Rockcliffe Park

The Village of Rockcliffe Park is one of the most prosperous and charming enclaves in the Nation’s Capital. It is located northeast of downtown, on the southern banks of the Ottawa River. It encompasses the small McKay Lake, the Pond and the Rockcliffe Rockeries; a rock garden maintained by the National Capital Commission. The Village is an official “Heritage District” and as such the  strong Resident’s Resident’s Association (RPRA) is devoted to preserving this heritage. The stately homes that dominate the village and were once the homes of some of Canada’s major lumber barons, and newspaper luminaries can be imposing but do not be intimidated. This neighbourhood is full of families with young children who are committed to preserving a quality of life unequaled to many other large cities. As a resident of the village you may find yourself living next to the state of Turkey or the United States of America  as the village is home to many foreign states and their Ambassadors whose gracious homes dominate the street scapes of this beautiful village.

Rockcliffe Park is home to many Ottawa notables. Stornoway, the residence of the leader of Canada’s Official Opposition is located there. The ambassadors of Israel, Norway, China, Korea, Japan, Denmark, Spain the Netherlands and Ireland to name a few of the more significant residences. However, the Papal Nuncio boasts the most striking and dramatic entrance and outstanding views of the Ottawa River .

The Village is home to Elmwood School for Girls and Ashbury College and  both offer International Baccalaureate programmes to their students. Rockcliffe Park Public School or (RPPS) (Senior Kindergarten to Grade 6) has an outstanding programme in both languages. Steps away on the side of Maple Lane into Lindenlea is St Bridgette’s a Roman Catholic French Immersion School.

A community that once was lead by its own mayor and council, the village of 750 residences is now part of the greater city of Ottawa since amalgamation in 2001.

Rockcliffe Park boasts its own community hall and library complex. The library was originally funded, built and staffed through the efforts of Rockcliffe Park Resident’s Association, but it is now a branch of the Ottawa Public Library, with computer access, a children’s area, and a young adult section. Unusual for branches of the Public Library, it has a special collection of art-related books called the Margaret A. Bailey collection.

As it was long a separate village not under the jurisdiction of Ottawa’s municipal government, Rockcliffe Park differs from the rest of the city. It has very few sidewalks, but is also relatively inaccessible to through traffic. The  streets meander through out the village and many who are unfamiliar with the Village complain of becoming easily lost when driving. Much of Rockcliffe Park is still wooded and the houses are set far apart on wide lots. The Village was originally designed to have a natural feel and did not permit any commerce.

Still true to it’s original plan it is a wonderful neighbourhood in which to reside. However, if considering purchasing a home in this neighbourhood, one must be aware  of the Heritage designation and tread carefully when planning any major renovations!

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