If you are anything like many first-time buyers right now in Ottawa, you may find yourself considering communities outside the city’s core. There are many benefits to buying a house outside of Ottawa. With Ottawa’s ever-increasing average home prices, the benefits of owning in fringe communities could mean more bang for your buck and a great lifestyle! While some of the communities mentioned technically do fall within the borders of the National Capital Region and Ottawa’s surrounding area, they are widely regarded as independent communities.
Here are some of our top picks for communities to buying a house outside of Ottawa:
Located just a short 10-minute drive from Kanata, Richmond has roots as a military settlement dating back to 1818. The small rural community eventually amalgamated to become a part of the City of Ottawa in 2001, which is how it remains today.
In recent years, this previously quaint community has seen a boom in housing development and interest among buyers from Ottawa. It’s become a popular option for those looking at buying a house outside of Ottawa. With it’s country charm, close proximity to highway 416, great schools, amenities such as doctors, dentists, grocery and more, this growing community has steadily seen increases in home value over the last few years. The town also brings in several tourists each year with the highly anticipated and successful Richmond Fair.
The demographic is Richmond is shifting, allowing for young families and first-time buyers to set down roots. With it’s proximity to Ottawa and endless, growing amenities, we’re sure we’ll see many more people looking to buy a house in Richmond over the next few years.
North Gower is a quaint, outskirt community located just 20 minutes south of Ottawa near the Rideau River and Hurst Marina that does fall within Ottawa’s boundaries. This town has deep roots and even some famous previous residents, including Robert Borden and Sir John A. McDonald! This little town has been around since 1846 and shows no signs of slowing down.
With its great location just off of HWY 416, this town has attracted some new home development and even commercial development recently. It’s quite likely that this quaint Ottawa town with country roots may be an influx of new residents over the next couple of years, particularly first-time buyers and families seeking the country-side lifestyle with the convenient proximity to the city.
Those who want to buy a house in North Gower will fall in love with its small-town charm. Enjoy a variety of local businesses including the Marlborough Pub and Eatery, The Old Co-op, Mulligans Grocery, and more. They even have a great farmers market stocked with a variety of local goods that you will surely frequent if you live here.
Located east of North Gower and about 25 minutes from Ottawa, Osgoode was established in 1827 but officially became a township in 1974. As of 2001, the town amalgamated to become a part of the City of Ottawa. The town enjoys proximity to the Rideau River where year-round recreational activities are available.
The town has a great mix of suburban style and rural homes. Some streets in the town have the traditional suburb feel you’d find in most other communities in Ottawa. A short 10-minute drive out of town, and you’ll find the rural properties surrounded by farmer’s fields sitting on large lots. With a slowed-down pace, this town is home to many older families, but younger families are also taking interest as of recent years.
Detached bungalows, hi-ranch, side split, and 2-storey homes make up most of the homes in the area. Lot sizes are typically large and some even offer beautiful views of the fields, forests and greenery that surround the town. Typically, there isn’t a lot of real estate activity in the area, a key indicator that people aren’t trying to leave. On the flip side, new construction from developers purchasing land outside the town is ramping up interest in the area. If you’re looking to buy a house in Osgoode, you may be looking at these options!
Another popular option among those looking at buying a house outside of Ottawa, Metcalfe started as a stop on a stagecoach route from Cornwall to Ottawa over 100 years ago. Technically a part of Ottawa, it is located just 20 minutes from Ottawa’s core and is very popular among families for its great access to schools and amenities. The area also has a beautiful mix of old and new construction homes in various price ranges.
The town offers great activities all year long including the Metcalfe Farmer’s Market, proximity to hiking and riding trails, golfing, and parks. The Metcalfe Golf Club is highly rated and even has a fantastic restaurant called Hickories that locals swear you must try. The highly popular Metcalfe Fair is hosted each fall and has been since 1856 bringing in tourism from all over the region.
Those looking to buy a house in Metcalfe can expect lots of large bungalows and hi-ranch style homes built in the second half of the century. Recently, some new construction and custom homes have popped up in the town’s fringe, mostly because of all the available land surrounding the town. Many even opt to buy lots and build custom homes. Even through expansion, the town holds onto its country charm.
Greely is a unique, suburban-rural community just 15 minutes outside of Barrhaven that offers beautiful estate homes on ½-2 acre lots. Technically, this community does fall within Ottawa’s borders, but it is an outskirt area. The community has seen monumental growth over the years. Greely experienced an almost 60% increase in the number of dwellings from 2000-2008. There is enough land for several years of home development ahead.
The community offers great schools, recreation, and amenities to provide the community with everything they need. The rural atmosphere mixed with the strong suburban feel is ideal for those who want a community somewhere in-between city and country. With golf, riding trails, and the Rideau River nearby, this community has something to offer everyone.
Homes in Greely are typically large in size and in land for a typical suburban home. Because of the uptick in development, many of the homes were built in the early 2000’s. Depending on where you’re looking to buy, some homes may be connected to municipal services, while others have well and septic – this is common among communities like Greely that are suburban-rural. If you’re looking to buy a house in Greely, you can expect to be impressed by the landscape and serenity of the nearby countryside.
Russell is a community located 20 minutes from Ottawa on HWY 417 east. Much like the above-mentioned communities, Russell started as quiet and small rural town. Unlike the aforementioned communities, Russell is not a part of the City of Ottawa, rather it is part of Prescott-Russell.
Over the last few years, Russell has gained attention due to it’s consistently high rankings for quality of life. In fact, Maclean’s ranked it one of the best places to live in the country. With a great family feel, lots of schools, hiking trails, recreation facilities including an arena, grocery stores, shops, and more, it’s no wonder why it has been such a popular area for families and why people are catching on. The Russell Fair also attracts thousands of people annually and is one of the largest agricultural fairs in the region. In terms of demographics, most folks in Russell primarily speak English, but there is also a large population of French-speaking individuals.
Homes in Russell range from historic 100-year-old farm houses to new construction development – there truly is something for everyone. Average prices hover under $500k for a detached home and range depending on what you’re looking for. Expect to enjoy larger lot sizes and peaceful country surroundings in this quaint community.
Are you thinking about buying a house outside of Ottawa?
There are so many benefits to living in communities outside of the city. If you’re willing to take on a short commute each morning, you might find that the suburban-rural lifestyle is for you!
Your dream home is waiting!
And there is more coming! Stay tuned for part 2 where we’ll explore communities north of Ottawa.
If you have questions about the process of buying a home, we’d love to answer them. Get in touch to get the ball rolling!