Little Italy, Ottawa
Italian immigrants originally settled the area around 1900 and founded the St. Anthony of Padua Church in 1913 which has been a community hub ever since. A second wave of immigrants from Italy and elsewhere arrived following World War II, deepening the neighbourhood’s multi-ethnic identity.
Preston Street is the heart of Ottawa’s Little Italy neighbourhood. Renamed Corso Italia to reflect the Italian heritage of the area, it offers tree-lined streets, award-winning Italian and international cuisine and independent boutiques, making this one of Ottawa’s most inviting neighbourhoods.
In the 1960s a large section of the poorer neighbourhood was demolished, and replaced with the High School of Commerce, today the Adult High School in 1967. Since 1975, each June the neighbourhood hosts the Italian Week festival, Ottawa’s celebration of Italian culture.
In 2018, Ottawa’s tallest tower, the Claridge Icon, was built to the south end of the neighborhood at the intersection of Preston and Carling. Nearly a dozen projects are either proposed, approved or under construction, including three buildings that will claim the top three spots on the city’s list of tallest buildings. These projects are fueled by a recent service improvement announcement for the O-Train Trillium Line which will result in an eight-minute headway between trains at Carling Station as well as a new community design plan calling for high density near the transit station.