As Hendrick Farm unveils new townhomes in Old Chelsea, the developer at the rural community is going forward full steam with what they call a ‘people first’ planning approach.
Sean McAdam, President of Landlab Inc., says that urban planning has been focused on cars since the 1940s—and that something is wrong when people feel safer in their cars than they do walking on the street.
“Our projects are designed for people and their environment first,” says McAdam. “Yes, cars need to be taken into consideration, and yes, things need to be practical, but designing for people should take priority.”
With a complete departure from the focus on cars and large lawns, the townhomes that are available now have been designed in more classic architectural styles. Most important, perhaps, is the inclusion of a balcony or front porch for every unit. That alone adds a lot to the spirit of community. The small, social community offers a small-town feel and is only fifteen minutes from downtown Ottawa.
Throughout the neighbourhood, which welcomed its first residents in early 2016, it is common to see neighbours gathered to share the news of the day, talking across picket fences, and on their way out to visit the shops in nearby Old Chelsea for locally made pastry and coffee.
Inside, the townhomes come complete with high quality finishings, ten-foot ceilings and open concept floor plans to facilitate a social atmosphere for families of all kinds.
While the dwellings have been designed to appeal to our social side, with all the luxuries of upscale townhomes, the entire development incorporates environmental stewardship in its vision.
“The past two years have underscored the importance of well-designed communities,” says McAdam. “Imagine going through a pandemic if every neighbourhood had lots of green space and outdoor gathering spots. Imagine if sitting out on your front porch—because it was a nice place to be—was the norm. Imagine if everyone, including those who live in attached units, had access to shared parks and preserved green space right in their neighbourhood. People would not feel so isolated.”
From sunrise to sunset, residents can watch the rich natural environment of the Gatineau Hills from their balcony, walk through onsite forested trails, and enjoy the parks and playgrounds.
The new townhomes offer both neighbours and nature to connect with, with fifty percent of the land acquired dedicated to conservation—essentially, a pledge to Hendrick homeowners that they will always have nature on their doorstep.
“Now that the community is maturing, we’re seeing the strong benefits of the broad mix of housing. The inclusion of a variety of townhomes has meant that people of all ages are able to find something that suits them,” says McAdam.
“Young couples have bought their first homes. Young families have moved into a safe and social neighbourhood for their kids to grow up in. Retirees and seniors have downsized but have been able to remain active in, and connected to, their community. We look forward to welcoming many new neighbours in the year ahead.”
For more information see: www.hendrickfarm.ca