The Glebe is one of Ottawa’s most beloved neighbourhoods. It is the perfect mix of residential houses and local businesses, giving it a homey feel as well as the convenience and charm of a small downtown.
It is located just south of downtown, bordered by the Queensway highway to the north and the beautiful Rideau Canal to the east and south. Most of the homes in the Glebe are older, with the addition of some newly built homes, creating an eclectic mix. There are also condos and apartments throughout the area.
The Glebe got its name in 1837 when the land belonged to a church. The word “glebe” literally means church lands. Now, the land is inhabited mostly by families, many with young children, making the Glebe a family-friendly place to live. There are also some university students living in the Glebe, as it is very close to Carleton University and to all necessities.
Parks and Trails
Many beautiful parks are dappled throughout the Glebe. The neighbourhood is close to the canal, which has a beautiful path all along it and makes a lovely place to walk along. In addition to this, the canal reaches out into two bodies of water: Patterson Creek and Brown’s Inlet. These are both delightful parks; the trees and the water make a calm and pleasing scenery.
Bank Street, the central street that runs through the Glebe, is a bustling street full of local shops, boutiques, restaurants, grocery stores and more. It is a convenience and a pleasure to have all of these local businesses at your fingertips, in walking distance from any house in the Glebe. The Glebe is also home to Lansdowne Park, a park that includes TD Place Arena and Stadium. This is where many sporting games and concerts take place. There is also a Farmer’s Market that comes to Lansdowne Park every Sunday, which you can read about here.
Grocery stores in the Glebe include Metro, Wholefoods, and a few smaller ones such as Il Negozio Nicastro, an independently owned Italian grocery store. Metro is a decently sized grocery store, though on the smaller side. It includes a small bakery inside selling Art-is-in brand bread and baked goods. Wholefoods is a larger grocery store that also offers a salad bar and hot foods buffet, as well as a cafe in the bottom level. Wholefoods focuses on health-oriented food made with quality ingredients. Two Shoppers Drug Marts are located along Bank Street as well, which is an added convenience.
Bank Street also offers many cafés; there are several Bridgeheads, Starbucks, and some independent ones such as The Wild Oat and Cafe Morala. Some of the best restaurants include Feleena’s, Milestones, Cacao 70, Joey Lansdowne, Bier Markt, and many more.
The Glebe has a strong sense of community. A local newspaper called The Glebe Report has been published monthly since 1973. The newspaper includes fun and interesting articles written by local community members; it has something for everyone, kids and adults alike.
Every spring, the Glebe hosts the Great Glebe Garage Sale. This is a legendary garage sale that has been going on for over 20 years. Dozens and dozens of houses all over the Glebe participate and many people attend. It’s an enjoyable day of treasure-hunting with your neighbours, and you never know what amazing things you’ll find!
The Glebe also hosts many small family events throughout the year, such as pot-lucks, barbeques, and seasonal festivities. There is always something to do in the Glebe!
The Glebe is home to a few schools. There are two public schools: Mutchmor Public School and First Avenue Public School. There is also the Glebe Montessori School and the Corpus Christi School, a catholic elementary school. The high school in the neighbourhood is Glebe Collegiate Institute. In addition, Carleton University is very near the Glebe, just south on Bronson Avenue.
My Experience in the Glebe
The Glebe was the first neighbourhood I moved into after living in residence at Carleton University. It was a really wonderful place to live. The residential streets are quiet and charming, lined with big trees and beautiful front-yard gardens. The houses are old and quaint, but there are some newer, modern ones as well. We lived on Holmwood Ave, a road perpendicular to Bank Street. A few blocks down from our house, on the corner of Holmwood and Bank, was the infamous Kettleman’s bagels, which sells hand-rolled, wood-fired bagels 24/7. It was definitely a perk of living there! And it made the street smell wonderful.
All in all, the Glebe is an excellent neighbourhood for families and university students. The side streets are heavily treed. It feels quaint, homey and safe, and it is close to many stores and restaurants that make it a very convenient place to live as well. In addition, there are many fun events and local activities to participate in. It’s a very friendly neighbourhood.