Location, Location, Location…The Top 10 Most Walkable Neighbourhoods in Ottawa

The location of your business matters. It can give you access to your customers, promote the growth of your company and, of course, give you the space you need to operate effectively.

However, there’s one important factor that can contribute to the success of your business that is often overlooked: walkability. ONS

Walkability refers to how friendly a neighbourhood is to pedestrians, which includes factors such as aesthetics, safety from traffic, and pedestrian infrastructure and amenities. Ottawa ranks as the fifth most pedestrian-friendly city in Canada according to Walk Score, a U.S.-based web portal that provides neighbourhood data for home buyers and renters.

For businesses, increased walkability has been shown to support strategic economic development, increase local business activity and employment, and increase property values, according to The Economic Value of Walkability study by Todd Litman, the founder of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute.

More walkable cities have also been shown to generate more money. A 2014 study entitled Foot Traffic Ahead revealed that the top ranking metros, based on the amount of commercial development in walkable urban places in the U.S., had an average of 38 per cent higher GDP per capita as compared to the low ranking metros.

In Ottawa, walkability data has been compiled by the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study (ONS), which provides broad data on Ottawa’s neighbourhoods, including demographics, access to food, access to schools, civic engagement, community resources, parks and recreation, and walkability. The ONS compiled its own walkability data for the Ottawa region in order to bolster existing data regarding the walkability of Ottawa’s rural neighbourhoods.

For walkability, the average score in Ottawa is 50, and a score above 70 is considered “excellent”.

The 10 neighbourhoods that rank the highest according to 2014 data are:

  1. ByWard Market:91
  2. Lowertown:79
  3. Old Ottawa East:73
  4. West Centretown:72
  5. Hintonburg – Mechanicsville:71
  6. Sandy Hill – Ottawa East:70
  7. Centretown:69
  8. Old Ottawa South:66
  9. Hawthorne Meadows – Sheffield Glen:64
  10. Glebe – Dow’s Lake:64

For more information on the ONS, or to use the interactive map tool to find out more about your neighbourhood, please visit: www.neighbourhoodstudy.ca

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