The Importance of Walkability

How easy is it to get around without a car in Heron Park?

Earlier this year, I was involved in my first minor fender bender. I’d been lucky enough to never be without a car for more than a day up until then. My car was still driveable fortunately, so I had the benefit of seeking out a body shop at my own leisure.

I should note that just a few months prior to involuntarily partaking in a game of bumper cars, my husband and I had decided to take the leap from two cars down to one. I am fortunate enough to work from home, while he commutes downtown via bus or by bike, so we found that both our cars were collecting a hefty amount of dust. We found that one car was more than enough, so I parted ways with my noble steed last fall.

Fast forward again to my duct-taped bumper. I chose Art’s Body Shop on the corner of Heron and Kaladar. Yes, that place I’ve passed by thousands of times on foot without ever glancing at. I mean, if I’m going to walk home in the dead of winter I want to make it easy on myself. Rave reviews on Google sealed the deal. I scheduled an appointment for Monday and that same day, Art informed me that he’d need the car until Thursday at least.

“Yikes,” I thought. A whole week without a car. Could we do it?

We got through that week without the slightest hitch, which made me appreciate my neighbourhood even more. We needed some groceries, so we walked ten minutes to Farm Boy. Ran out of toothpaste – sashayed to Shoppers. Needed a knick knack for around the house – hoofed it to Canadian Tire. And finally when I got that call to pick up my car, I walked five minutes to Art’s Body Shop, thanked him for his work, and parked the car snuggly in the garage to sit for another week. I’d always known how walkable this neighbourhood was, especially compared to the more suburban cities I’d lived in before, but I didn’t truly appreciate it until the luxury of four wheels was taken away.


Author: Sara Dunbrook
Sara has lived in Heron Park on and off since 2009, when she moved into the neighbourhood in her second year at Carleton University. She has lived in four different homes in Heron Park. Sara works in the tourism industry and enjoys playing sports in her free time.

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