Hintonburg, A 15-minute Neighbourhood: Successes, Challenges and the Future

This walk will highlight Hintonburg Village as an existing “15-minute Neighbourhood,” defined as a compact community where residents can access most day-to-day essential services within a 15-minute walk. But beyond this functional definition, the tour will look at the neighbourhood’s livability characteristics in such areas as scale, streetscapes, heritage and public spaces, and amenities, as well as the changing residential profile of the community. While emphasizing successful characteristics, it will also point out challenges such as problematic traffic, spot zoning for high rises, limited parks, vacant housing, and intrusive hydro infrastructure. With the city’s strongly stated aspirational goal of creating many more 15-minute communities, the walk will help participants to focus on how to achieve the best results. 


We'll meet at Somerset Square Park (2 Spadina Ave). Somerset Square is the small triangular park on the northwest corner of Somerset and Spadina, two blocks west of the Somerset O-Train overpass). We will then proceed primarily west along Wellington St, with several small detours to the north or south. The tour will conclude at Wellington & Holland, the western boundary of Hintonburg. 

About the walk leader

Rhys Phillips is a board member of the Hintonburg Community Association. He is fortunate enough to live within a 5-min walk of services meeting many daily needs. Since 1985, he has been an architecture and urban design critic/journalist, including as a contributing editor to Building Magazine. Rhys particularly admires Helsinki, a city very similar to Ottawa. He notes that over 90% of Helsinkians live in 15-minute communities linked by a transit system recently ranked as the best in the world.


Rhys Phillips

Date:Sat May 4, 2024
Time:9:00 AM
Duration: 1 hour
Language: English
Start:Somerset Square (2 Spadina Ave)
End:Wellington & Holland
Distance:2.0 kms

The walk will follow city sidewalks.

One of the marble street sculptures along Somerset St West in Hintonburg.  Somerset Square Park, where the walk will begin. The Hintonburg Market on Somerset St West. The newly renovated Rosemount branch of the Ottawa Public Library. Hintonburg Community Centre.
Volunteer to Marshal This Walk