Barrhaven Talks

Barrhaven imagined.


Over two evenings in November, a number of residents from across Barrhaven, Ontario came together for Civics Talks – a process developed by Synapcity to help people understand the power of coming together, discover a shared connection to place, and inspire people to take action to make their neighbourhoods even better. This kind of dialogue is meant to promote CityMaking – openness, risk-taking in a safe space, and creativity where people become empowered to look at city and neighbourhood issues together and form different perspectives. Barrhaven Talks was delivered in partnership with the South Nepean Community Health Centre.

During the two facilitated sessions, participants got to know and learn from each other, and share their various experiences of how they live in their neighbourhoods and community. They talked about what they value most about Barrhaven and developed a shared vision of what they would like their community to look like in the next 20 years. They explored some of the challenges to achieving that vision, and identified ways to address these barriers and take actions to create positive change.


Participants value the small town feel of Barrhaven. They recognize that their community is the fastest growing in Ottawa, with people coming from all over Canada and the world. It also has the most families with children.

They want to keep the small town feel while seeing their community continue to thrive economically, socially and culturally. Improved accessible transportation, more indoor and outdoor public spaces and more channels for news of local events would help to encourage people to participate in local activities. Designing events for an increasingly diverse population would make it more comfortable for more people to come together and make new connections.

Participants noted that a sense of responsibility and commitment is key to creating a deeper sense of community cohesion. They determined to stay connected and plan to meet on a regular basis to keep their going and maintain momentum.


If you’d like to learn more, download the report here.