Anyone who has ever watched the reality show ‘Urban Suburban’ will no doubt have marveled at just what is happening just a couple of miles outside a major city centre. Some will also have thought that life in Beacon Hill was too good to be true, but in the suburbs surrounding Ottawa, Ontario life really is as perfect as it seems.
Beacon Hill is a neighbourhood in the Beacon Hill – Cyrville Ward on the eastern outskirts of Ottawa. This primarily residential area was built back in the 60’s and 70’s and consists of two areas on either side of Montreal Road; Beacon Hill North and Beacon Hill South. The four boundaries of Beacon Hill are Rothwell Heights, Cardinal Heights, the Greenbelt and Highway 74. Offering a perfect blend of residential living within close proximity to the city, this is a hugely popular suburb where housing is much sought after. Like so many suburbs in the outer Ottawa area, Beacon Hill was once a part of the city of Gloucester before it was amalgamated into Ottawa in 2001. Since gaining its own identity, so to speak, Beacon Hill has positively flourished.
There is something very special about life in Beacon Hill that is hard to describe in mere words. There is an ambience of warmth, friendliness and calmness among many other positive characteristics. Community spirit is alive and kicking in this family-friendly community, which can be somewhat surprising for those who uproot from the city and move here for a slower-paced life. The strong community bond coupled with the proximity to the city gives Beacon Hill a certain atmosphere that is hard to find anywhere else. You can just as easily enjoy the afternoon BBQ with neighbours as you can have a girls’ night out on the town. Beacon Hill provides the best of both worlds all packed into a stress–free and friendly environment.
Montreal Road is the main entertainment centre in Beacon Hill, which makes perfect sense, as it is easily accessible to the residents from both the north and the south. Here you will find a fine selection of bars and restaurants, which will satisfy even the most discerning of palates. Anyone wanting to head into the city will have no problems getting there and many return to finish off the night on Montreal Road. After an exciting night out on the town, you may be looking to enjoy a little bit of relaxing, down time. Luckily, Beacon Hill has plenty of places to help you wind down and relax. Being bordered by the Ottawa Greenbelt and boasting more than its fair share of parkland, this area is ideal for families who enjoy doing things together in their spare time. The woodlands and rolling hills offer a dramatic backdrop for some great winter fun such as tobogganing and skiing. There are 3 main toboggan hills including the Ski Hill Park, Green’s Creek and Loyola Park. No matter what the season, you will always have plenty of outdoor activities to help you relax and get back to nature.
Built in the 60’s and 70’s there is an eclectic mix of architectural styles in Beacon Hill. With detached, semi detached, bungalows, town houses and condos available, you should have no problem finding the home you need to make your suburban dream a reality. While the quiet streets offer homes with large outdoor spaces, those who prefer condo life will love their view of the vast green spaces in the area. Whether you are looking for a nice place to settle down and raise your family or you are just looking to get out of the city for a while, Beacon Hill is an ideal choice. This community offers a slower-paced life, yet is only a stone’s throw away from the Ottawa core. When you call Beacon Hill home, you get to experience the very best of city and small town living.
Despite its close proximity to highway 47, no significant pollution or noise has been recorded in Beacon Hill. The vast expanse of green space more than makes up for anything that is emitted by the vehicles and only those closest to the highway will be affected by any noise, and even they report this as minimal.
According to the 2013 Ottawa crime statistics, the crime rate in Beacon Hill- Cyrville continues to be below the Ottawa average and in fact has decreased by 7% from previous years (source). This is a community-focused neighbourhood, so these numbers should not be surprising. Beacon Hill is definitely one area of Ottawa where you will always feel safe whether you are walking home from a neighbourhood block party or enjoying an afternoon with your kids at the park.
The kids of Beacon Hill are well-rounded, intelligent individuals thanks to the high standards of education the community offers. While Beacon Hill is a relatively small community, with a population of approximately 10,000 in the north and 7,000 in the south, resident children have access to some of the best schools in the entire Ottawa area.
The children here get the best possible start in life courtesy of the Robert Hopkins Public School. During those vital years between grades 1-5 the staff here nurture and educate the students and fully prepare them for the long school career ahead of them.
The next stage in their scholastic journey takes them to Henry Munro Middle School. Most kids can’t wait to get out of school once the bell goes, but when you see the list of extracurricular activities offered here, don’t be surprised if your children spend way more time at school than they have to. Two notable past students of this school are actor Tom Cruise and singer Bryan Adams who both attended in the early 70’s. If only their classmates had known then what these boys were going to go on to achieve. When it comes to high schools the younger population of Beacon Hill are lucky enough to have access to one of the best schools in the entire Ottawa area: Colonel By Secondary School. The Fraser Institute have rated Colonel By as the best secondary school in Ottawa for both its academic achievements and for going that extra mile to ensure it’s student high school years are the best possible experience before they make their way in the world. As well as the national Canadian qualifications, Colonel By offers its students the chance to study for the International Baccalaureate.
OC Transpo provides public transportation in and around Beacon Hill. Catching the number 95 bus from Montreal Road will have you in the city in no time. The 95 services the area regularly so you won’t need to wait around very long to catch your ride into the city. Those who prefer to use their cars can be in downtown Ottawa within minutes thanks to Beacon Hill’s close proximity to Highway 74.
Beacon Hill, affectionately known by its residents as ‘The Beaks’ and ‘The Hill’ is perfect for raising your family. Besides having top-notch schools, a low crime rate and large family homes, you also have a ton of parks and trails that your whole family will enjoy. Of course, the close proximity to downtown also makes this an attractive community for people craving the slower-paced life, while not missing out on the amenities of the city. Whether you are looking to raise a family or just enjoy a more relaxed life on the outskirts of a beautiful city, Beacon Hill provides you with the very best quality of life. This is the type of neighbourhood that your kids will love coming back to long after they ventured on to make their own lives. One visit and you will be hooked!