Kid-Friendly Neighbourhood: New Edinburgh
This post from Lindenlea mom Adrienne Blair is going to make you want to move to the lovely central Ottawa neighbourhood of New Edinburgh ASAP. I’m a Lowertown resident, but have always loved this part of town. In university, Hamie’s Diner was our favourite spot for a hangover breakfast and/or a milkshake. Today, we spend more time on Beechwood Avenue than in the Byward Market.
New Edinburgh: Beechwood Avenue to Sussex Drive, Springfield Road to the Rideau River.
Live without your car!
A practically perfect New Edinburgh Saturday:
- Get a caffeine fix (Bridgehead or Second Cup).
- Run assorted errands (bank, pharmacy, cleaners, Books on Beechwood for the next book club assignment).
- Reward co-operative children (and self) with a treat (Da Bombe, Bread and Roses, or back to Bridgehead).
- Do a grocery run (Metro and Nature’s Buzz).
- Pick up a hostess gift (to Jacobson’s for great advice, delicious upscale goodies and a wedge of Sauvagine for yourself—you’re not made of stone).
- Decide to throw money at the lunch problem (the super-tasty Ashbury sandwich from Arturo’s, authentic Oaxacan tamales from Mitla, Sushime, Scone Witch).
- Drop shopping at home and go for a walk along the Rideau River.
- Contemplate dinner. Is it a wings-and-beer kind of night at the New Edinburgh Pub? Gourmet pizza at Zazaza? Or date night at Fraser Café?
- Wander home, full and happy, pull out phone and make a Sunday brunch date at the Clocktower or Farb’s.
You can’t talk about New Edinburgh without enumerating the many charms of Stanley Park, a daily destination for local runners, dog walkers and stroller pushers. There’s a splash pad in summer, a community rink in the winter, and the field house plays host to fun, family-friendly events year-round. It’s the site of a raucous, award-winning Race Weekend cheering station; the preschool-perfect Halloween Howl; and the magical Lumière Festival.
Cyclists, rollerbladers and humble pedestrians share the winding stretch of the NCC bike path that winds along the Rideau River. Watch the icebreaker boats in March and head for Sussex Drive to see giant ice chunks plummeting over the Rideau Falls.
New Edinburgh House on MacKay is the new home of the Crichton Cultural Community Centre, a bustling arts hub offering classes in music, dance, painting and fitness. Their children’s programming is exceptional, with popular camps running every March Break and PA Day and all summer.
The annual New Edinburgh Garage Sale draws bargain hunters and people watchers from far and wide every September, and the CHEO Teddy Bears’ Picnic has become a beloved summer tradition at Rideau Hall. In fact, Rideau Hall is a perfect spot to picnic all summer. Nab a picnic table near the playground by the front gate and take advantage of clean public washrooms (with change tables), a water fountain (with step-stool rock for little ones) and a shady tent. Watch the sentries being piped in and out every hour and pretend to understand the match underway at the historic cricket pavilion.
New Edinburgh boasts a vibrant community newspaper and online presence. The Perambulator Posse mailing list hums with neighbourhood news bulletins and rapid-fire deals on outgrown hockey skates, bikes and baby gear.
New Edinburghers are a proud bunch: they’ve got a good thing going and they know it.