Sandy Hill is a hilly neighbourhood just east of downtown Ottawa. The sandy nature of the ground makes it difficult to erect large buildings in the area and also inspired the name. This neighbourhood is filled with parks, homes, and embassies. The demographics of this neighbourhood are as fascinating as they are widely varied. In just a matter of blocks, you can go from spacious and wealthy homes and embassies to student housing and older residential homes.
Near the University of Ottawa, many older homes have been remodeled into apartments. This neighbourhood is full of life, variety and class. The Sandy Hill neighbourhood is conveniently located just east of downtown and is bordered on the west by the Rideau canal and on the east by the Rideau River.
Schools in Sandy Hill Neighbourhood
- Le Cordon Bleu– this is a well-respected and well-known French culinary and hospitality school with campuses all over the world, including in Ottawa.
- University of Ottawa– more than 35,000 students enroll at this bi-lingual public research University each year.
- Viscount Alexander Public School– an elementary school on Dover Road in Sandy Hill.
- Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario– this is the public school board that oversees French education in Ontario.
- Allegro Music School Ottawa– This music and dance school in Ottawa offers a wide variety of classes to students of all levels.
Things to see and do in Sandy Hill Neighbourhood
- Laurier House– this National Historic site once housed two former Prime Ministers of Canada.
- Strathcona Park: this park is an oasis of open green space next to the Rideau River. You can walk, run, or skate on the trails that run along the river or paddle a canoe in the river itself. This park will also lead you to the grand houses of Embassy Row.
- University of Ottawa: the campus takes up a large portion of the Sandy Hill area and features beautiful grounds for walks.
- Embassy Row: this is a fun road to walk or drive, with many of the original homes serving as embassies for countries around the world. The homes are magnificent and ornate. You can find Embassy Row near Strathcona Park, Laurier Avenue, Range Road, and Wilbrod Street.
- Canadian Headquarters for Amnesty International: Amnesty International fights for human rights across the globe and the Canadian headquarters is a great place to learn more about their noble mission.
Restaurants to visit in Sandy Hill
Sandy Hill has an eclectic blend of restaurants, both fast dining and high-end with menus that range in style and price. The area also has an abundance of coffee houses, likely due to the local college population.
- Sandy Hill Lounge and Bar— Canadian dining in a great location and inside a cute old house.
- Signatures Restaurant— a fine French dining experience for the French food lover in your life.
- Perfection Satisfaction Promise Vegetarian Restaurant and Coffee House— if you like fresh vegetarian dishes and a quaint coffee house, this is the perfect spot for you. Kick back and relax with friends or sip coffee in the corner and enjoy some peace and quiet.
- Cafe Nostalgica— this cafe offers sandwiches and deli fare located at the University of Ottawa.
Fitness Centres in Sandy Hill
Sandy Hill has a variety of gyms and fitness centres to accommodate the needs of both students and locals. There are several Anytime Fitness Centres in the area, as well as the Sandy Hill Community Centre, which has an award-winning play structure, wading pool, and an outdoor ice skating rink. Elevate Yoga is a great place to get your zen on and Minto Sports Complex Fitness Centre is located on University of Ottawa campus.
Sandy Hill was one of the most wealthy and prosperous neighbourhoods in Ottawa during the first part of the 20th century, when lumber barons decided to call Sandy Hill home. The introduction of bridges, cars, and streetcars made access to downtown Ottawa much faster and easier and many of the city’s elite moved to the Sandy Hill area.
Nowadays, the area is home to many residents of the upper middle class and the homes have a classic look that can never be replaced. The sprawling mansions built at the start of the century are now embassies for countries around the world.
If you have fallen in love with architecture of the Sandy Hill neighbourhood, let’s work together to help you find the house of your dreams!