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Traditional Neighborhood Development in Eastern Ontario

Written by Land Ark

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September23, 2021

What is Traditional Neighborhood Development?

Inspired by the pre-1950s neighborhoods that were centered on community, convenience, and accessibility, Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) is the solution to many of the challenges spawned by suburban sprawl of the last few decades. Developers following the tenants of TND incorporate a variety of housing types to accommodate all ages and stages of life, a town center where residents can gather and socialize, additional public spaces like parks and playgrounds, mixed use planning that incorporates commercial space, interconnected and walkable streets to increase safety, and a focus on sustainable development. 

Why is Tradition Neighborhood Development important?

TND seeks to combat the reliance on cars to live day-to-day. In developments where homes are too spread out for neighbors to know one another, they must get into a car to do simple tasks like get groceries or work out, and businesses that make daily life convenient and enjoyable — like restaurants and boutiques — are too far away. In these types of developments, homes may lack interest and variety, and there’s no opportunity to meet neighbors in order to establish a sense of community. 

Studies have shown that traditional neighborhoods are healthier — not just because of the physical benefits of walking or biking more often — but because of the opportunities to easily nurture relationships and feel connected to a place.

A row of home mock ups from Watercolour Westport.

Benefits of Traditional Neighborhood Development

Here are the primary benefits of TND, as summarized by the National League of Cities

  • Creates walkable neighborhoods
  • Brings life to communities by allowing mixtures of uses
  • Encourages transportation mode options
  • Protects open space
  • Preserves “village center” and public spaces concept
  • Creates communities designed for live, work and play
  • Reduces vehicle congestion

How Watercolour Westport Incorporates TND

Watercolour Westport will be anchored by remarkably-designed, cottage-style homes that are sustainably built and so energy efficient that they leave a zero carbon footprint. But it is really the community surrounding them that is most extraordinary. 

Watercolour Westport will be walkable, not only within the community via a network of small streets, sidewalks, and trails, but also to nearby neighborhoods — like downtown Westport — where you’ll find boutiques, restaurants, and businesses that serve the needs of residents. While you may need a car to travel to other areas of Eastern Ontario, once you’re here, everything you need on a day-to-day basis is close by. 

This community will build a variety of housing types, so that people of all ages and stages of life can interact and build a sense of community. All homes are cottage-style, with warm wood accents, functional floor plans, welcoming front porches, and private outdoor spaces, but they range in size and floor plan to accommodate all needs. From 2 bedrooms to 5, single or double garages, and bungalow, loft, or 2-story design, there’s a home to suit every lifestyle.

Though sustainable building practices are not a primary tenant of TND, oftentimes they go hand-in-hand. Watercolour Westport is being designed to blend right into the natural wonderland that surrounds it, without disrupting land, air, or sea. From sustainable materials like X to energy-efficient systems that produce no carbon footprint, the developers are committed to being a good steward of the environment, every step of the way. 

If you are interested in seeing a hallmark example of Traditional Neighborhood Development, come visit Watercolour Westport on the Upper Rideau in Eastern Ontario. It will be hard to envision life any other way