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Hood Wars 2013 Round Two: Best Public Art and Architecture

By Katie Marsh on September 21, 2013

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 two of Hood Wars 2013 we are asking you to vote for the neighbourhood with the best outdoor art or architecture. Is there a place in the city where the buildings inspire you, or where an unexpected mural or statue never fails to make you smile? Cast your vote for the part of town with an outdoor built environment that rises above the rest.

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 built environment 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 legacy of Ottawa’s logger barons lives on in the mansions of Rockcliffe Park, now housing ambassadors, politicians and tech millionaires. One of the most prosperous communities in the country it has managed to maintain its architectural character and somewhat rural feel over the years. Many of the houses exhibit revival styles like Tutor Georgian and Queen Anne designed by prominent Ottawa architects like W.E Noffke, Allan Keefer and A. J. Hazelgrove. There are also some newer, more controversial designs, like the gold neo-classical house owned by former Corel CEO Michael Cowpland (pictured above). If you like your houses big and fancy, then Rockcliffe Park is the neighbourhood for you.


When people complain of the lack of good architecture in the city, the condos and office buildings of Centretown are often what they have in mind. Yet, if you keep your eyes open, Centretown is full of small surprises that prove that sometimes the beauty of a place is in the details. We recently ran a post featuring a few of the prime examples of the surprise outdoor art this central neighbourhood has to offer, but there are many more hidden gems around the North part of Bank Street. That’s not to say the area is completely bereft of cool buildings. There is, of course, that prime example of Gothic Revival sitting north of Wellington Street, as well as other well-known institutions like the Museum of Nature. However there are also lesser known gems like the amazing brick work of the Hollywood Parade and other lovely old brick buildings that give parts of the neighbourhood a friendly urban feel.

Tabaret Hall at the University of Ottawa. Photo courtesy of dugspr — Home for Good from flickr  Sandy Hill

Once of the wealthiest parts of Ottawa, the neighborhood has become more closely associated with student ghettos than with tony buildings. However, with as much as 80% of the neighbourhood’s buildings dating from before 1920, Sandy Hill is definitely an important part of Ottawa’s architectural history. Aside from the University of Ottawa buildings (Tabaret Hall pictured above) and lovely brick and stone homes, Sandy Hill is home to a number of interesting churches like St. Albans and All Saints and a number of embassies.

Remember, this is only a small sample. We encourage you to vote for any neighbourhood. Even better, share your favourites in the comments section. Voting ends when the next round of the contest is launched on September 25.