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Local Directory for Ottawa, ON


I'd love to live at Beaver Barracks

You know what I miss? Apartment hunting. When I was a tenant (which was pretty much my whole life, up until four years ago), I loved apartment-hunting. I wasn’t fond of moving, but I loved apartment-hunting.

There was just something exciting about exploring new places and picturing myself in them. Almost every apartment had something special about it – a little cubby hole pantry under the stairs, an interesting window, a built-in shelf, a big balcony, good light, a coffee shop across the street.

Maybe I’m romanticizing it a bit. It wasn’t all joy and happiness. Some places – especially in the early days when I was very poor – were downright depressing. Dirty, dark, dingy, cramped, and steeped in layers of misery left over from previous tenants. Sometimes, whole buildings and entire neighbourhoods felt depressed and depressing One place I checked out the very first time I went apartment-hunting even had a suicide note pinned to the door.

I’ve said it before that my favourite landlord is the Centretown Citizens of Ottawa Corporation (CCOC). It’s a non-profit, community-based housing organization. I’ve lived in three of their buildings, for a total of nine years. One on Arlington, and two on Rochester Street. The units are always spotless when you move in, and CCOC even gives you flats of flowers every Spring, so you can do a little gardening.

Anyway. CCOC staff have been good to me over the years, even after I was no longer a tenant. Some of them read my blog. One of them even brought me dinners and flowers and wine last year when I was sick.

All this to say, in the interests of full disclosure, that I’m a friend of the CCOC, and vice versa. This post is aimed at helping them get the word out about the Beaver Barracks, their brand-new downtown housing complex, which will be available for its first tenants in November/December. It has tons of sustainable facilities and urban amenities. If you’re lucky enough to be apartment hunting now, you should check it out.

Beaver Barracks

Beaver Barracks

It’s comprised of several buildings downtown at Metcalfe and Argyle, right next to the YM/YWCA and the Museum of Nature. There’s a mix of 160 town houses and apartments.

CCOC has designed the complex to be as green as possible. There’s an underground geothermal system which provides heating/cooling/hot water to all units. Tenants pay a flat fee for energy. They have green roofs, a big organic community rooftop garden for tenants, and ground-level planters.There’s composting and recycling stations, lots of secure bike parking, access to VrtuCars, and some limited parking for cars. Beaver Barracks is both accessible and smoke-free. You can read more about the sustainability measures here.

Rents range from $706 to $1423, but some limited rent subsidies will be available to assist low and moderate income-earners. The application process is outlined here.

7 comments to I’d love to live at Beaver Barracks

  • I’m halfway inclined to check them out, solely because if I do end up on some kind of subsidised housing arangement I’d want to do it back in Ottawa–hey, there’s more employment potential there. Consider them added to my list of phone calls.

  • It certainly looks nice, and I’m glad to see that at least some developments in Ottawa are thinking about energy use and sustainability.

    That said, $956 a month is pretty steep for a one bedroom apartment.

  • Nat

    Wow, that looks very cool. I remember going to look at an apartment with The Man. Speaking of misery, I remember going to see this one apartment where the previous tenant had taken the toilet seat… wow, of all things to take eh?

  • This *does* look amazing. I remember the hoops they had to go through when they were developing the idea of it, so glad it has come to fruition.

    And of course, I think it would just be fun to tell people that I live in the Beaver Barracks :)

  • futurelandfill

    Great plug Zoom! I’m pretty sure CCOC could fill Beaver Barracks with devoted Knitnut fans and I’d bet they’d all be top-notch tenants!

  • […] I first found out about the place by means of Zoom’s blog. […]

  • New Tennant

    Moving in at the end of December, into one of the two bedroom open concept units. Very excited.