With more than 30 years of experience helping people to buy properties in the Ottawa area, I’m always excited when I find new tools to help clients in their search.

So I’m happy to tell you about a fantastic new link at www.nancybenson.com that allows you to tour a variety of Ottawa neighbourhoods without leaving home.

Let’s say you’re looking for a centrally located condo and you’ve come across the upscale one-bedroom (with den) apartment in the Hudson Park building. As of this writing in September of 2018, it’s one of my current listings, located at 235 Kent Street in downtown Ottawa.

This elegant, art deco-inspired building was designed by star Ottawa architect Barry Hobin for Charlesfort Developments, the company known for its many stylishly designed projects around the city.

On my site, under the “Listings” tab, you can see professional photos of this unit, you can take a virtual tour and watch a video to get a sense of this property, with its thoughtful use of space, gleaming hardwood floors, granite counters and balcony with lovely southwest view. Other attractions include the building’s rooftop terrace, airy lobby, social room and gym.

But if you’re new to our city or perhaps have been living on the other side of town and are considering relocating, you might not be familiar with the immediate neighbourhood or the amenities you’ll find.

Thanks to the new link on my site, all you have to do is click on the “Neighbourhood amenities” tab just underneath the description of the property. You will be taken to an interactive “HoodQ” page with an overview of the neighbourhood and some of its attractions. We’ve added this tab to many of my current listings, and my team is working on adding more.

At the HoodQ page, you can choose to view a one-page report or a more detailed report of the area you’re considering. You can then print the report to keep for your files if you want to compare properties later as you look for your new home.

In the case of the Kent Street apartment, for example, you’d learn on the HoodQ page that the nearest transit stop is just a two-minute walk away. In reality, though, residents who live at this building and work downtown simply walk to work. It’s one of the attractions of the building.

Under the “Parks and Rec” heading, the site tells you that 235 Kent “is located in park heaven, with four parks and a long list of recreation facilities within a 20-minute walk from this address.”

These parks and facilities include Dundonald Park on Somerset Street, Jack Purcell Community Centre and park on Elgin Street, and the Sens Rink of Dreams. That’s the refrigerated outdoor rink that’s open to the public in the winter months at Ottawa City Hall off of Laurier Avenue, less than 1 km away and about an 11-mnute walk from the Kent Street building.

HoodQ says other facilities within a 20-minute walk include a swimming pool, three playgrounds, a tennis court, a ball diamond, a skateboard park, a wading pool.

Under the “Convenience” heading, the HoodQ page tells you there is a Tim Horton’s just a two-minute walk from the building on Bank Street. And to work off that doughnut, you can also be at a gym within two minutes.

If you were moving into this building with children, HoodQ says there are eight schools in the area, including Elgin Street Public School and Lisgar Collegiate Institute. The page shows you their distance from this property, and allows you to click on links to the websites of specific schools to learn more detailed information.

The Kent Street building is just one example, to give you an idea of how the new link works and what it can tell you about an area you are considering. The information is supplied by HoodQ, which describes itself as “Canada’s largest provider of curated address and neighbourhood reports.”

I think it gives buyers a great overview of the neighbourhood, particularly if they are unfamiliar with the area or are new to Ottawa.  Of course, with my years of experience in this city, I can offer you more detailed information and my own thoughts on any area you’re considering.

Feel free to try out the new links on my website. On the listings tab on my main page, you can click on the area of the city that interests you. I have properties in many areas of the city, from the established neighbourhoods like Rockcliffe, New Edinburgh, the Glebe and Westboro to suburban areas south of the city core.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling property, I’d love to meet with you and chat about the current market and some of the services my team and I offer at Nancy Benson and Associates.

You can contact me through my website, or give me a call at 613-747-4747.