Buying a Home in Ottawa? Pick a Park!
You could almost buy a home in Ottawa according to which park you’d like to be near. Ottawa has more parks than any other city in Canada with approximately 20 acres of parkland for every 1,000 residents.1 That’s more than double Toronto (8ac/1,000p) and Montreal (6.4ac/1,000p). You could say that Ottawa is Park City!
Proximity to Parks Improves Real Estate Value
In the midst of an urban centre, being able to walk out your door to a greenspace is a priority for many Canadians – especially with the increasing cost of fuel involved in driving. The proximal principle tells us that proximity to a park increases your home’s value – sometimes by up to 20%!2 The closer you are to a park, the higher the value of your property, and you get the benefits of the park. A win-win!
Mental and Physical Benefits of Parks
Spending time in nature promotes calmness and happiness. It improves our concentration, and reduces irritability, symptoms of depression, and feelings of isolation. It has also been shown to reduce our blood pressure and stress hormones. Is it any wonder that Park People's 2022 annual survey reported that 55% of residents across Canada said they spent more time in parks this year than they did last year? Significantly, 91% said that time spent in parks improved their physical health and 94% said that it improved their mental health.3
Parks are a destination for children’s playgrounds, for fitness, for leisure, for nature. Until the 1970’s most of Canada’s population was rural. Then people started migrating to urban centres and now more than 82% of the population lives in cities – often with work and lifestyles that are disconnected from our natural environment.4 Reconnecting ourselves with nature, even immersing ourselves in it, is sometimes called forest bathing, to denote the healing and refreshing effect it has on our spirits. Called Shinrin-yoku in Japan where it was popularized in the 1980’s, Ontario Parks has developed a guide to forest bathing.5 Being able to walk to a local park offers an accessible way to stay connected with nature, or shall we say, to bathe regularly.
Ottawa is a very athletic city - people even ski and canoe to work thanks to the canal and the many park trails. Outdoor gyms in local parks, also known as calisthenic parks, give us the opportunity to combine fitness with nature, and Ottawa has a dozen such gyms scattered throughout city parks.6
In addition to the personal benefits we derive from parks, they are conducive to the development of social capital; engaging with others through activities like community gardens, children’s programming, or tennis clubs.7 At times during the pandemic, local parks offered residents a destination for fresh air, sunshine, and distanced visits. Parks are a haven for walking dogs and for children’s playdates. Proximity to a park might mean you need less yard space of your own.
Hot Neighbourhoods: Cool Parks
Parks give a neighbourhood character, and they also each have a character of their own. The Ottawa Business Journal ranked the hottest real estate markets in Ottawa, with Kanata pulling first place.8 Kanata is a suburban area with more elbow room than downtown – and parks! We took a look at this handy Wikipedia article listing Ottawa’s parks to check out Kanata, and it turns out there are over 40 parks in Kanata alone.9 Stunning! They vary in size and character from Dog Bone Park, a small neighbourhood greenspace, to Walter Baker Park, a large sports park including baseball, soccer, skateboarding, and tobogganing.
What neighborhood are you in (or looking in)? What parks are nearby? Whether you are interested in dog-walking, forest bathing or athletic pursuits, there’s a park in Ottawa that will suit your needs. Choose a park; choose a neighbourhood; choose a home!
Are you ready to buy a house in Ottawa? FairSquare Group Realty can help. FairSquare Group Realty supports Canadians by providing real estate experiences with incredible rewards: sellers save thousands in commission and buyers receive $2,000 cash back* when they purchase a home with one of our REALTORS®. Call 1-855-999-9740 to learn more.