Does Bells Corners suck or rock? Shithole or paradise? Discussion on Reddit:
Well, it has a trailer park so that’s pretty cool.
And it’s rightfully on Vanier Road.
A phenomenal place to invest in real estate before DND finally moves to the old Nortel campus.
Hopefully with DND moving there it gets some attention from City Hall but the councillor there is a tool and when they redid Robertson and Moodie, he voted to make it worse for pedestrians to shave a few minutes time from through commuters from Kanata.
Bells Corners strip blues.
The Bells Corner FREE bike-taxi is always good for a laugh.
An efficient place for me to shop and get shit done, but it’s charmless. That one long strip of businesses feels like a dusty, open-air mall in desperate need of renovation.
Westcliffe Estates and the other parts on the far western edge are decent. Mostly families.
A lot of strip mall hell — the main drag has always been pretty ugly — and I’m not even sure who’s shopping in the strip malls; I think most residents go to Kanata or Bayshore to buy stuff. It looks like there are a lot of amenities, but if you look a little closer you realise it comes down to a blah Loblaws, a McDonalds, a Giant Tiger, and a lot of gas stations. Not exactly interesting shopping.
Safe, at least at the western edge (I have relatives who’ve been there since that part was built).
Remember when BC was the place to go for folks from the boonies? When we wanted to go to Canadian Tire it was Carleton Place, Arnprior or Bells Corners!
I had no idea. I remember going in the other direction — a trip out to the Van Leeuwen furniture store on the eastern edge of Kanata was a big “OMG, there are people out here?”
Does that also explain the Bel-Air Motel? You had to drive there if you wanted to have a sleazy affair?
I’m also pretty sure that the BC McDonalds was the first (or second) one in the city.
The BC McDo ditched its caboose and its awesome conveyor belt.
Run down. It needs to be revitalized. The bus routes there are awful too. I don’t know why OC Transpo had to change them so much when the service there has not improved.
I don’t know why it gets a bad rap, but it does. Crime-wise it seems safe but there is low-income housing (then again there’s low-income housing in Westboro and Hintonburg was no picnic before it gentrified…) so maybe that’s it? Or maybe it was the abandoned houses along Moodie or the old Vox restaurant?
“The older part” is not getting much love but I’d take anything built by Campeau in Lynwood Village over the newer townhomes in Westcliffe Estates. Large 75’x120′ lots, mature trees, easy walk to NCC trails/Bruce Pit. LCBO, Beer Store and groceries all walkable (if you brave Robertson Rd.) or a very short drive to Bayshore or Kanata for anything else you need, and it’s close to 416 and 417.
“Old” Lynwood was built by Teron, “new” Lynwood by EdStan (a breakoff company from Teron). Rock-solid construction, better than Campeau (I’ve lived in both Campeau and Teron built homes).
Given that its surrounded by the Greenbelt, I’ve always though it was a west-end version of Blackburn Hamlet.
My experience was only having worked in Bells Corners on Fitzgerald Rd. and a friend who lived on Tyrrell back when it was built in the early 2000s. Used to start at his place for bike rides on the NCC trails.
The community is very much a car-centric design. Large parking lots to navigate, strip malls and not great transit. Still, if I was choosing a suburban area to live in, I’d pick it ahead of most newer areas of Barrhaven, Orleans or Kanata.
I bought a house two years ago in Westcliffe Estates. Depending where you are headed, transit is actually pretty good, with the 97 at the end of the street going downtown, an express route downtown in the peak, and the 118 running out to Kanata or up Baseline past Algonquin.
Cycling access to paths is also straightforward.
Overall, I feel Bells Corners is often overlooked, with Westcliffe Estates and Lynwood Village offering some beautiful homes with easy access to 417/416, recreation in the green belt and all basic services. Sure, the retail strip is ugly and uninspired, but as others point out, there are some good restaurants and all the other things you need close by. With the DND moving in I expect we will see some form of resurgence.
It’s an easy target for jokes and ridicule, but it is actually not as terrible as working in North/South Kanata or, heaven forbid, Barrhaven. If I were to describe it, I would label it as underrated:
* Biking in from downtown is not nearly as awful as it would originally seem (as you can take NCC bike paths for the majority of it outside of winter). Unless you want to brave the awful stretch of Robertson/Richmond from Baseline to Bells Corners take the sidewalks and it’s fairly manageable.
* Food options are surprisingly decent: Thai, Indian, Pho, Lapointe’s, Mongolian Village, pubs.
Butchery and Vera’s Burgers is actually on par with any great butcher/deli/burger joint in the city and not over-the-top expensive either. It is also nice to have a Kardish too.
General Dynamics is the largest employer.
I work there and there’s quite a few large tech/government employers in the core of BC.
The older established residential area is really quite nice. Mostly bungalows but many mature trees and pretty quiet but walking distance to the main shopping areas.
And a word about the trailer park…I think it is a really interesting spot in a very lovely setting that is close to urban amenities. You can tell many of the residents are well-established and there seems to be a strong community feel in there and everything is well maintained. Again, this is just my casual, passerby impression and hope they can resist the constant barrage of developers wanting to shut it down and erect another stupid strip-mall/office park.
Good food choices, nice variety, and the butcher shop/Vera’s is awesome.
Also a gem of a store, Ottawa Fasteners. But besides the restos, The Butchery, and Ottawa Fasteners, it’s pretty uninspired. Great access to the 416/417 though.
Quite good Indian, in the strip mall with the Zola’s where I think Zola’s is the only business that has managed to hang on over the decades there. Loads of pizza delivery options coming out of Kanata. Also, if you’re at the western end, you can go for a pretty nice wander in the Greenbelt there.
I went for a late-night bike ride through the hidden trailer park once and was pretty impressed. It was dead silent, and, yes, everything was well maintained and tidy.
Actually, maybe the area needs a little more love. Low-priced townhouses + no shootings + a good number of nicer homes but no McMansions + walkable streets (off the main drag) + places to eat and…yeah, hmm. A public outdoor pool, a thing irritatingly lacking downtown. Quick access to the Queensway, too.
On the commercial front, a bit lost. It’s sandwiched between big box communities but isn’t pedestrian friendly so it doesn’t have much charm. Terrible public transit. Scrubby main drag. Perpetually forgotten by city reps.
On the residential front, that very much depends on which part. There are three distinct residential sections, all very different from one other.
The main drag is a dream compared to the garbage that is St. Joseph Blvd (Orléans) which has no bidirectional middle lane, a ton of ghetto looking ‘house businesses’ and a ton of traffic with horrible bus service.
Zellers for cheap good quality clothes.
It has that small town feel to it. Being surrounded by greenbelt and highway it has no room for expansion and hasn’t really “grown” in 30+ years. If you live there you would never have to leave. It has all the necessities. LCBO/Beer Store, music shop, grocery stores, sex shop, smoke shop, fire station, two Tim Hortons, a library, insurance brokers, trailer park, fancy restaurants, fast food joints, a brewery, public pool, pharmacies, doctors, dentists, banks, car dealerships and garages, and even a high tech military development company (General Dynamics) that used to have an American tank and chopper on site.
The city of angels. Hells Angels that is.
There’s no room for it to expand and therefore it’s stuck being rundown due to the amount of low-income housing. It has no style, charm or soul. It’s a purely purpose-built area with no attempt to add beauty to its streets. That said there are some great restaurants hidden in some of those crappy strip malls but the second you leave the restaurant you just want to get back in your car and leave.
I actually think it’s a bonus that it can’t expand. Otherwise, it would have become just another Kanata or Barrhaven monster years ago. The problem is, there hasn’t been any vision for the place in forever, and the only “improvements” have been to widen the main road, essentially turning it into a place to efficiently get the hell out of (pedestrians and cyclists take their life in their hands on that road now). It’s a shame because it does have some good unique characteristics, and a great location.
A blight zone? As someone who grew up in Bells Corners, that’s my opinion every time I’m in the area.
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