Neighbourhood Highlight: Sandy Hill

Sandy Hill is a quaint little neighbourhood nestled between the Rideau River to the east and the Ottawa Canal to the west.  It is an established part of the city with a lot of charm that is still affordable for a middle-class salary.  In terms of its relation to other Ottawa neighbourhoods it could not be more conveniently located: a five-minute walk north from Daly Avenue brings you into the Byward Market, a partially covered square of shops and restaurants at the centre of downtown.  A short walk west across the Canal brings you into Centretown, a bustling section of the city with many mixed-use properties, schools, doctors’ offices, and more.  

Anyone that spends more than a few hours walking around the neighbourhood will notice an abundance of young students.  The source of Sandy Hill’s young and diverse population is the University of Ottawa campus, a school with renowned law, medical, and education programs.  U of O gives a cosmopolitan charm to the neighbourhood, its grandiose buildings of intricate design provide a scenic backdrop to the parks and cafes that dot the neighbourhood.  The campus also produces a certain kind of focused energy in the air: people have come here to work hard and learn about the world.  This energy is infectious and alluring.   The last benefit to being close to a University campus is that property value will remain especially consistent because demand will always remain strong.  

What Are the Residential Options?

Sandy Hill has a variety of available dwellings squeezed into a pretty small pocket of the residential development.  The neighbourhood spans about 12 square blocks of predominantly residential property – there are a few grocery stores and bars, but most residents head into downtown or Centretown for their shopping and culture needs.  Available properties range from 100-year-old red brick townhouses to contemporary condominiums with all the modern day accouterment (a gym, pool, storage, parking, etc). 

Red Brick Townhouses Are a Real Catch

The townhouses go for around $500,000.  The main reason for this price is location, but secondary reasons include the vintage feel of a red brick townhome and the opportunity to put some renovations into it to improve the value.  A totally renovated 3-bedroom townhome will go for over $500,000, while a two bedroom with some potential for renovations can be had for around $450,000.  In either case, landing a red brick townhouse in Sandy Hill is a real catch.

Condominiums Are Always Available

Sandy Hill does have a selection of high rise condominiums that are reasonably priced at around $200,000.  Some of these high rises are more than twenty years old now, while others are recently finished.  This recently finished condo’s come with the expected condo fees for storage access, possibly rooftop access, a small gym, and perhaps more.  The view of the city is unparalleled and it makes good investment sense for a couple or individual looking to buy in a central location.  

Sandy Hill Represents Excellent Value

As real estate prices continue to rise across Canada, it is expected that homes in neighbourhoods like Sandy Hill will soon become unaffordable for a middle class salary.  Those looking for a quintessential Ottawa home should buy in Sandy Hill because they get the best of both worlds: the urban flair of the downtown combined with the natural charm of a neighbourhood nestled between two rivers.

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