Beacon Hill is a neighbourhood located in Beacon Hill-Cyrville Ward in the east end of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Beacon Hill was a part of the City of Gloucester until it was amalgamated with the new city of Ottawa in 2001. It is sometimes colloquially referred to as “The Beacs”,”Beacon”,”The Hill” or “The BH”.
Beacon Hill is a primarily residential area, built in the 1960s and ’70s. It consists of two parts, Beacon Hill North and Beacon Hill South, divided by Montreal Road. It includes the Robert O. Pickard sewage treatment plant and three high schools, Colonel By, Gloucester HS, and Lester B. Pearson Catholic High School. It is bounded on the east by the Greenbelt, including Ruisseau Green’s Creek ravine area, to the south by Highway 174, and on the west by the older neighbourhoods of Cardinal Heights (south of Montreal Road) and Rothwell Heights (north of Montreal Road).
Beacon Hill North had a population of 10,693 while Beacon Hill South had a population of 7,312 (18,005 total) according to the Canada 2011 Census.
It is most likely that the community drew its name from a lighthouse in the Ottawa River, downstream from Duck Island. It is thought that the light from the river could be seen from Naskapi Dr. (the top of the hill), hence Beacon Hill. Though the lighthouse is no longer in use, its foundation is still visible from the bike path. One of the key hangouts among young people in Beacon Hill is secret park or ‘seeks’ which is located behind T.D McGee Catholic School.
The ‘Hill’ the name refers to is actually a ridge running roughly parallel to the Ottawa River. A large, open area of the ridge is a municipal park (Ski Hill Park) and is located behind the Beacon Hill Mall on Ogilvie Road. Ski Hill Park is generally referred to as ‘Zeller’s Hill’ by residents who lived in the community in the early 1990s when a Zellers department store occupied the Beacon Hill Mall. For the newer residents, it has been renamed ‘Shoppers’ Hill’.
- Le Phare Elementary School (French Immersion Public)
- Robert Hopkins Elementary School (English/French Immersion Public)
- Henry Munro Middle School (English/French Immersion Public)
- Colonel By Secondary School (English/French Immersion Public, with International Baccalaureate Program)
- École élémentaire catholique La Vérendrye (French Catholic)
- École élémentaire publique Séraphin-Marion (French Public) now in the building of the former Lamira Dow Billings Public School which closed following the 2000-2001 school year.
- Thomas D’Arcy McGee Catholic School (English Catholic)
- Gloucester High School
- Lester B. Pearson Catholic High School
- Brother Andre Catholic School (former Elmridge Catholic)