Civic Hospital resident/dad Rob Thomas tells us what makes his Ottawa ‘hood great…
Civic Hospital is the best neighbourhood in Ottawa for young families and I’m not the only one who thinks so.
An example…I phone the city’s 3-1-1 service the other day. A sign in the park needs to be replaced. I say the name of the park (Fairmont), then begin to spell it (F-A-I-R…). The operator stops me.
“I know the park,” he says. “My wife grew up on Young Street. There’s a little grove that runs from there into the park.”
“Our place connects to that path as well,” I brag. “My kids are running through those woods all the time.”
“It’s beautiful,” he says.
I hear this all the time.
My wife and I moved from Hintonburg to Civic Hospital four years ago. We had one child at the time and were hoping for more (we’re up to three now). We still love Hintonburg, but we traded up. We’re just as close to the core but the new hood has a more residential vibe, quieter streets, more trees, newer homes (rubble foundations are cute and all), bigger yards, and house prices in the lower stratosphere. It was a 500 meter move, so we also still enjoy Hintonburg — great restaurants, shops and events.
I’ll give you a quick sketch of Civic Hospital’s boundaries: the Queensway (north edge), the O-Train corridor (east), Carling Avenue (south) and Island Park (west).
The highlight for our family is Fairmont Park. If you don’t know already, it’s a huge swath of green space, with tennis courts, mature trees, an open field, sand pits, two play structures and room to spare for a generous dog park. Most important, the playground is well stocked with communal trucks, push cars and sand toys, which are constantly replaced by local families. There are also two ice rinks in winter: one for skating, one for hockey (without boards). There’s also a wooded embankment that traces the eastern border of the park. This is where you’ll find the “grove” that so impresses my 3-1-1 operator. It’s one of two walking paths that link neighbouring streets to the park. The brush is just thick enough to feel that you’ve stepped out of the city for a moment. It’s perfect for climbing, fort building and adventuring. My kids love it too.
Fairmont is the largest of three parks. The others are Reid and Eve Trembley (near Little Italy). Both have wading pools. Reid is currently getting a make-over , thanks to the city. I can’t wait to see the results. Highlights include a new community building, new park furniture and an enclosed off-leash dog park. Eve Trembley Park is beyond our family’s normal range but we’ve enjoyed it when we’ve visited. It also has tennis courts where, I’m told, bike polo is played from time to time. The play structures are new, the sand is very clean (I assume it’s been recently replaced) and the pool is quite large. When I’m there I like to pick up a sandwich from DiRienzo’s, across the street (Beech) from the park.
My kids also enjoy waving to the O-Train at the pedestrian overpass at Young Street. Sometimes, if they’re good, we continue on to Preston Street for gelato. I mean REALLY good. I also look forward to exploring to new O-Train pathway that connects with the Ottawa River pathway. But, so far, we’ve found our fill of adventure closer to home/
Best neighbourhood in the city, as I say.
Thanks Rob! I’ll definitely be adding Fairmont to my own list of parks to check out.