Welcome to Barrhaven Central! You are going to love the beautiful greenspaces, incredible schools, awesome recreational options and amenities, and family-friendly community!
Barrhaven Central is located Southwest of the urban area of Ottawa and is split into smaller neighbourhoods including Pheasant Run, Knollsbrook, Cedargrove, Heritage Park, Longfields, Heart’s Desire, Stonebridge, and Half Moon Bay. The area of Barrhaven we will be focusing on for this feature is Barrhaven Central, which includes the Longfields and Knollsbrook areas.
Barrhaven Central is bordered by the Greenbelt and Fallowfield Drive to the North, Woodroffe Avenue to the East, Highway 416 and Greenbank Road to the West and Jock River to the South. It is approximately a 20 minute drive from Barrhaven to downtown Ottawa.
Barrhaven is a rapidly growing community and the transportation options are always improving and changing to meet the needs of the community. As of now, residents can get around Barrhaven via public transportation (with street level spots peppered throughout neighbourhoods and retail areas), car, or by walking or biking. It has been joked that the unofficial form of transportation of the area is the mini van, reflecting the large number of families with children. Living in this area, it really does pay to have a vehicle, especially if you have kids.
Commuting to and from Barrhaven can be a little more time-consuming depending on the time of day you are traveling, as a large number of professionals live in the area and commute to the city of Ottawa for work. Many who work outside Barrhaven commute via Highway 416 and 417, which border the community, making it easy to hop on and off of. Others utilize the park-and-ride at Fallowfield Station, which is a major bus hub, as well as Via Rail station.
There are many more transportation options coming to Barrhaven as it continues to grow and expand into its own city, like the extended LRT Confederation Line and additional stop options with the development of the new downtown core in Barrhaven South.
Barrhaven Central’s first house was built in 1905 with the majority of homes being built between 1977 and 2004. Approximately 40% of the homes are detached and 60% are row and semi-detached homes.
The oldest home in all of Barrhaven is in Old Barrhaven, which includes Pheasant Run, Cedargrove, Heritage Park, and Barrhaven on the Green, and was built in 1841.
Schools and Child Care
Barrhaven has quite a few education options available, including 11 public schools, 15 private and Catholic schools, with both Francophone and bilingual options assigned to the area. Some of the schools in Barrhaven are rated as the top schools in all of Ottawa!
The public schools include:
The Catholic, religious, alternative, and private schools include:
If you have children that are not old enough to attend school, this area offers plenty of home daycares, playgroups, and parent meet-up options as well. Nick has a great name for you if you would like a personal recommendation!
Parks and Recreation
There are lots of great recreation options, both indoor and outdoor in Barrhaven, and pretty much all of them are family-friendly. The Minto Recreation Complex is a popular choice as it houses one of the top 10 indoor pools in Canada and, although it does not have additions like a hot tub or waterslide, it is fully accessible for those with disabilities, has a shallow area for children, and receives consistent 5-star reviews about the cleanliness and fantastic experience. The complex features 2 NHL sized indoor rinks, an outdoor artificial turf designed to meet CFL and FIFA standards, and hosts plenty of indoor and outdoor activities and classes locals can sign up for.
Clarke Fields Park features multiple sports fields, playground, bike path, and is where a lot of local events are hosted, such as the Barrhaven Canada Day celebration. If you are a fan of nature and photography, take a stroll down the Andy Moffitt Trail. Houlahan Park, North Harrow Park and Larkin Park are all great choices for dog owners to take their pups for a walk.
On a hot summer day, check out Ken Ross Park along Longfields Drive. It features a sensor-activated splash pad as well as toddler and older kid playgrounds, all within the same area. This park is bordered by sports fields and two local schools. Another popular splash pad park is Half Moon Bay Park (which is just a short walk from Minto Complex), which features two play structures, a little pond where you can catch a glimpse of wildlife, access to a tennis court, and a soccer field.
More parks in the area include Brunett Park, Calaveras Park, Mancini Park, Mowat Farm Park, Mulligan Park, Panda Park, Rodeo Park, Stinson Park, Stonecrest Park, Utman Park, Water Dragon Park, and Weybridge Park, to name just a few.
The Log Farm on Cedarview Road is a fun family outing with lots of activities like wagon rides, corn mazes, and pumpkin patch in the fall. Visit the farm animals, play on the hay play structure, learn the history of the farm and how the family lived and worked the farm 150 years ago, check out the farmers market in the summer, go on an egg hunt in the spring, and much more! This farm is a great place for kids of all ages to explore and learn all year round.
There are also plenty of teams and leagues to join in this area as well as classes and events throughout the year.
These are just some of the many recreational options available in this community!
Coming over the next 20 years to the south of Barrhaven will have a new downtown core. The goal for this area is for it to be a fully walkable and transit-friendly community with shopping, dining, greenspace, and nightlife opportunities as well as housing (a mix of townhomes and condominiums). In the heart of this new area will be a civic complex which will act as a gathering space for future community events. Essentially, it will be a mini downtown right next to the existing Barrhaven, making it a “best of both worlds” scenario for residents.
Barrhaven is basically its own little city, so you do not have to make the trek to Ottawa for shopping, necessities and amenities. Grocery shop at any of the majoy box options including Independent, Loblaws, Walmart, Costco, Metro, FreshCo, and Food Basics. Enjoy the wide variety of dining options including franchises like Kelseys, Five Guys, Boston Pizza, Mucho Burrito, Mary Brown’s Kitchen, Broadway’s Bar and Grill, Barley Mow Pub, Greek on Wheels, Colonnade Pizza, Lone Star Texas Grill, and independently owned restaurants like Greenfields Public House, Revival Pizza, Shawarma Prince, Pinelopi’s Greek Kitchen, The Grilled Tomato, and many many more.
Shop at the many shopping plazas like Barrhaven Town Centre, Chapman Mills Marketplace and the Village Square. These strip malls are a mix of dining options, grocery shopping, medical, clothing, and homegoods shopping.
If you are more interested in spending your money at locally owned small businesses, there are many popping up as Barrhaven expands. Many people have at-home businesses in this area, like salons and catering.
Barrhaven is the most rapidly growing area in Ottawa with a population currently of approximately 65,000 and 24,000 households. Fondly referred to as “Farhaven”, Barrhaven is an excellent choice if you are looking for a supportive, family and kid-centric community that is not too far from downtown Ottawa (contrary to that nickname!).
Although the population of Barrhaven is a mix of empty-nesters, families, and young people, this area is definitely catered more towards families and kids with a mind boggling number of sports, extracurricular options, and inclusive entertainment.
There is no shortage of retailers, restaurants, and conveniently located amenities and necessities, so you do not have to ever leave for anything, not even dentist and eye appointments!
If play dates, parent groups, wine nights, and community events are your speed, Barrhaven may just be the perfect fit for you.
Barrhaven was officially established in 1960 and was amalgamated into the City of Ottawa in 2001. Mel Barr, the origional developer of Barrhaven purchased a 200 acre farm intending to construct a horse racing track, but with the establishment of the Rideau Carleton Raceway, he decide to build a new subdivision instead. Barrhaven only started to really grow in the last 10-15 years and was historically mostly farming.
It is always important to remember when reading this history of any area that we include the history of those that we stole this land from. The entirety of Ottawa was built on un-ceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territory. To learn more about the Algonquin peoples and their history, go to Algonquins of Ontario.
Groups and Publications
What is your favourite thing to do in Barrhaven? Let us know! We love adding Ottawa insider knowledge to our blogs and including as much information as possible! Let us know if we missed anything by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!