This neighbourhood is just south and west of downtown, and lies west of Bronson, and north of Dow's Lake. Dow's Lake is one of Ottawa's many unique neighbourhoods, begin adjacent to the lake that forms part of the Rideau Canal. Originally it was a marsh known as 'Dows Great Swamp" that stretched almost from the Rideau River to the Ottawa River. Colonel By built earth dams to contain the waters and create a reservoir for the locks down to the Ottawa River. The Glebe is east of Dow's Lake, and the Central Experimental Farm lies to the west.
Little Italy is one of Ottawa's most vibrant communities, being the cultural centre of Ottawa's Italian community. It is located between Bronson Avenue and the O-Train tracks and from Carling & Dow's Lake north to Albert Street. About Somerset Street it connects with Ottawa's Chinatown and provides blocks of diverse restaurants, pubs, and homes. Originally settled in 1900 by Italian immigrants, it has become a more diverse community in the years following the Second World War. Preston Street, or 'Corso Italia' is the main commercial district, and as home to most of the small businesses and Italian restaurants, is synonymous with 'Little Italy'. The section of Gladstone Avenue that intersects Little Italy is commemoratively named Via Marconi, with even more ethnic shops and services.
In the area between the Queensway and Carling, there are a number of government buildings & offices. The area is accessible by transit, and has the Preston O-Train station nearby.
Hintonburg is west of downtown Ottawa, Hintonburg's eastern boundary is marked by O-Train tracks, and has its commercial strip located along Wellington Street West, located to the west of downtown. It is home to the Parkdale Farmer's Market, located along Parkdale Avenue, just north of Wellington. Originally in Nepean Township, the area was first settled in 1826 and is named for long-time shopkeeper, Joseph Hinton. This working class community grew in size until the village of Hintonburg was incorporated in 1893, and became a part of Ottawa in 1907. The Ahearne's Ottawa Street Railway Company ran a street car line through the area as far as Byron Avenue, making it a popular area for the working class. Some industry still exists just south of Scott to the west of Parkdale.
Within walking distance to all the amenities on Wellington St., and a quick drive to the downtown core and the Queensway/417, to reach the rest of Ottawa. The Bayview O-Train station is at the community's north east corner of the community, and connects with the West Transitway into downtown.
Hintonburg & Little Italy have a mixed character, because these areas predate any land zoning rules, and have some heritage buildings as well as newer homes.
Many of the homes are very small, reflecting the late 1800s typical worker's homes. The area north of Wellington and the Transitway is considered part of the "Mechanicsville" neighbourhood. The area has a mix of heritage buildings and recent additions. The area to the south of Wellington is almost entirely residential of brick-veneer wood-frame construction dating to the 1910 to 1920s.
West of Holland, the area is known as Elmdale, and it continues to be residential, with the area to the north of Wellington, having some smaller homes close to Scott dating back to the days the railway ran through here.
Southern Hintonburg adjoins the Civic Hospital area, and is largely middle to upper- middle class residential. Despite their modest size, many of the original working class homes in Hintonburg have risen in value due to their proximity to Wellington Village's trendy restaurants and shops.
Hintonburg-Mechanicsville is a relatively old neighbourhood, but has underegone some recent re-development. Many (36%) of the homes pre-date 1946, 23% were built 1946 - 1970, 10% were built 1971 -1980, and more recently, 19% from 1981 - 1990, and 12% since 1991.
Hintonburg - Mechanicsville had 5,200 dwellings, of which 15% are ddetached single family, 6.8% are semi-detached, 4% are row houses, 39% are high-rise apartments, 26% were low-rise apartments, and 9% were duplexes. The majority (64%) of residents rent and 35% own their homes.
The area has a number of stores along Wellington St, and lots of shops & restaurants along Somerset, Preston, and Gladstone. The area is also home to the Parkdale Farmers Market.
The recreational pathways along Dow's Lake and the canal are popular for walking, cycling and rollerblading. In the summertime, the pavilion/boathouse rents canoes, pedal boats, and kayaks. In the wintertime the lake is used for skating, and the boathouse is used by skaters for warming up. There is also a gift and souvenir shop and two banquet rooms. The lake is also a focal point of Ottawa's annual Tulip Festival each May, with visitors and tourists strolling around Dow's Lake.
Hintonburg is home to the QUAD, which was established in 2003. The QUAD, an acronym that stands for Quartier des artistes / Arts District, showcases cultural expression, heritage, and arts disciplines. Since 2006, many galleries have opened up around the Parkdale Market. The ArtsPark annual event in the Parkdale Market showcases Ottawa artists and musicians.
The Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC) showcases original Canadian plays in their theatre at Holland & Wellington. Hintonburg is also the long-time home of the Orpheus Musical Theatre Society, which mounts its productions at the Centrepointe Theatre in Nepean.