The city's East End is the area east of the Rideau Canal, and west of the Rideau River in the North and highway 417 further south. This part of the city has ready access to the various parkways and parklands along the Rideau Rive and Canal. This area includes the Byward Market (Lowertown) and spreads southward to Sandy Hill and Alta Vista.
Lowertown and Byward Market offer excellent proximity to nightlife and dining, with its older row housing and newer condos. Sandy Hill is much quieter, fronting on Strathcona Park and the University of Ottawa, and has many older fixer-uppers being restored. The area between the River and the Canal, south of the Queensway has many older brick homes from before the 1940s, on both sides of the charming Bank Street retail district. The areas closer to Carleton University is popular for student housing.
The Billings Bridge area dates back to the early 1900s and has many older brick homes. The area south of the River, known as Alta Vista, was developed during the 1950s and has higher priced single family dwellings, especially in Applecrest Acres, Faircrest Hights, Guildwood Estates, and Ridgemont. Affordable rental accommodations tend to be clustered in the south along Heron Rd.
This area is rich in educational opportunities, with 6 public and 4 Catholic elementary schools, and 3 public and 2 catholic high schools. This area also includes Ottawa U, Carleton U, St Paul university, and the Rideau (lees Ave) campus of Algonquin College.
This area has excellent shopping, including the Byward Market, Rideau Street, the south end of Bank Street. There are also a number of malls including Rideau Centre in the core, Billings Bridge in the middle, and Herongate in the south east part of the community. The Queensway gives quick access to St Laurent Shopping Centre to the east as well.
The area offers up the bulk of the city's museums and historical attractions, not to mention the charming historical areas of Bytown and around U of O. There are a number of cafes and bars that provide ample opportunity for people-watching. The area is bordered by the Rideau Canal and Rideau River, each with a set of recreational pathways perfect for biking and inline skating. Brighton Beach, just east of Brewer Park on the Rideau River has a beach. The area has 5 swimming pools and 4 ice arenas. In the winter, the Rideau Canal is perfect for ice skating. The RA Club has its extensive recreational facilities right beside Billings Bridge. The southern part of the community has easy access to Mooney's Bay for boating, athletics and swimming. On the Ottawa River, the Ottawa Rowing Club has its boathouse. In the south are the Billings Estate Museum and the Science & Technology Museum, off St Laurent Blvd.