Post and photos by Jacqueline Guest
Ask any local about their favourite neighbourhood in Ottawa and there’s a very solid chance that Hintonburg will fall somewhere in their top three. From incredible independent businesses to unique street art, it is hard not to fall in love with the area. As it continues to thrive, the neighbourhood has been able to maintain its roots while adapting to changes in the ‘Burg. This phenomenon is the most evident in its architecture.
I, like most people, do not have an architecture degree. But that does not stop me from obsessively staring at beautiful buildings and taking advantage of them for my Instagram feed.
One of the city’s last remaining fire houses built prior to 1930 exists just off of Wellington Street West. While it is no longer home to horse-drawn fire engines, it has become an eye-catching ode to Hintonburg’s long history in Ottawa.
Completely etched into the landscape of Hintonburg is the St. Francois d’Assise Church, built during the First World War by Québecois architect Charles Brodeur. It is impossible to miss and is arguably the centrepiece to the neighbourhood’s identity.
We, as Ottawans, have some underrated privilege. Our city is littered with buildings constructed before our lifetime, whose walls contain more history than we can possibly imagine. Hintonburg is made up of a number of distinguished buildings, and it is important to seize the opportunities we have to admire them. You can still catch a glimpse of the late nineteenth-century heritage building that unfortunately partially collapsed in late July.
It is easy to look at condos and modern apartments as eyesores, especially when they’ve been built in an older neighbourhood like Hintonburg. But what is unique about Hintonburg is the way that contemporary architecture meshes with the old school vibe of the area. From The Eddy on the bustling Wellington Street West to the objectively gorgeous condos of Armstrong Street, it is obvious why the neighbourhood is becoming increasingly trendy.
Hintonburg exemplifies how much Ottawa is capable of holding onto centuries of history while simultaneously growing and expanding into one of Canada’s most culturally relevant and exciting cities. Rather than contrast, Hintonburg’s diverse buildings coincide to reflect the way I feel about Ottawa as a whole—a little vintage, and a lot breathtaking.
Is there another neighbourhood with sweet architecture that you think deserves some love? Let us know in the comments below.