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Hintonburg

Hintonburg is a neighbourhood in Kitchissippi Ward in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, located west of the Downtown core. It is a historically working-class, predominantly residential neighbourhood, with a commercial strip located along Wellington Street West. It is home to the Parkdale Farmer’s Market, located along Parkdale Avenue, just north of Wellington.

Its eastern border is the O-Train Trillium Line, just west of Preston Street, with Centretown West / Somerset Heights neighbourhood to the east. To the north it is bounded by the transitway (originally the Canadian Pacific Railway main line), along Scott Street, with Mechanicsville beyond. To the south it is bounded by the Queensway (originally the Canadian National Railway main line) (417 Highway) and to the west by Holland Avenue (Hintonburg Community Association borders) or as far west as Island Park Drive. Using the community association’s borders, the population of the neighbourhood is 7581 (2011 Census).

Hintonburg is very mixed in its character. The land use is very mixed, and this is due to its predating land zoning rules. The area has a mix of heritage buildings and recent additions.

In its April 2007 issue, enRoute magazine named Hintonburg one of the top ten emerging neighbourhoods in Canada. The same month, Ottawa Magazine said Hintonburg is “hot” and credits the QUAD arts district as the reason residents think we’re “cool”. Then in June 2007, the Financial Times noted that the ‘Burg is “thriving again”.

The area to the north of Wellington is very mixed, and can be characterised as being in transition. Some industry still exists just south of Scott to the west of Parkdale. The north-east area is almost completely residential, of one-hundred-year-old wood ‘clapboard’ homes, with a small village/enclave nature. Many of the homes are very small, reflecting the late 1800s typical worker’s homes. The area north of Wellington was once considered part of the “Mechanicsville” neighbourhood, not Hintonburg, but the expansion of the Transitway and Scott Street have cut off this section from the area to the north.

The area to the south of Wellington is almost entirely residential of brick-veneer wood-frame construction dating to the 1910 to 1920s. There is very little commercial activity south of Wellington, except for the Fairmont Confectionery / Sam’s CafĂ© (Thai and Vietnamese food) at the intersection of Fairmont and Gladstone Avenues, and along the O-Train Trillium Line to the east, where the Canadian Bank Note Company operates a large facility and there are some industrial buildings along Breezehill.

To the west of Holland, the area is known as Elmdale. The basic pattern of land-use continues. To the south of Wellington, entirely residential. To the north, mainly residential, with smaller homes close to Scott reflecting the time when a railway ran nearby. The road known as Wellington ends here, and continues west as Richmond Road, at one time leading to the village of Richmond. Commercial activity along this street is predominantly independent businesses and offices.

Businesses on Wellington are characterised by a mixture of largely proprietor-operated retail and service shops. In the east, Wellington has not completely recovered from its being bypassed in the 1960s. Several vacant and/or underutilized properties exist. To the west, Wellington is busier, and commercial activities are thriving due to the proximity of Tunney’s Pasture and the Parkdale Market. Bars and restaurants have multiplied, especially along the stretch from Parkdale to Holland. The businesses along Wellington have grouped themselves under the banner of “Wellington West” to promote their businesses.

Holland Avenue, a four-lane north-south avenue leading directly south of Tunney’s Pasture, has developed a stretch of restaurants and commercial businesses to serve the government complex. At the corner of Holland and Wellington, the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre was opened in 2007 for live theatre.

Parkdale Avenue, a two-lane north-south avenue is a busy road. When the Queensway was built in the 1960s, Parkdale was chosen for an interchange rather than the four-lane Holland Avenue. This leads to daily traffic jams at “rush hour.” At its north end, some vestiges of the industrial area along the Scott Street rail line exist and are being converted into artists’ space. The popular warm-weather Parkdale Market, a farmers’ market, just north of Wellington is the home of about 20 stalls, of local and imported produce and flowers. To the south of Wellington, it is residential on both sides.

Hintonburg is home to the QUAD. The QUAD, an acronym that stands for Quartier des artistes / Arts District, blends cultural expression, community spirit and heritage character to create a special neighbourhood that embraces all arts disciplines, was established in 2003. Several galleries have opened since 2006 in the vicinity of the Parkdale Market.

In 2005, the Hintonburg community Association (HCA) launched the ArtsPark annual event in the Parkdale Market featuring the works of Ottawa artists and musicians to highlight the community’s growing role as an arts district in the city. Regular activities are put on at the Hintonburg Community Centre, including outdoor films in the summer.