It’s named for its high altitude, but don’t let that fool you. Alta Vista is a thriving residential neighbourhood with a population of approximately 20,000. Often described as a safe, calm but friendly suburb, Alta Vista has a mix of retirees and young, new families. 

You’ll find an abundance of schools, churches, shopping, restaurants, community centres, libraries, recreation centres, hospitals, and green space in the area. With the secure seclusion of a distant suburb, Alta Vista is a great spot to raise a family near downtown Ottawa.

Alta Vista Amenities

Alta vista park amenity.

Although just a short distance from downtown Ottawa, there’s no shortage of things to do in Alta Vista. 

There are several shopping options, namely the Billings Bridge Shopping Centre and the Elmvale Shopping Centre. Still, you can find many retail stores, thrift stores, department stores, and grocery stores. So, running your daily errands won’t be much of a hassle – and you won’t be pulling your hair out with boredom, either.

When it comes to dining out, you can find a few hidden gems nestled into the street corners. Most notably, Pelican Seafood Market and Grill, Flying Piggy’s Italian Bistro, Sweet Basil’s authentic Thai cuisine, Aiyara Thai Cuisine, and O’Brien Eatery and Pub

To get around, you can find OC Transpo Stations at Pleasant Park, Riverside, Billings Bridge, and Smyth for easy transportation. While it’s a lovely neighbourhood to take a stroll, it’s not the type of neighbourhood where you can rely on your feet to get you everywhere – a car is essential for this neighbourhood. 

But that doesn’t mean you won’t see pedestrians out enjoying themselves. Because it’s mainly residential, traffic is light in Alta Vista, making it perfect for a stroll or a bike ride – especially in one of its many parks and green spaces.

Its namesake, Alta Vista Park, thrives year-round with a wading pool in the summer, an outdoor skating rink in the winter, a playground, and a baseball diamond.

On the very western edge of Alta Vista, Vincent Massey Park is a massive park with plenty of wooded walking paths, grassy areas, meadows, scenic vistas, picnic tables, barbecue pits, and softball diamonds – the perfect park for all occasions. 

Grasshopper Hill Park isn’t one you’ll want to miss in the winter with its toboggan hill. 

You’ll also find Bruce Timmermans Park, Kaladar Park, Heron Park, Orlando Park, Parkland, and so many more. You’ll find some green space around almost every corner – so getting your daily exercise and encouraging the kids to partake in sports will be no problem at all.

Alta Vista Real Estate 

Alta Vista real estate statistics.

Alta Vista Schools

Schools are an essential factor when choosing your family’s new home. If you decide on Alta Vista, you won’t have a problem. 

If you’re about to move to the area, you can type in the type your address into one of the school locators below to see which schools are assigned to that area:

Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB): school locator

Ottawa Catholic School Board: (OCSB): school locator

 Boundary maps for each of the school boards can be found here:

English Public (OCDSB): boundary map

English Catholic (OCSB): boundary map

French Public School Board (CEPEO): boundary map

French Catholic School Board (CECCE): boundary map 

English Elementary Schools

Vincent Massey Public School

The winner of the Order of Excellence – Canadian Award for Excellence in education by the National Quality Institute, Vincent Massey, is one of the most highly respected elementary schools in Ottawa. With approximately 700 students, they offer Core French, French Immersion, Deaf and Hard of Hearing programs and a Dual Support Program.

Pleasant Park Public School

Pleasant Park is a well-respected elementary school with approximately 500 students and an Early French Immersion Program. 

Featherston Drive Public School

Open since 1964, Featherston boasts a multicultural, inclusive elementary school with about 360 students enrolled from Kindergarten to grade 8, including French Immersion. They offer an integrated learning approach and a program for children with Autism. 

Alta Vista Public School

With about 570 students, Alta Vista offers Core French, Early French Immersion, and a System Learning Disabilities class from grades 4-8.

Hawthorne Public School

Hawthorne has an enrolment of about 250 students, with over 40 countries of origin. They offer an Early Literacy Development class and Core French.

Arch Street Public School

Arch Street has an enrolment of 165 students with a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds. They offer Core French programs, as well as Primary Special Needs classes.

English High Schools

Ridgemont High School

Noted for its academic excellence, athleticism, and community-oriented programs, Ridgemont is a centre for ESL, French Immersion, and education for community living. With 760 students, it offers various courses and opportunities, including a wide range of international languages. 

Hillcrest High School

Hillcrest broadcasts a generations-long tradition of high standards. They offer enhanced learning opportunities with alternative learning methods, including educational field trips. Most notably, they offer plenty of technology and programming opportunities, along with French Immersion.

Canterbury High School

With over 1300 students, Canterbury boasts a 40-year tradition of creativity and excellence specializing in Arts, including dance, drama, literature, music, and visuals. It also houses one of the largest libraries of any secondary school and unique re-organizable walls. They offer French programs, as well as Spanish.

Brookfield High School

Established in 1963, with over 550 students, Brookfield offers French Immersion, a remarkable Music Program, and a well-respected Special Education Department.

Catholic Schools

St. Gemma Catholic School offers Kindergarten to grade 6.

St. Patrick’s Intermediate School offers grades 7-8 with an enrolment of about 370 students, who can go on to St. Patrick’s High School, which offers grades 9-12.

French Catholic Schools

École Secondaire Catholique Franco-Cité has been established for 25 years, and offers unique sports programs. It has had 1,500 students in this time and offers grades 7-12.

École Élémentaire Catholique Lamoureux, Centre d’enseignement Personnalisé offers personalized teaching based on Montessori principles.

You can also find École Élémentaire Catholique Marius-Barbeau and École Élémentaire Catholique Sainte-Geneviève.

French Public Schools

French Public Schools in Alta Vista include École Secondaire Publique Louis-Riel and École Élémentaire Publique Marie-Curie.

Does Alta Vista sound like the right neighbourhood for you and your family? With its safe and welcoming community, abundant parks and schools, and convenient distance from downtown Ottawa, it’s an idyllic haven to raise a family. 

Our realtors at the MacDonald Property Group can help you find the home you’re looking for. Contact us today, and we’ll find your dream home.

Have you read our other Ottawa neighbourhood spotlights?

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