This part of the city extends from Baseline Rd south, and from the Rideau River west to Bells Corners and almost Kanata. Much of this area was built (or at least built up) in the 1970s or more recently. It has a number of good shopping districts and shopping centres, which have benefited economically from Ottawa's more restrictive shopping hours.
Nepean Township, was established in 1792 and originally included what is now the central area of Ottawa west of the Rideau River, and was named after Sir Evan Nepean (1751-1822), British Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department just prior to that time. Nepean's quarry provided the sandstone blocks for construction of the Parliament Buildings. Nepean's geographic boundaries of Nepean have shifted west over this time. Its original township hall was in Westboro, until its annexation by Ottawa in 1949. After that, Nepean's centre moved to Bells Corners, and the residential areas quickly expanded into rural areas over the 1960s & 1970s. The community was also popular with Ottawa shoppers because of Nepean's longer permitted retail hours. By 1978, Nepean was incorporated as a city, and by 2001, the population had grown to 125,000.
Nepean is home to several high-tech industry leaders such as Nortel Networks, JDS Uniphase and Gandalf Technologies. The former city hall, Ben Franklin Place located in Centrepointe now serves as a government office & client service centre, as well as a branch of the Ottawa Library, and home to the Centrepointe Theatre.
Nepean, located along the south and west edges of Ottawa, was a city until it was amalgamated in 2001 along with 10 other municipalities in the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton, to become the new city of Ottawa. However, "Nepean" continues to refer to the area south of Baseline Road in the city's west end by the area's 150,000 residents.
Nepean is best known for housing south of Baseline Rd, much of which was built in the 60s and 70s. Rideau View overlooks Mooney's Bay and Hog's Back, is a mix of townhomes and high-rise apartments. Between Fisher & the Merivale shopping district are the communities of Fisher Heights, Skyline, Parkwood Hills, Carleton Heights and Fisher Glen. These communities are bounded on the south by light industrial land. Between Merivale and Woodroffe, wrapped around Algonquin College campus are the neighbourhoods of City View, Ryan Farm, Meadowlands and Crestview. Further south and into the Greenbelt, are the smaller (and newer) communities of Hillsdale, Tanglewood, Merivale Gardens and Grenfell Glen. These neighbourhoods are close to the Baseline Transitway stop, which connects to downtown via the Ottawa River Parkway.
West of Woodroffe, and centred around Greenbank are newer communities of Centrepointe (which also Nepean's Civic Square), Briar Green, Craig Henry, Manordale, Leslie Park, Trend Village and Arlington Woods. These communities combine single family homes with townhomes, many for rental. Homes in this area tend to run $175,000 to $197,000.
The older but elegant community of Qualicum, with many executive homes, is adjacent to the Queensway Carleton Hospital and the Greenbelt. Nestled in the middle of the Greenbelt is the very busy Bells Corners, best known for its retail strip. The neighbourhoods of Lynwood Village, Arbeatha Park and Westcliffe Estates are never more than a few streets from Greenbelt. Close to the Ottawa River are the communities of Bayshore and Crystal Beach, nestled around beautiful riverside Andrew Haydon Park.
Nepean includes a number of rural neighbourhoods on Prince of Wales Drive (Hwy 16) along the Rideau River, like Heart's Desire, Rideau Glen and Clear View. Also small and cozy is Fallowfield Village, out on Richmond Rd. On the south side of Greenbelt is the community of Barrhaven, which includes the developments of Pheasant Run, Fraservale, Knollbrook, Longfields and Davidson Heights, bounded on the south by a conservation area the length of the Rideau-bound Jock River.
Nepean offers a mix of homes and price points, with townhomes and smaller single family homes starting at $120,000, mid-sized homes at $150,000, and condominiums ranging from $80,000 to $140,000.
This community has more than its fair share of schools, primarily because it is such a young community. There are 18 public elementary and 14 Catholic elementary schools, 7 public and 4 Catholic high schools. Algonquin College is in the middle of the community and Carleton University is close by.
The area is renowned for its shopping strips and daily late night shopping, primarily along Merivale Rd, and in Bells Corners. There are a number of malls including Meadowlands and Merivale along (where else?) Merivale Rd, and Bayshore on Richmond Rd at the Queensway.
Nepean is built in and around the NCC Greenbelt, offering much open space and recreation. The community has 2 golf courses, a driving range, 3 marinas, an equestrian park, a toboggan hill (at Bell high school), and two beaches on the Ottawa River. It offers great cross country skiing at Pinhey Forest and at Stoney Swamp (which also has some heritage structures). There is a multi-screen cinema by Bayshore and a performing arts Theatre at Centrepointe.