Barrhaven: Faith in Place

Occasionally I get out of my west-side-of-the-downtown shell. Last week, I headed out again to Barrhaven. The occasion: opening of the Multifaith Housing Initiative.

So who built the 98 homes in Barrhaven? The MHI was established in 2001 and has 60 faith groups as sponsors.  They have grown from housing for 5 families in 2005, to 15 in 2007, and 41 in 2008. Now it provides 139 households  now that the Barrhaven site is open.

There are 50 homes in low rise apartments …

above: smallest apartments get a “juliette” balcony

above: larger apts have a balcony with metal and glass railing

And there are 48 townhouses. These townhouses are in a very low-slung prairie style / Frank Lloyd Wright influence that emphasizes horizontal lines.

The towns are “back to back”, sometimes called “new yorker” style. So the front yard is the personal greenspace.

Most are two storey houses. There are specific handicapped accessible units, but care was taken that all units are handicapped visitable on the ground floor (no step, wide doors, etc).

There are also three storey houses. The third floors are in roof dormers, as seen in the background in the pic below:

In the row below, notice that home C and D (to the left) have a loft floor, but E (centre) does not, and F has a loft facing the end of the row to the right:

Next: MHI outdoor spaces

4 thoughts on “Barrhaven: Faith in Place

  1. I like the idea of community housing being established in the suburbs outside the greenbelt. Community housing needs to be distributed across the city, for thousands of good reasons.

    Having said that, Barrhaven is a vehicle centric suburb. How is the walkability of the neighbourhood? A quick Google maps search shows that there is a big box area that is not too distant, but is it a walkable distance, especially in the winter? The same question applies to proximity to a transit hub.

    1. The shopping centre is a bit of a walk (about 25min) bit there is a major transit way stop less than 5min walk from the complex and it is served by a cross city route that runs 24hrs a day (in addition to other local tours too).

  2. Thanks! MHI is a favourite for me- amazing people with great results. Your article is so well done- a clear idea of this wonderful place. Thanks again.

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