Seeking solutions to West Centretown's 'food desert'

By CBC News Ottawa (All in a Day), December 9, 2020 (this lack of services make it hard to have walkable neighborhoods)

Ottawa's West Centretown neighbourhood is a "food desert" whose residents need easier access to essential groceries, according to a new study.  

Emilie Hayes, community engagement manager for Somerset West Community Health Centre, which produced the study, said families in the neighbourhood, which includes Chinatown, Little Italy, Rochester Heights and LeBreton Flats, have few options to buy affordable fresh food.

She said the area's sole full-service grocery store closed in 2006, leaving residents with only smaller stores to fill their pantries.

(...)According to the study, West Centretown is considered a low-income area where nearly one-quarter of the housing is subsidized and many residents rely on public transportation to get around.

"It's much more difficult for [them] to hop in a car ... to go get all of their groceries," Hayes said. "And so having something close by in the neighbourhood that's affordable, it's really important for them."

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