Best East Ottawa Neighborhoods

Here are the top communities you should consider if you’re thinking about living in Ottawa’s East end including Gloucester, Orleans, Rockland, Casselman and Embrun.

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Are you thinking about living in Ottawa?  With growing communities, family friendly neighbourhoods, tons of parks, schools and amenities, the nation’s capital is a great place to call home. 

Hi, its Curtis Sernoskie with Royal LePage Team Realty. Each day I work to help buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals. In this post we’ll look at 5 communities that you should consider if you’re thinking about living in Ottawa’s East end. We’ll touch on 5 of the top communities in the city’s EAST end.  These include: Gloucester, Orleans, Rockland, Casselman and Embrun. 

#1: Gloucester

Originally incorporated as a township in 1792, Gloucester is one of the oldest communities in the Ottawa area. It was a former city that has since become amalgamated with the larger city of Ottawa and is now a suburban neighbourhood. Situated east of the Rideau River and roughly 10 kilometers from downtown Ottawa. Gloucester encompasses a mix of residential areas, including single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments. It offers a diverse range of neighborhoods, each with its own character. Gloucester offers a vast array of amenities and services for residents, including schools, parks, shopping centers, restaurants, and recreational facilities.  Gloucester Centre is one of the top shopping attractions for residents – with over 48 brands including department stores, personal care services and dining options. The community also benefits from several parks and green spaces, providing opportunities for outdoor activities, sports, and leisure. The Green’s Creek Conservation Area and Pineview Golf Course are notable recreational sites in the area. Ottawa’s public transit system which includes OC Transpo bus routes as well as the Light rail rapid transit system serves the Gloucester area and connects it to the rest of the city. Much like the broader city of Ottawa, Gloucester is home to a diverse population, with residents from various cultural backgrounds. The area hosts a wide range of events and festivals throughout the year, celebrating arts, culture, sports, and seasonal activities. While Gloucester is primarily a residential area, it benefits from its proximity to downtown Ottawa and the numerous employment opportunities available in the nation’s capital. Gloucester is a top choice for families looking for a place to call home that is not far away from the downtown core. 

#2: Orleans

Located in the east end of the city, along the Ottawa River and about 16KM from downtown Ottawa, Orleans is a family friendly suburb that is home to over 125,000 people. The community is one of the largest in Ottawa and offers a ton of amenities for those who live there.  This diverse range of housing options suit a number of different lifestyle preferences and budgets. Orleans has a wide mix of residential areas, including single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums, and apartments. The area has a variety of mature tree lined neighbourhoods as well as newer subdivisions with housing developments. Orleans ranked within the top 10 safest communities in Ottawa, but came in slightly below  Barrhaven and Kanata in terms of overall crime rate. As a Franco-Ontarian suburb, about 30% of the demographic in Orleans speaks French as a main language.  As a result, there are a number of French schools in the community. The neighbourhood contains several parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities, making it an attractive choice for families with kids. This includes the Ray Friel Recreation Complex – which offers swimming pools, skating rinks, fitness facilities and much more. About 15 minutes West of Orleans is St Laurent Blvd, where you’ll find numerous activities that families can enjoy including museums and play centres. The area boasts numerous parks and green spaces, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities, sports, picnics, and leisure.  Petrie Island is a popular spot for nature lovers, featuring beaches and hiking trails. Place d’Orleans is one of the major shopping destinations – with over 130 retailers and service offerings.  While bus routes currently connect Orleans to the rest of the city, Ottawa has planned a 12KM LRT expansion project which will provide light rail service from Blair Road through to the Orleans community. Orleans is a great place to live for those seeking a suburban lifestyle in Ottawa’s east end of the city. 

#3: Rockland

Rockland, Ontario is a smaller community located approximately 40 kilometres east of downtown Ottawa. With a population of about 26,000 people, the town has grown over the years to accommodate the needs of its residents. The area offers a quieter and more laid-back lifestyle compared to living in a larger city like Ottawa. It’s generally a very safe place to be with a relatively low crime rate.  The town’s unique character, natural beauty, and community-oriented atmosphere are some of the factors that residents can appreciate. Rockland is a bilingual town, with both English and French being widely spoken. Many residents are fluent in both languages. English and French-language schools provide educational options for families. There are a mix of housing options, including single-family homes, townhouses, and condo properties. The town has a more rural feel while possessing suburban qualities, making it an attractive choice for those seeking a quieter lifestyle. The close proximity to the Ottawa River and nearby nature reserves offer opportunities for outdoor activities such as boating, fishing and hiking. Rockland has local shops, grocery stores, and various services, meeting the day-to-day needs of its residents. This includes major chains such as Canadian Tire, Tim Hortons, Shoppers Drug Mart and much more. The Clarence Rockland YMCA is a 17,000 square foot facility where you will find a swimming pool, fitness facilities, art gallery and more – serving the needs of the community. Rockland fosters a close-knit community atmosphere and is a great place to live for those seeking a change of pace from the hustle and bustle that you’ll find in the larger suburbs. 

#4: Casselman 

Casselman is a village community located on the banks of the South Nation River about 55KM southeast of downtown Ottawa. Situated along Highway 417 and easily accessible from Ottawa via the highway, the town is surrounded by rural areas and farmland, contributing to its peaceful and rural charm. It’s an ideal place for those looking to appreciate a true small town atmosphere. Real estate in the area includes detached homes, town houses and some condos. Some properties are situated on larger lots. Living in an out lying area like Casselman can come with its perks such as lower housing prices and lighter traffic. With a population of about 4,000 people, residents will find a unique living environment unlike that in the busier areas. Joroma Construction and Saca Homes are two builders who are developing communities in the area with modern styles available for purchase. While Casselman is a smaller community, it still provides essential services, including local shops, grocery stores, restaurants, and recreational facilities. The Casselview Golf & Country Club is one of the popular spots in the area.  The High Falls Conservation Area is also popular for those looking to enjoy nature or a day on the water. Casselman is a bilingual community, with both English and French being widely spoken, with 80% of the population speaking French as their first language. The Casselman Railway station is a stop on the VIA Rail train route with arriving trains from Ottawa. Casselman fosters a close-knit community atmosphere, with friendly and welcoming residents. The town often hosts local events and gatherings, encouraging community engagement and interaction.

#5: Embrun

Located about 30 minutes South east of downtown Ottawa is Embrun, Ontario. The community is located in the township of Russel with a population that comes in at just over 8,500 people. Embrun has a significant French-speaking population, and the town’s history is rooted in its Francophone heritage. French is commonly spoken alongside English in the community. Embrun’s economy is diverse, with a mix of small businesses, services, and agricultural activities. Many residents work in the surrounding agricultural sector, while  others commute into the Ottawa area for work but enjoy the perks of living in a small town atmosphere, which includes lower housing prices. The town is surrounded by beautiful landscapes, farmlands, and green spaces. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and exploring nearby parks and trails. There are several schools in and around the area as well as a sports dome, arena and exercise facilities.  Embrun offers essential services such as grocery stores, restaurants, banks, and retail shops. While it may not have the same level of urban amenities as larger cities, residents can find most necessities within the town. This makes the area attractive for growing families.  If there are services or shopping that can’t be found in the immediate area, the half hour drive into the city is not a problem for most.  The Tuque de Broue is a popular craft brewery based in Embrun and has made a positive impact on the local community. Just a 10 minute drive from the area is Calypso Theme Waterpark, one of the Ottawa area’s most popular attractions during the summer months with 35 water slides, wave pools and more.  While Embrun is a smaller town, it still offers various cultural and recreational activities, including local events, sports leagues, and arts and crafts workshops. Residents say that the crime rate is extremely low as well and the community is very welcoming.  Those who live in Embrun are proud residents and thoroughly enjoy the tight knit community and lifestyle that the area provides. 

So there you have it – in this post, we’ve discussed some of the top places to consider living in Ottawa’s East end. From Gloucester to Orleans, to Rockland, Casselman and Embrun, there is something for everyone’s lifestyle preferences and budget.


If you’re thinking about living in Ottawa, have questions about any of these communities, or would like to chat about the market please don’t hesitate to get in touch. For more information, please visit our website and let’s create a plan to help you achieve your real estate goals.