How to Find the Perfect Kid-Friendly Neighbourhood

How to Find the Perfect Kid-Friendly Neighbourhood


Choosing the perfect neighbourhood to raise your family in is a difficult task. This family milestone is a big one and you probably feel a massive amount of pressure to choose the perfect location. Luckily for you, Ottawa is filled with great neighbourhoods that are kid-friendly and in close proximity to parks, schools, and amenities for families! Unsure of how to go about beginning your search? Here are some questions to ask yourself as well as some tips and tricks to get you started on your family home search, from one parent to another.

Of course, the first step is to make sure that you are ready to “buy up” into your family home. Check out last week’s blog about how to determine if you (and your family) are ready for this step. Getting your ducks in order is step 1 to choosing your ideal neighbourhood. 



Questions to ask yourself:

  • What type of school or which school board do I/we want my/our kid(s) to attend? 
  • Do I/we want to be within walking or biking distance of school?
  • If we are planning to walk our/my kid(s) to school, is this possible in the winter?
  • Is my/our ideal neighbourhood within the bus boundaries of my child’s school?
  • Does my child(ren) need any special assistance? Is this available in this neighbourhood or at schools in the area?
  • Do the schools in this area offer language options?
  • Do I/we want to enroll our children in a Catholic, Public, Private, or alternative school system?
  • Do the schools in this area offer extra programs or resources that go beyond the curriculum?
  • Is there access to extra education help like tutors in this area?
  • If my child(ren) is/are not yet school age, are there daycare options available close by?


Check out our resources page for a full list of local school boards with interactive links and the Fraser Institute School Ranking website. Many schools are more than happy to talk to prospective families, take you on a tour, and answer any questions you may have about enrolling your child(ren) in their school.  



Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I/we want to live in a young family neighbourhood?
  • What is the ideal demographic of my/our dream neighbourhood?
  • Do I/we want to raise my/our family in the city, in the country, or in a suburban area?
  • Do I/we want to live on a busy street or in a more low-noise area?
  • Do I/we want to be surrounded with more greenery and wildlife?
  • Do I/we want to live in a tight-knit community or have more anonymity?
  • Is there a neighbourhood association? Is that important to me/us?
  • How far am I/are we willing to commute?
  • How close am I/are we to family and friends? How far am I/are we willing to live from them?


Take a drive around neighbourhoods of interest and talk to people! Ask them how they like the neighbourhood and the surrounding community. This is the best way to get a feel for a prospective neighbourhood!



Questions to ask yourself:

  • Are there parks or playgrounds within walking distance? How close do I/we want to be?
  • Is there a pool, community center, or local arena nearby?
  • Would I/we be able to get all my daily and weekly errands done on time living in this area?
  • Is there a downtown area that suits my family's lifestyle?
  • Are these areas I/we are interested in close to my/our child(s) extra curricular activities?
  • Are there extra curricular activities and clubs available for children in this area?
  • If you are a family who enjoys outdoor activities, is the neighbourhood close to hiking trails, beaches, or other outdoor recreational areas and activities?


If you already have children, they may already be enrolled in various activities and clubs. If you have not yet had children and are planning on it, choosing an area with a wide variety of activities and clubs will set your family up for the future.



Questions to ask yourself:

  • How close would I/we be to emergency services? 
  • Is this prospective neighbourhood easily accessible by emergency vehicles?
  • Is this neighbourhood in proximity to a hospital with an emergency room or a fire department?
  • What are the crime statistics of the neighbourhood(s) I/we are interested in? Check out the Crime Map by the Ottawa Police.


Again, the best move you can make is to drive around prospective areas of interest and speak to people who already live there. Next week we will be releasing a list of questions to ask prospective neighbours about their neighbourhood to help you better decide if it is the right area for you and your family. 

And of course, choosing the right agent who understands the Ottawa area and family needs is the best and easiest way to find the ideal home for your and your family. Give me a call today and we will get the ball rolling!



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