Where: Rideau Street, Rideau Canal, Nicholas Street, Queensway, Rideau River
OREB code: 4003, 4004
Price range early 2015: $499,900 to $748,500
By the numbers:
How do you feel about lottery tickets? That may determine your willingness to buy in Sandy Hill. On the one hand, the ’hood has heritage homes at competitive prices, great Transitway access, Strathcona Park, and easy access to the ByWard Market.
On the other hand, there’s the mixed blessing of the University of Ottawa. Its proximity is wonderful if you enjoy such perks as a big library and an excellent athletic centre. It’s not quite so wonderful if you’re living next to a gang of party-loving students.
However, the university has been working for several years to educate students on their responsibilities as residents, and bylaw officers — who recently gained greater authority to issue tickets — have been cracking down. Noise complaints have dropped.
You could compare it to Old Ottawa South in the 1990s. Efforts to educate Carleton students succeeded, the O-Train dispersed students around the city, and property values rose. Will U of O’s education initiative and the LRT pay the same dividends in Sandy Hill?
Then there’s the issue of the high concentration of drop-in centres, shelters, and rooming houses, particularly on the western edge. The city has been tweaking bylaws to ensure everyone can live together peacefully, but sometimes tensions do flare.
43 Blackburn Ave.
Few Ottawa childcare centres can trace their history back as far as Bettye Hyde, which opened in 1943. In 2014, it moved into new digs in a converted carriage house. As well as seven full-time registered early childhood educators, the bilingual, non-profit centre has a staff chef.
453 Laurier Ave. E.
This is the only North American branch of the famous French cooking school where you can take an intensive course in boulangerie — the art of baking. Diplomas can lead to a career as a professional chef, or you can take half-day general-interest classes in everything from knife skills to vegan cuisine. Prefer to eat? Reserve a table at Signatures Restaurant to nosh on classic French fare such as sautéed escargots.
75 Nicholas St.
Located in the Ottawa Jail hostel, this is one of the city’s quirkier venues. There’s something for everyone, with entertainment ranging from DJs and trivia to jazz and punk bands. On summer nights, sip a Beau’s beer under the stars on the thickly walled patios. Victorian prisoners never had it this good.