Green, Urban, Trendy…and affordable

Catherine Street is not (yet) the first place we think of us a friendly downtown street. But that is changing. In this guest post, Sylvie Trottier describes the new Beaver Barracks housing development that is green, urban, trendy, and … affordable. The sort of place you’d be proud to live in or have as a neighbour:

“Starting this November and December, Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC), a community based non-profit housing provider, will be handing over the keys to 160 innovative green bachelor, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments available for rent. Located right in Centretown, next to the Y and the Museum of Nature, on a former military building site, the new Beaver Barracks housing complex emphasizes sustainable facilities, community engagement and sleek design. With loads of public transit options and oodles shops, cafes, and restaurants just steps away, Beaver Barracks offers attractive urban living at an affordable price. 
CCOC  is an organization that offers mixed housing, one that provides an assortment of market rent, below market rent, and subsidized rent, and collaborates with a host of community partners who supply supportive services. The key is openness – making it possible for everyone to have access to a good home. Residents are always encouraged to get involved as much, or as little, as they want. Management committees and the board are directed by volunteers, so there are plenty of opportunities to have a say in how our housing is run, if you want to get involved.    
It’s easy being green
Going green is more than a fad. It’s about living within the boundaries of the planet. It’s about balance. It’s about the future – and making sure we all get to have one. Choosing a home with a lighter environmental footprint means that you are choosing to line up your values with your actions. You can’t get much hipper than that, and Beaver Barracks makes it possible. One of the most innovative features of the building is its source of heating. Pipes burrowing deep in the ground take the geothermal energy of the planet’s core and converts it into 100% of the heating, cooling and hot water for all the units and common areas. In fact, Beaver Barracks can proudly state that it will have the largest residential geothermal energy unit in Canada. Energy efficiency was also taken into account – a high performance building envelope, energy efficient fixtures and appliances, and heat recovery ventilators ensure that energy use will be kept to a minimum. 
Residents will have access to specially designed green education programs, like sustainability workshops and community partner events. Those with a green thumb can get to work in the rooftop gardens (a BUGS, Bytown Urban Garden, operated community garden will be ready after Phase II is complete), which along with the buildings’ green roofs, guarantee minimal water runoff and a reduced heat island effect. With ample secure bike parking, accessible composting, and two VRTUcar parking spaces, Beaver Barracks makes it easy, convenient, and fun to lead a green lifestyle. 
For more info, visit

3 thoughts on “Green, Urban, Trendy…and affordable

  1. How is it possible that no one is talking about this until now!? This sounds wonderful and amazing! Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

    1. It was on CBC’s morning show in the early summer. =)

      The buildings look quite nice, and as CBC mentioned, most (all?) of the apartments will be fully accessible: no steps and wide door ways.

      I’d love to see more development of this type in downtown Ottawa. There are too many overpriced condos going up.

  2. I wish we could just hand over the city public housing budget to CCOC and let them work their magic. They know how to create mixed communities that support and enhance the residents, instead of ghettos.

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