Kanata North may be best known as Canada’s largest technology park, but it’s also home to several thriving residential communities that provide tech workers with short commutes, plenty of green space and abundant amenities.
Morgan’s Grant, Kanata Lakes and Beaverbrook are home to thousands of families and professionals attracted by the variety of housing types, easy access to woodlands as well as schools, a library, community centre and new recreational complex.
The convenience of living and working in the same community makes Kanata North a no-brainer for many tech workers.
For Beaverbrook resident Bojana Kolbah – who’s worked at Nokia for some 20 years – this means she and her husband can leave their car at home when they head out for work.
“Compared to your usual suburb, it’s very walkable here,” says Kolbah. “My husband and I are able to have just one car and neither of us use it to get to work, which is amazing for the Ottawa area.”
Kolbah bicycles to work every day, even in winter. She finds it more comfortable than trying to drive a car on icy roads. The series of connected bike paths that run through Kanata North makes cycling an easy and carefree activity for residents, and Kolbah says she and her family can bike all the way from their home to downtown Ottawa without having to use any roads.
Spending some time on two wheels can be a great stress reliever for any busy tech worker, she adds.
“There’s an area right next to the business park that is maintained by a mountain biking club, and at any point in the summer a lot of tech workers will actually go out and mountain bike on their lunch breaks,” says Kolbah.
SOUND REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT
Dave Patterson is another tech worker familiar with physically active forms of transportation in Kanata North.
“I know people that cross-country ski to work in the winter – they cut across the golf course – and lots of people walk to work in the tech park. It’s a very short commute,” he says.
Patterson is a customer success team manager at Solace, where he’s worked for the past 13 years, and previously spent time at Alcatel. He spent the first few years living in Morgan’s Grant, a fairly new community, but was eventually drawn to his home in Kanata Lakes for the natural beauty.
“We moved to Kanata Lakes for the greenspace and the mature trees. There are lots of wooded areas and paths here (as well as) very quiet streets,” says Patterson.
Ottawa real estate agent Ian Charlebois knows Kanata North as a “must-be” location for tech businesses. He says the location also helps them hire top talent, as their employees can enjoy a home life of convenience and social activities.
The skyrocketing prices of homes in Ottawa’s urban core make the community even more enticing for young families. With a good stock of large, single-detached homes that hold a very stable property value, Kanata North is a sound real estate investment.
“Traditionally, and a fact that still holds true today, the neighbourhood draws in young
families who want to live with everything a big city offers at their doorstep,” says Charlebois. “These well-off, middle-age, dual-income families move in with the intention of not having to leave the area much between Monday and Friday and respect the prestige they share with the neighbours in calling the community home.”
Both Kolbah and Patterson have happily raised their families in the community, with great schools, resources and enough safety to let their children get out in the world and explore.
“Both of my kids walk to school, walk to the library, they bike to their friends’ houses – it’s very much a little town within a suburb,” says Kolbah. “The last time we had a snow day, I just put snowshoes on my kids and sent them out to play with the kids on the street. It’s a very livable community.”
‐ Photos and reporting by Ted Simpson