Alta Vista

There are many wonderful neighbourhoods in Ottawa. One of the most desirable, hands down, is Alta Vista.

If you want to know why families are flocking to this neighbourhood, you’ve come to the right place.

Alta Vista is a family friendly neighbourhood just south of the downtown core. At its heart you will find CHEO and the General Hospital, and a great number of parks and schools. Enjoy Trainyards & Bank Street shopping with close proximity to downtown Ottawa!

Alta Vista Park

About Alta Vista

What’s really nice about Alta Vista is its old-fashioned suburban feel coupled with its very close proximity to Ottawa’s downtown core. When you’re there, it’s hard to remember that bustling Bank Street is mere minutes away. If you’re looking for a neighbourhood with lots of trees, lots of parks and campsites, and where people say ‘hi’ to each other while out for a walk, this is it.

It’s a neighbourhood that prides itself on being safe, welcoming, and in close proximity to great schools.

Unfortunately, there are often not many amenities within walking distance to a suburb. For this reason, we don’t recommend Alta Vista for people who want to walk to everything, or who want to be close to nightlife and entertainment.

But Alta Vista is the perfect neighbourhood for homeowners looking to upgrade to larger homes, stay close to the city, but still get the personality and atmosphere of a suburb. If you want the kind of neighbourhood where you can let your kids run around and explore, you’ll love it here.

The Homes You’ll Find Here

Alta Vista real estate is made up mostly of single family detached homes – perfect for people who want more space in their second home or have a growing family and need the space. Many of the homes in this neighbourhood are older, 2-story dwellings that have a lot of unique characteristics – no two homes look quite the same.

While the majority of homes are in excellent shape and move-in ready, this versatile neighbourhood is seeing some new builds from homeowners who want the location but also want a newer home more suited to them. That’s because when originally built, these homes weren’t designed to be open concept. Often, however, you can find one that’s been renovated to better suit the way we live now.

We’re also seeing an increase in condo buildings in the area, including a new luxury development on Kilborn Avenue and Playfair Drive. This is opening up the neighbourhood to more types of homebuyers, including first-time owners.

Schools in Alta Vista

One of the really great things about Alta Vista, Ottawa is how many schools are just a stone’s throw away. Every child at every age has a place to go that’s close to home, with opportunities to be enrolled in French immersion, specialized arts programs, and exceptional math and science studies.

Please note: We have included a Fraser’s Institute Ranking where applicable. This is not the only way to determine school quality. For more information, please contact the individual schools.

Public Elementary Schools

Pleasant Park Public School

After the two year bilingual kindergarten program, Pleasant Park offers the Early French Immersion Program starting in Grade 1 and continues to Grade 6. Students receive 60 minutes of English Math instruction as of Grade 1 and one hour of English Language instruction in grades 2,3,4,5, and 6. 

  • Location: Pleasant Park Road
  • Grade: JK – grade 6
  • Fraser’s Ranking: 5.6/10

Great River School

  • Location: Virginia Drive
  • Grade: 1-12
  • Fraser’s Ranking: N/A

Featherston Drive Public School

Featherston currently serves 360 students enrolled in programs from kindergarten to grade 8 including a french immersion option. Featherston was proud to welcome the first board administered elementary program for children with Autism.

  • Location: Featherston Drive
  • Grade: JK – grade 8
  • Fraser’s Ranking: 5.6/10

Alta Vista Public School

Alta Vista P.S. has an enrollment of about 575 students. Sports activities include intramural sports for junior and intermediate students such as cross-country running, soccer, touch football (Grade 7& 8), volleyball, basketball, Borden ball (Grades 4-6) and track and field. 

  • Location: Randall Avenue
  • Grade: JK – grade 8
  • Fraser’s Ranking: 5.2/10

Public High Schools

Ridgemont High School

  • Location: Alta Vista Drive
  • Grade: 9 – 12
  • Fraser’s Ranking: 4.2/10

Hillcrest High School

Hillcrest High School strives for excellence in order to impact our world through leadership, knowledge, compassion, and integrity. Since 1961 Hillcrest, home of the Hawks, has prepared students for university, college, apprenticeship programs and the world of work. 

  • Location: Dauphin Road
  • Grade: 9 – 12
  • Fraser’s Ranking: 6.3/10

Canterbury High School

Canterbury is a school made up of students from the local community and students who have auditioned for the specialized Arts Canterbury program. Students in the Arts Canterbury program enrol in one of the following art disciplines: dance, drama, literary, music, or visual.

  • Location: Canterbury Avenue
  • Grade: 9 – 12
  • Fraser’s Ranking: 7.7/10
  • Home to one of the country’s most prestigious art programs

Catholic Schools

St. Gemma Catholic School (formerly McMaster Catholic School)

St. Gemma Catholic School prides itself in being a school that not only digs deeply into the Ontario Curriculum in all subject areas, but also works hard to ensure that their students are well developed in the Catholic Graduate Expectations.

  • Location: McMaster Avenue
  • Grade: JK- grade 6
  • Fraser’s Ranking: 7.9/10

St. Patrick’s Intermediate School

  • Location: Heron Road
  • Grade: 7-8
  • Fraser’s Ranking: N/A

St. Patrick’s High School

  • Location: Alta Vista Drive
  • Grade: 9 – 12
  • Fraser’s Ranking: 5.3/10

École secondaire catholique Franco-Cité

This French Catholic high school offers 3 programs, the regular stream, a special needs program and a specialized sports-study program. Their “Sports-Études” program aims to help create leaders who excel in their chosen sport while maintaining academic excellence.

  • Location: Smythe Road
  • Grades – 9 – 12
  • Fraser’s Ranking: 6.4/10

Shopping in Alta Vista

There are several shopping locations near Alta Vista that make it simple for you to find what you need, as well as the things you want.

There are two main shopping malls in Alta Vista: Billings Bridge Plaza Shopping Centre and the Elmvale Shopping Centre. These are easily reached by car or public bus. These centres contain a variety of stores, and are a good place to run your basic errands or pick up some groceries.

Public Transportation

It’s easy to get around by car when you live in Alta Vista.

While transit has really improved in the last decade, the good bus routes are mostly confined to the commuter hours. Still, OC Transpo has stations at the following locations, and as intensification continues the bus service is improving:

  • Pleasant Park
  • Riverside
  • Billings Bridge
  • Smyth

This does not include the multiple spots along the main stretch of Alta Vista Drive. The routes on Alta Vista will take you easily to other parts of the city. You can view the routes here.

Healthcare in Alta Vista

Many of the city’s hospitals operate in the Alta Vista area. This includes:

  • The Ottawa Hospital General Campus
  • The Ottawa Hospital Riverside Campus
  • The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)
  • The Ottawa Cancer Center
  • The Ottawa Health Sciences Center

There are also a large number of doctors, pharmacies and other healthcare professionals located just a few minutes away by car or bus.

Community and Entertainment in Alta Vista

The Alta Vista Community Association was formed in 2009, and is responsible for many events throughout the year. These events are run by volunteers, and are a big hit in the community.

Some events include:

Between these awesome local events, you’re only a short trip away from Ottawa’s downtown. It’s easy to go out for the night or plan a weekend of fun activities.

Dining Out in Alta Vista

While you may have to travel a few minutes to reach restaurants in the Alta Vista area, it’s well worth it.

Aiyara Thai Cuisine

If you’re looking for casual but tasty fare, look no further than Aiyara. This restaurant serves traditional Thai food like rice and curry in a fun and funky atmosphere (complete with elephant decor).

Many customers have left reviews praising the wide selection of dishes and the warm service. And if you don’t feel like going out, you can eat in with their takeout/delivery service!

Pelican Seafood Market & Grill

Pelican Fishery & Grill offers a full service fish market with a wide variety of wild and farmed fish and seafood and shellfish. From sashimi grade tuna to wild pacific salmon to fresh wild Lake Erie pickerel fillet we offer a wide variety of seasonal fish.

This place is the best of both worlds: a market with take-home delicacies and a gourmet grill featuring all the classic seafood dishes you love – plus some ones you’ll love to discover.

For over 40 years this establishment has been providing both fresh and smoked seafood dishes to the Ottawa area. With the addition of an oyster bar and a focus on sustainable suppliers, the place and the food is welcoming and fun.

Flying Piggy’s Bistro Italiano

Self-described as rustic Italian cooking, you’ll want to eat here before pigs fly. Just over 20 years old, they greet all their customers with warm, high-quality service.

The menu features all the classics you’d expect from an Italian restaurant, and the pasta is made fresh daily.

Past customers described the restaurant as cozy and atmospheric, perfect for a romantic date.

Sweet Basil

Another Thai restaurant that is popular in Alta Vista is Sweet Basil. A newer restaurant in the area, it’s already become a fast favourite with locals and tourists alike. The food is quintessentially Thai and as authentic as you would find in Bangkok’s finer dining establishments.

Thanks to, you can order Sweet Basil’s amazing food for pickup or delivery. If you want to eat in, you’ll get to experience world-class service that past customers rave about.

Ocho Rios

This restaurant features homemade Jamaican cuisine that’ll make your mouth water just thinking about it. Choose from classics like jerk chicken and oxtail, and have it delivered right to your door.

Customers have reported that the portions are large, the price is fair, the staff is friendly, and the food is out of this world.

Parks in Alta Vista

Alta Vista is known for its many large, unique green spaces. These are perfect for families, dog owners, and active individuals who love getting outdoors.

Nearby parks include:

  • Heron Park
  • Alta Vista Park
  • Grasshopper Hill Park
  • Applewood Park
  • Orlando Park
  • Featherston Park
  • Billings Park
  • John Murphy Park
  • Playfair Park

Many of these parks feature play structures, well-groomed sports fields, and plenty of open space for running around and tiring out kids and pets. You’ll have no trouble getting your 30 minutes of exercise and outdoor play in this neighbourhood.

Ready to Call Alta Vista Home?

We don’t blame you – it’s a great neighbourhood! This makes it one of the more popular areas in the city. That means you’re going to need a real estate agent to help you find – and buy – your dream house.

Our real estate agents have years of experience taking your wishlist and finding homes that work for you. They also are experts in negotiations, giving you a leg up when it comes time to put in an offer. We’ll get you the best home for the best price.

While we help you find your new home, we can also help you sell your old one. We’ll do all the market research necessary to list at the best price and handle all the showings and negotiations so you don’t have to.

So what are you waiting for?