Out with the old, in with the new
Heron Gate is a neighbourhood in the south end of Ottawa. It is bounded to the north by Heron Road, to the west by Heron-Walkley Park, and by Walkley Road to the south. The centre of this community is the former Herongate Mall, most of which was torn down in 2012. It is now known as Herongate Square, a large plaza which contains several stand-alone stores and a strip mall.
Retailers at Herongate Square include Food Basics, Rexall Pharmacy, Dollarama, and PetSmart. Services include Scotiabank, a dentist, barbershop, nail salon, and Goodlife Fitness. There are also several fast food options at this plaza including Subway, Shawarma House, Little Caesars Pizza, A&W, Thai Express, Kabab House, and Popeyes Chicken.
Other nearby shopping includes the South Keys shopping centre, which is anchored by a cinema, several restaurants, and big box stores including Wal-Mart and Chapters, and Billings Bridge Shopping Centre, with its more than 90 stores and services.
Heron Gate is a densely populated neighbourhood with many multi-family dwellings, including high-rise rental apartments and townhouses. Some new developments were completed on the west side of the neighbourhood between 2006 and 2008, and three six-storey apartment rentals are slated to be built soon at the corner of Heron Road and Sandalwood Drive. These mid-rise apartment for rent will feature more than 400 bachelor, one, two, and three-bedroom units. Rent prices in Heron Gate tend to be lower than the city average.
Life & Style
Several nice parks in this area help to balance out the urban sprawl, including Fairlea Park, Heron-Walkley Park, Sandalwood Park, and Hetherington Park, which is home to the Albion-Heatherington Recreation Centre. This rec centre features: a large gym; a wide selection of drop-in sports for children, youth and adults; martial arts classes; music programs; and programs for preschoolers.
There are also two other rec centres in the area. The Jim Durrell Recreation Centre at 1265 Walkley Road offers a wide selection of programs including hockey, ringette, sledge hockey, public skating and figure skating, on two NHL-sized ice surfaces. The Heron Road Community Centre/Heron Seniors Centre at 1480 Heron Road offers many recreational activities for all ages, with dance classes, piano lessons, summer camps, sports, martial arts, and fitness classes. The centre features a full gym, and a weight and cardio room.
Whether you drive or take public transportation, getting to the rest of Ottawa is easy, with a few key OC Transpo bus routes running through the community, and fast access to major roadways including St. Laurent Boulevard, Highway 417, Bank Street, and the Airport Parkway.
Some residents have expressed concern about crime in Heron Gate, and as a result the South-East Ottawa Community Health Centre hired a community developer in 2015 to help bring residents together to foster a more tight-knit community, one that feels more secure.