Sandy Hill is the area east of downtown, between the Rideau Canal and the Rideau River, and extending south of Rideau Street to the Queensway /417. To the north are Rideau Street and the Byward Market neighbourhood, with its shopping & nightlife.
The area's proximity to the river was a plus, but its hilliness and sandy soil made it difficult to erect large buildings, which made it a great place to build homes for Ottawa's wealthiest residents and politicians. Once bridges over the Rideau Canal improved transportation, the wealthy migrated north to Rockcliffe Park.
The University of Ottawa made the neighbourhood more densely populated and middle class. The post-World War II baby boom increased the population, with new civil servants moving in. Also, many of the grand mansions became embassies along the Rideau River or student apartment buildings in walking distance from the University and downtown.
With such close proximity to downtown, specifically, the large shopping area, Rideau Centre, it is well served by mass transit with several routes and stations at Rideau and Lees Ave.
Several notable buildings and magnificent churches are in the area. All Saints Anglican, St. Alban's Anglican, St. Clement Catholic, St. Paul's Eastern United, and St. Josephs Catholic Church all serve as beautiful landmark and architectural gems of this diverse and eclectic community.
Sandy Hill-Ottawa East has 11,000 residents, who 45% unilingual English, 2% unilingual French, and 52% bilingual.
This neighbourhood has lots of large single/multi-family homes and student-oriented apartments.
Sandy Hill-Ottawa East is a relatively old neighbourhood, with 37%of the homes pre-dating 1946, 15% were built between 1946 and 1960, 22% built 1961 - 1980, 13% constructed 1980 - 1990, and 13% built after 1991.
This community had 5,400 dwellings, which were 9% single family, 5% semi-detached, 8% row houses, 2% apartment duplexes, 32% were high-rise apartments (closer to Dow's Lake for the view), and 44% were low-rise apartments. The great majority (75%), of residents rented, while 24% owned their homes.
There are also plenty of schools in the area, serving the large population of middle class families and dignitaries.
Shopping is found along Rideau Street and in the Byward Market, with extensive selection for shopping & nightlife.
The area is surrounded on all sides by recreational pathways along the Rideau Canal, along the Rideau River. In the winter time, the canal becomes the Rideau Canal Skateway.
The area has several movie theatres, the National Arts Centre, as well as on-campus activities at the University of Ottawa, and the outdoor theatre at Nepean Point.