Originally the area was an industrial zone lying beside the train tracks. In the 1950s, the tracks were removed and replaced by the Queensway. The industry also left the area and new towers began to be built. The Eastern Ontario Institute of Technology, (later to merge with The Ontario Vocational Centre and renamed Algonquin College), opened its new Rideau Campus there in 1964. The Ottawa architecture firm of Burgess, McLean & MacPhadyn designed a single level brick, concrete and steel building composed of three connected wings on a 12-acre city-owned Lees Avenue site. After being unused for a number of years, it was sold to the University of Ottawa in January 2007. The neighbourhood remained home to the Canadian military’s Lees Avenue Armoury until the late 1980s.
In 1986 while building the Lees Transitway Station the area’s industrial past began to cause major problems as it was discovered that large, and leaking, tanks of coal tar sat under the area. For some 35 years up to 1957, the Ottawa Gas Works had operated a coal gasification plant in the area and had produced this byproduct. This began many months long arguments with the various levels of government, the landowners, and the residents. Eventually, a major cleaning operation was launched costing some $12 million.
The current road of Lees Avenue runs from Main Street in the west to where it crosses over the Queensway when it becomes King Edward Avenue. It is a moderately used collector road serving the local community. Lees originally turned into Chapel Street but was realigned in 1993 to turn into King Edward. The original Lees Ave cross over the train tracks (now Queensway) went straight to the edge of the Rideau River. Although just like other streets during the construction of the Queensway, it got split and the northern part of Lees Ave can be accessed via Roberston Rd.
Lindenlea has a children’s park, tennis courts, a bowling green and a community centre. The community centre was originally a communal garage—there were so few cars that the land was purchased by three local residents for use as a car park, but was later donated to the City. It is the earliest planned community in Ottawa, dating back to the end of the First World War.
The community was planned by Thomas Adams and is an example of Adams’ garden suburb style. Most of the homes have large back yards, a feature of this planning style. The community is divided into upper Lindenlea, north of Rideau Terrace, and lower Lindenlea. Only upper Lindenlea was planned by Adams. Lower Lindenlea was developed later but followed many of the garden suburb principles, including the large back yards.
Lindenlea is notable for its picturesque architecture, mature trees, and plentiful green space. The community association produces a periodic newsletter called The Lindenleader and residents of Lindenlea also receive The New Edinburgh News produced by the community association of neighbouring New Edinburgh. The population as of the Canada 2011 Census was 2,073.
It is an almost exclusively residential area, the great majority of its housing stock having been built in the late 1940s and early 1950s, by a consortium of five Ottawa area developers. Prior to its development, much of the land was slightly marshy treed area, used as riding trails stemming from nearby Mile Circle as well as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police stables, which remain nearby, and are the home of the Musical Ride. It is well treed, with some notable white pines scattered throughout.
A small pocket park is named Vincent Anthony park, after a former Canadian diplomat. Notable local institutions include Manor Park Public School, and St Columba Anglican Church.
The area is an older, affluent neighbourhood. The Governor General of Canada’s large residence and grounds are located in New Edinburgh, as is 24 Sussex Drive, official residence of the Prime Minister of Canada.
The neighbourhood is home to several embassies and consulates, including those of Spain, South Africa, France, India, and Slovakia. Civil servants (in particular, employees of the nearby Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada) compose a fair portion of the population. Like Rockcliffe Park, the neighbourhood is largely English-speaking, in comparison to the French-speaking district of Vanier to the south. The total population of New Edinburgh is 3108 (2011 Census).
Overbrook covers an area of 3.04 square kilometres, and has a population densisty of 3174 people per square kilometre (2011 Census). Overbrook’s main street is Queen Mary Street, which runs from North River Road to St. Laurent Boulevard. It’s bounded on the north by the former city of Vanier, on the west by the Rideau River, on the south by the Queensway and on the east by St. Laurent Boulevard. The eastern part of the neighbourhood overlaps with the Castle Heights neighbourhood.
The neighbourhood was in the fifth of 5 socio-economic levels, with 1 representing the most advantaged neighbourhood and 5 the least advantaged neighbourhood. A minority (36%) of the residents owned their homes, while 64% rented. Housing is unaffordable for many residents in West Overbrook; 32% spend more than 30% of their income on shelter. Eight percent of the dwellings were reported to be in need of major repairs (higher than city average). The number of persons per room (0.46), a measure of crowding, was also higher than the city average.
In 2005, the property crime rate of 66.4 per thousand people was higher than the city average of 57 per thousand people. Personal crime rates were also higher than the city average of 24 per thousand people, at 52.8 per thousand people.
The west side of Overbrook (“West Overbrook”) is growing with several active infill developments given the changing demographic of the area. With several home renovations projects, addition of low-rise condos, new executive town homes, and even a recent premium apartment building addition that overlooks the historic Rideau River, River Rain Park, Sandy Hill’s Strathcona Park (Ottawa), and Rideau Tennis Club.
As it was long a separate village not under the jurisdiction of Ottawa’s municipal government, Rockcliffe Park differs from the rest of the city. It has very few sidewalks, and is also relatively inaccessible to through traffic. Much of Rockcliffe is still wooded, and the houses are set far apart on wide lots.
Rockcliffe Park is home to many Ottawa notables. Stornoway, the residence of the leader of the Canadian Official Opposition is located there. Many ambassadors to Canada also live in Rockcliffe, including the ambassadors of Argentina, Barbados, China, Colombia, Denmark, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, South Korea, Sweden, the United States, Senegal and Venezuela. The neighbourhood attracts many of Ottawa’s corporate leaders, notably Michael Cowpland, former CEO of Corel Corporation, who owns a large, gold coloured residence in a contemporary neo-classic design.
Starting with an area closer to the Rideau River, Vanier is increasingly considered a target for the process of renovating and improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-class taste. It is one of the last relatively inexpensive Ottawa neighbourhoods with a desirable location next to downtown. The neighbourhood is becoming increasingly popular among young families thanks to the only publicly funded school in Ottawa based on Waldorf education, Trille des Bois, and an active community association.
Vanier offers a wide choice of retail shops, strip malls, eateries, and bars. Both subsidized and self-financed housing is available here, with several existing and proposed upscale condominiums and infill developments. The population on the western edge of Vanier closer to the Rideau River, especially the Kingsview Park neighbourhood, is among the more affluent.
Like nearby Lowertown, Ottawa’s Vanier neighbourhood is home to a number of French-speaking immigrants from Africa and elsewhere. It is also the site of the urban Maple Sugar Festival (Festival des Sucres) held in spring, and home to an outdoor Catholic shrine, the Grotte de Lourdes.
Vanier is part of the federal riding of Ottawa-Vanier, and the Ottawa-Vanier Provincial riding. It is traditionally one of the staunchly Liberal ridings in Canada, having voted for the party consistently since the riding’s creation. According to the Canada 2001 Cenus: Population: 17,632
Viscount Alexander Park
Its bounded on the north by the Ottawa River, on the east by Blair Road, on the south by Montreal Road and on the west by St. Laurent Boulevard, Hemlock Road and the Aviation Parkway.
Part of the neighbourhood, east of Codd’s Road is also known as Finter. It named for Harold, Viscount Alexander of Tunis, Governor General of Canada from 1946 until 1952.