Okay, we get it. Vanier doesn’t have the best reputation in Ottawa.
Over the years, a number of different shops and facilities have made Vanier their home. This includes a few drug treatment centers, Medicinal Marijuana shops, more Cash 4 You stores than you can shake a stick at.
But behind the not so glamorous facade is a vastly cultured community of homeowners and business owners who know that there’s so much more to Vanier than it leads on.
The neighbourhood is much like any other in Ottawa – there’s pockets of questionable characters, but for the most part it’s quite a thriving community.
Turns out Vanier has the highest percentage of designers, artists, LGBTQ, Aboriginal and French population than any other neighborhood in Ottawa.
This is particularly true due to Vanier’s competitive real estate prices.
Did you know it’s cheaper to live in Vanier than in Kanata, a suburb 25 minutes West of the city’s core??
Plus, it’s a 4-minute drive from downtown and it borders the tranquil Ottawa River waterfront alongside sporting fields, dog parks and picnic benches.
As such, younger families, immigrants, young professionals, retirees and students are flocking to the area and taking advantage of the affordable in-city housing opportunities.
Unlike trendy and expensive neighbourhoods, like the Glebe which is known for its cafes and new entertainment area, Vanier is unique.
It remains a cultural web of inhabitants widely ranging in nationality, income level, industry and job security, age, marital status and along other demographics.
You’ll find lawyers, teachers, government workers, high-earning business leaders, students, strippers, blue-collared workers and accountants.
And what’s really cool is that it’s rare to come across someone who isn’t totally content living there.
Not only is Vanier home to several colourful murals; including Ottawa’s tallest mural as seen above at 261 Montreal Road, you’ll also find the Wabano centre (Vanier’s newest Aboriginal centre), the ever so popular Farmer’s market held during the summer and falls months, and even some incredible hole-in-the-wall and Ottawa famous restaurants.
Like Quelque Chose, owned by a Venezuelan family who is widely known for making delicious handmade, mouth-watering macarons and other bakery items.
Bobby’s Table: a classic hole-in-the-wall diner that displays photos of the Prime Minister, Mayor Jim Watson and a few other local celebrities shaking hands with the dedicated owner and face of the business, Bobby. His tasty and under $5 breakfasts, delicious smoked meat sandwiches and popular spaghetti plate is what gets people lining up for on the weekend.
Vanier is also home to the Ottawa Famous Louis Pizza. This family-owned restaurant has been featured several times in the news for their longstanding family operated business and legendary pizzas.
Our newest addition is Cadmans, a delicious and classic Montreal style bagel and sandwich shop on the corner of Vanier Parkway and Montreal Road.
Ola Cocina, a small but flavourful Mexican taco and salsa bar located near Beechwood which draws an impressive crowd every weekend at this colourful location.
And most recently our new coworking space Coworkly, joined the community.
But what we kept hearing over and over again is – why Vanier?
Words like tech startups, trendy, cool, bright, and modern don’t exactly come to mind when you think of Vanier.
But what we say is why not?
On top of the benefits just named in Vanier, here are a few others:
- There’s a need. The local Bridgehead, Sutherlands and Starbucks on Beechwood is full to the brim with laptop workers.
- It’s outside downtown but still central.
- There’s tons of on-site and street parking (this is a biggie).
At the end of the day, the community, for the most part, is quiet and humble. People are independent, family-oriented and that’s ultimately the kind of people we want to attract.
In addition, we want to provide something quieter and better suited for client interactions than a coffee shop and something that has more community and social value than a library.
Vanier certainly has it’s interesting corners, but it takes one big move to start changing things around.
And we intend on being part of that movement.