Originally Posted by SkyMoma
I've been trolling through the apartment listings on viewit and various other rental sites, and I really started to go nuts, trying to figure out the Ottawa neighbourhoods, without actually seeing them (since dh has the car all day). I need someone who knows the city to give me some insight, or at least some suggestions on good neighbourhoods to live in. If I knew of a few good areas to check out, I'd borrow my parents' car and take the kids up to drive around for a day, and get the feel of places.
We're apartment-dwellers by preference (ie: rather than a house-dwellers), but would like to find one in an older area, where there are lots of trees and quieter streets to stroll along. I'd like to be able to walk to a library, park (with playground) and grocery store, and would be in heaven if I could also walk to a used bookstore, a health food store, a consignment shop...
We can't afford more than $1100 in rent and would prefer to pay less, which makes us middle-market (?) I think, in terms of what we can afford. As in, please don't recommend a high-priced neighbourhood, or my kids will fall in love with it on our excursion and then I'll have trouble when we can't live there.
I live in a coop in Sandy Hill and apparently our waiting list is pretty short right now. If you'd be interested in coop living in a central area (right next to U of O, walking distance to absolutely everything) with treed streets and good parks, below your max price, send me a pm for more info.
Otherwise, I'm personally fond of the more central neighbourhoods where you can walk everywhere. The downside is that you really have to shop around to find something decent and affordable at the same time.
In your price range, would look in:
-Chinatown (has some nice streets here and there especially between Somerset, Booth, Scott and Preston)
-Little Italy (mostly decent if you stay off Preston itself, it's quite nice along the O-Train which is pretty quiet)
You'll find that not all parks are nice in those areas and that there are sketchy parts but when I lived in Centretown for 3 years, right on the edge of Chinatown, I never feared for my family's safety and really like how walkable everything was.
If you want to really put your shopping shoes on, you may find something affordable in Sandy Hill, the Glebe, Old Ottawa South, Ottawa East and Ottawa West (the area West of Parkdale St). All more expensive, walkable areas with good parks.