Westboro named Ottawa's best neighbourhood in magazine poll

Winner chosen by most online votes from Ottawa Life magazine readers
From left, Dr. Dan Hwang and Gary Luddington accept the Ottawa Life Award declaring Westboro to be the best Ottawa neighbourhood. (Photo by Caroline Phillips)

Westboro is the cool kid of neighbourhoods, based on votes cast online by readers of Ottawa Life Magazine.

Earlier this week, Westboro's business and professional community came together to celebrate their fun new title of Best Ottawa Neighbourhood, while inside Mizrahi Developments' presentation gallery for its luxury condo development at 1451 Wellington St., at the corner of Island Park Drive.

From left, Westboro resident Janet Wilson, senior account director at Hill + Knowlton, with Deborah Bourchier, managing partner of Westboro-based tax planning and accounting firm GGFL, at Mizrahi Developments' presentation gallery at 1451 Wellington. Photo by Caroline Phillips

The reception, with its live music and even livelier conversations, reflected the fresh and hip vibe that continually wafts through Westboro, with its trendy cafes and bars, chic boutiques, dining hotspots and outdoorsy retailers.

There was food from Vittoria Trattoria, beer from the Clocktower Brew Pub and lovely desserts from Quelque Chose Pâtisserie – all businesses that are located along Richmond Road. On hand were the Westboro Village B.I.A.’s brand new executive director, Michelle Groulx, and the chair of its board, dentist Dan Hwang, owner of Westboro Station Dental. 

The Ottawa Life Award for Best Ottawa Neighbourhood was presented to Dr. Hwang and Gary Luddington, chair of the Westboro Community Association, by magazine publisher and managing editor Dan Donovan and by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. Kitchissippi Ward Coun. Jeff Leiper was out of town and unable to attend. 

“You realize by giving this award to Westboro, property assessments are going to go way up,” joked the mayor, who lives just down the road a couple of kilometres west.

No word on which neighbourhood the mayor most prefers. Like a good parent with his children, he doesn’t pick favourites.

“The members of this community are well-educated, they’re engaged and they know their issues,” said Watson. “They’re passionate about making sure there’s sustainable and sensible growth in the neighbourhood.”

Mayor Jim Watson at the Celebration of Westboro, held Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Dan Donovan, publisher and managing editor of Ottawa Life, the largest and long-running general interest and lifestyle magazine in the region. Photo by Caroline Phillips
From left, Dr. Dan Hwang and Gary Luddington accept the Ottawa Life Award declaring Westboro to be the best Ottawa neighbourhood. Photo by Caroline Phillips

Also present was Mizrahi Developments owner Sam Mizrahi, who can't help but ooze debonair appeal.

“I couldn’t have thought of a better place to do our first project outside of Toronto than Ottawa,” said Mizrahi, while pointing out that his wife's hometown is Ottawa.

He touched on the arts and culture, fashion and food that are transforming Ottawa into a world-class city.

“I couldn’t be more proud to be in an area like this and to be welcomed so warmly," said Mizrahi, who is a strong supporter of the National Arts Centre Foundation.

Micki Mizrahi, Sam Mizrahi and new condo owner Noreen Mejias at a Celebration of Westboro held at Mizrahi Developments' presentation gallery, at the site of the future luxury condo residences. Photo by Caroline Phillips

Last spring, the real estate developer threw a huge party to celebrate the opening of the presentation gallery. Since then, the building has played host to smaller community events.

The 12-storey condo building isn't scheduled to be completed for a few years but sales are reportedly going well, with close to half the 93 units now sold.

The reception also raised funds for Cornerstone Housing for Women, an organization that helps provide emergency shelter and safe, supportive housing for women.

Patricia Barr – in a coat bought at one of Westboro's trendy stores – is an owner with her husband Tom Barr of Wall Space, an art gallery and framing story in Westboro. Photo by Caroline Phillips

– caroline@obj.ca