Walkability?

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Walkability? If you have 2 feet and a heartbeat chances are you enjoy moving around your neighborhood on a regular basis.  But how is your neighborhood compared to others within the city?

 

I like living within the city.  I grew up in the 'burbs of Kanata, great place as a kid but as I got older I began to see the limitations of the neighborhood I had called home for so many years.  It took a solid 15 minutes to walk to the convenience store...not so convenient.

When I was buying my first house I made it my mission to live a more compact lifestyle and set up my own criteria.  I needed to be able to walk to a coffee shop (hello Bridgehead addiction), a pub and source of food.  Not only were these my own lifestyle choices but also great investment ideals as well.  Wellington West is a fabulous area to live in.  We are moving more often away from a car centrist culture and back towards walkable neighborhoods.  As humans we crave interaction within our neighborhoods.  Areas with traditional main streets are back more than ever.  The Glebe, Westboro, Hintonburg, Little Italy, Golden Triangle.  Guess where the best increases in values for real estate have been the last few years?


Now, my criteria can be looked upon as being pretty simple but there's also a website which allows you to check the walkability of your current house or that of the house you are thinking of buying.  http://www.walkscore.com/

Of course no website is without it's limitations but it can be quite entertaining.  It does rely on input from public sources along with businesses within certain neighborhoods.  Public transit is nicely laid out and this too plays a large part in what the ranking is for the desired property.  Comparing 3 properties can produce some interesting results.  My 2 houses in Wellington West scored 2 different but high scores of 80 and 90 respectively.  Being seperated by 5 blocks can make a huge difference on this website even though I would rate one only slightly higher due to it's proximity to Tunney's Pasture.  Compared to my old house in Kanata though, I complete agree with it's rating of 48.

As I said, it's not a perfect system by any means but it does give some insight into different areas of the city.  At the end of the day you have to decide what's most important to you, your family and your wallet.  Do want to live the urban lifestyle of walkability, easy transit options but potentially more compact housing or do you crave the openness of space, a larger home but the possibility of needing 2 vehicles?  There's no one answer for all people but this website will hopefully help you narrow down your choices of where you're thinking of settling.

Read 3313 times Last modified on Monday, 04 February 2013 15:59