Welcome to Blackburn Hamlet! You are going to love the family-friendly community, amazing schools, beautiful greenspaces, and easy access to necessities and amenities!
Blackburn Hamlet is located in the east end of Ottawa and is bordered by the Blackburn Hamlet Bypass to the South, Tauvette Street to the West, and completely surrounded by the Greenbelt. In fact, Blackburn Hamlet is one of only two suburban neighbourhoods (the other being Bells Corners) surrounded by the National Capital Commission (NCC) Greenbelt lands. This proximity gives residents next-door access to more than 250 kilometers of greenspace, hiking, and cross country ski trails.
Although Blackburn Hamlet feels like a small rural town, it is actually only a 10 minute drive from from downtown Ottawa via the 417 Queensway. Most who live in Blackburn Hamlet have a vehicle and commute from the area to work and to collect necessities like groceries and medication. A taxi ride from Centretown to Blackburn Hamlet is approximately $30-40 and an Uber or Lyft is approximately $20-32 depending on transportation options chosen.
If you are taking public transportation, two routes service the area and most street-level bus stops are located along Bearbrook Road, which runs through the middle of Blackburn Hamlet and connects to the 417. It takes approximately 30-50 minute to commute to Centretown via public transport.
Blackburn Hamlet is also cyclist and pedestrian friendly with plenty of trails and quiet streets.
The majority of homes in Blackburn Hamlet are detached family homes (69%) while the remainder are row or semi detached. The oldest house was built in 1953, with most houses being built between 1960 and 1980 along with most of the east of Ottawa.
Schools and Child Care
Blackburn Hamlet has quite a few education options available, especially considering its location, including 4 public schools, 3 private, alternative and Catholic schools, with both Francophone and bilingual options in the immediate area.
The public schools include:
The Catholic 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.
Parks and Recreation
Due to Blackburn Hamlet being nestled in the Greenbelt, there are many greenspace and recreational options available. In the Greenbelt alone there are over 250 kilometers of hiking and cross country skiing trails.
Right in the center of Blackburn Hamlet is Bearbrook Park which includes a community pool complete with changing facilities and shaded areas, a baseball diamond, playground, basketball court, and lots of open grass space for playing. Directly next door is the Blackburn Tennis Club featuring 6 fenced-in tennis courts and offers camps and lessons for all ages and experiences including kids summer camps and hosting various leagues and events.
At the southern edge of Blackburn Hamlet, you will find the Gloucester Allotment Garden Association, also known as GAGA. Established way back in the 1970s, this massive communal garden has gone through many ups, downs, and changes to get to its current size of 382 plots. Although prices have risen over the years, GAGA is the most affordable community garden with a full-sized plot costing $80. This fee may seem high, but it includes maintenance from both the Association and the City of Ottawa (including tilling the soil, staking, transport and distribution of compost, and grass and pathway clean up, maintaining access roads, stores supplies, provides compost, and funds one-time upgrades and maintenance projects).
Right at the Northern tip of Blackburn Hamlet is Hornets Nest Soccer Park with 11 outdoor soccer fields and a year-round soccer dome facility. This location is also an excellent place to park and explore some of the paths through the Greenbelt. The Blackburn Hamlet Community Association actually has a group of volunteers working on a series of audio tours you can listen to while exploring parks and trails in this area. The audio series will include background information about the area, history of the name, natural features, and more.
Blackburn Hamlet has an extremely active community association that maintains the communities parks, outdoor rinks and other aspects as well as planning and hosting events including Bike Rodeo, Canada Day festivities, Cancer Chase, FunFair, Community Garage Sale, Hockey Day, Santa’s Breakfast, Seniors Information Event, Spring Clean Up and much more!
Living in Blackburn Hamlet, you have access to all essential amenities and more. Do your grocery shopping and pick up essentials at Metro and the 3 pharmacies, locally grown organic veg and fruit from Chantal’s Fruit & Vegetable Stand or have organic foods delivered to your door via goodfood2u.
Blackburn has a small array of dining options including Blackburn Arms Pub Restaurant for classic pub fare, Geenie Bakery for delicious mediterranean foods and pies, Jumbo Restaurant for Cantonese, Szechuan & Thai food, Imilio’s Pizzeria for pizza, subs, Greek and Mexican food, The Fresh Mango for fresh salads and juices, Sushi 29, Subway, and Tim Hortons with many more options in neighbouring Orleans and Beacon Hill.
If you like gardening, Blackburn Hamlet may be a perfect place for you. Not only do they have 3 massive community gardens, they also have 2 garden centre; Land Carver and Budd Gardens, as well as options including Lowe’s, Home Depot, Ritchie Feed & Seed, and many more in neighbouring communities.
There is also a branch of the Ottawa Public Library in Common Shopping Plaza right next to Geenie Bakery that has been in existence (though not in the same location) since 1973.
The earliest recorded settlers arrived in what would become known as Blackburn Hamlet between 1803 to 1811 and were predominantly of English and Irish descent. It was originally called “Green’s Creek” after the owner of the local sawmill on the creek. By 1934, all of the forest in the area had been exhausted of timber and the government sold the land to farmers who then began to settle in the area.
In 1850 as Green’s Creek was growing, Richard Dagg donated land to build the first school in Blackburn and the area was subsequently called “Daggsville” after the donator and 3 families that moved to the area. That name did not last long, however, as it was renamed “Blackburn” after MP Robert Blackburn and the Bradly family’s work to secure the first post office in this area in 1876. This area was further broken down into “Blackburn Corners” and “Blackburn Station”.
In 1958, the government officially gave the National Capital Commission (NCC) permission to establish the Greenbelt. Michael Budd and Costain Estates Ltd, landowners in the area, were key members in the development of what is now the Blackburn Hamlet community. It was shortly thereafter that most of the homes in this area were built. The area’s name was changed yet again to “Blackburn Hamlet” in 1967. In 2001, Blackburn Hamlet was officially amalgamated with the city of Ottawa.
It is always important to remember when learning the history of any area that we include the history of those that we stole this land from. The entirety of Ottawa was built on unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territory. To learn more about the Algonquin peoples, their history, and how we can make reparations, go to Algonquins of Ontario.
Blackburn Hamlet is the perfect place for you if you want all the best of country living combined with the benefits of city life. You are a 10 minute drive to the downtown core of Ottawa via the highway and a half hour to 45 minute public transpo ride away.
Blackburn is surrounded by the Greenbelt, which makes this community a fantastic choice for those looking to spend more time in nature. The area also has great school options, beautiful parks, an active community association, and access to necessities and amenities.
Groups and Publications
What is your favourite thing to do in Blackburn Hamlet? 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 or if there are any corrections needed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!