyday needs:

  • Transit or walk to work

  • Shopping & restaurants

  • amenities, recreation, green spaces

  • schools, daycare

  • health care and personal services

A Delightful Pedestrian Experience would include:

  • Trees and gardens

  • Variety

  • shops and services to walk past

  • porches and balconies

  • personalized features in front of homes

  • Parks

  • Views & spaces of varied size

  • other people

  • familiar faces

Achieving this long list of elements within 10 or 15 minutes of every home in every neighbourhood is no small feat.  We can only succeed with the benefit if significant population increases, to provide the tax base for all publicly funded elements and provide the customers and clients to support new neighbourhood based small business.  


Criteria for Growth:

  1. Walkable

  2. Socially engaging

  3. Diverse (both in income and household demographics)

  4. Ecologically responsible

  5. Affordable (individually & collectively)​

“The places you go on vacation are places you can walk. Why not make it everywhere?”  Peter Calthorpe


“Walkable neighbourhoods are associated with better health through physical activity, social engagement, mental health, perceptions of crime, and reduced road traffic collisions.”

City of Ottawa Official Plan

"Streets can function both as places to be and linger, and places to move through.  Designing streets that encourage people to connect with others has physical and mental health benefits, and increases the likelihood of active transportation being chosen."

Peter Kageyama, For the Love of Cities

"...the location of the home is far more important than are the green features of the house itself. This is because urban location and local context (such as the presence of nearby shops and services, schools and employment opportunities, and the presence of walkable, connected streets) determine how much travel occurs and by what mode.”

Pamela Blais, Perverse Cities

Over 90 percent of Ottawa residents consider distance to grocery stores important when choosing where to live...

21 percent of neighbourhoods in Ottawa are classified as food deserts...

Almost half (48 percent) of survey respondents consider the availability of fresh produce at corner stores poor or very poor, which highlights the limited number of healthy food choices in small food retail neighbourhood locations.

New Official Plan Preliminary Policy Directions, City of Ottawa

Deigned to Move: Active Cities Report, 2015, p.9
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