Hood Wars is Apt613’s annual neighbourhood contest where we ask our readers to choose what area deserves the title of best in the city. The Ottawa Open edition of Hood Wars will take place over five rounds: Best Restaurant Row (September 18); Best Public Art and Architecture (September 21); Best Green Space (September 25); Best Neighbourhood Party (September 28); Best Je-ne-sais-quoi (October 2). In each round readers will vote for any Ottawa neighbourhood that they think represents the best in that round’s category. The top neighbourhood will get 10 points, the runner-up 9 points, third place 8 points and so on. The neighbourhood that rakes up the most points after all five rounds will be announced on the blog Saturday, October 5 and declared the best Ottawa neighbourhood of all time (for one year) and get a t-shirt designed in its honour.
In round three of Hood Wars 2013 we are asking you to vote for the neighbourhood with the best green space. Where do you like to go to read under a tree, lose yourself in a forest, or go for a paddle? Green spaces are definitely one of the city’s strengths, with old growth forests, beaches, farms, sugar shacks and fishing holes within city limits, to say nothing of regular old city parks. Cast your vote for the part of town with the park, lake, or garden that you feel is the best in the city.
We’ve listed some examples below to get the discussion going, but do not feel limited to these choices. Vote for any neighbourhood that you feel has the best green space(s) in the city at the bottom of this post, and feel free to try and sway your fellow Ottawans to your side in the comments.
The man-made lake in the heart of Ottawa is an all-seasons kind of place. In the spring, this area gets gussied up for the tulip festival and scores of families come to see the flowers and baby Canadian geese. In the summer, there is lazy paddle boating or even fishing… how many cities can claim a downtown fishing hole? You don’t have to travel all the way to Gatineau Park to see the leaves change in the fall. But it is winter when the lake really comes alive, acting as the end point for the world’s second longest skating ring (damn you Winnipeg!).
|Civic Hospital – Experimental Farm|
Canada is the only country in the world to have a working farm right in its centre. Hop on a bike from most places in downtown Ottawa and in 20 minutes you can be face to face with a cow, and what city dweller doesn’t want that? However there is more to the area than its agricultural appeal. The Dominion Arboretum has to be one of the loveliest green spaces in town, all the more so since it has one of the city’s best sledding hill in the winter. Another fun fact: the topography of the Arboretum creates a microclimate that is actually warmer than the rest of the city, allowing for trees like magnolias and azaleas to be grown.
| Old Ottawa South – Brewer Park
Since we are featuring Old Ottawa South in the Green Space round of Hood Wars, it seems somewhat ironic to note that the neighbourhood in fact has a lower than average amount of green space; only 40m2 per person compared to the city average of 55m2 per person. Perhaps this is an example of quality beating quantity. Old Ottawa South is bounded by the canal to the north and the Rideau River to the east and south, giving residents easy access to beautiful water views. Then there is Windsor Park and Brewer Park, the latter the new home of the Ottawa Farmer’s Market. Old Ottawa South also boasts the largest legal graffiti wall in Canada under Dunbar Bridge, as well as various sports fields and playgrounds.
| Britannia Village – Britannia Park, Ottawa River Pathway
Britannia Beach is perhaps the best in the city, with amenities like volleyball courts and the Baja Burger Shack nearby. Aside from being a good place to work on your tan in the summer Britannia Park is a great place to commune with nature. Mud Lake within the Britannia Conservation Area is a great place for birdwatching, with 248 species of birds having been spotted here at some point. There’s also the Deschênes Rapids for you weekend warriors who like to take on nature with a paddle and a prayer.
Remember, this is only a small sample. We encourage you to vote for any green space in any neighbourhood in the city. Even better, share your favourites in the comments section. Voting ends when the next round of the contest is launched on September 28.