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Choosing a Sustainable Neighbourhood in Canada

sustainabilitySustainability is trendy. From clothes to cars to homes, it seems that everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. However, in order to ensure the longevity of the planet, people are beginning to realise that sustainable living is not just a passing fad, but a way of life.

Here are some tips that Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) suggest that home buyers follow when looking for a new home:

DRIVE LESS – As we know, the carbon monoxide released into the air by motor vehicles hurt the environment. Reducing car usage can significantly help the ecosystem, not to mention your pocketbook. Owning and operating a car in Canada costs around to $9,000 a year. In addition, people that live in strictly residential neighbourhoods, on the urban fringe, use 1/3 less greenhouse gases than those living in the city.

CONSERVE HEAT – Not all of us are able to freely choose the type of home to move in to. If you are ever in such a position, it is important to note that a two-storey detached home loses 20% more heat than a semi-detached home, and 50% more heat than the middle home in a row of townhouses… even if they are all the same size! Any place with shared walls is going to be able to conserve more heat and energy than one with separate or detached walls.

GO ON FOOT – The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada recommends that people get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Choosing a neighbourhood or community that is within walking distance of grocery stores, shops, schools and other services can serve as a benefit for your health, and the environment. It goes without saying that not all neighbourhoods have access to conveniently located shopping areas. But choosing to stay in a close-knit community that you are still able to stroll within and meet your neighbours makes a statement as well. What’s more, mass transit is always more available in more compact areas than ones that are spread out.

Right now, sustainable living is not appealing to the mass, but if you are looking for a small primary or secondary home, close proximity to shopping locales, ways to spend less time commuting in a car, and a friendly neighbourhood atmosphere, you are already on your way to thinking “green” and living sustainably. To find a home in the Ottawa area, contact Chris Coveny at

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