Barrhaven is a rapidly growing full-services community of more than 75,000 persons located in the southwestern part of Ottawa’s urban area, about 17 km. southwest of downtown. A greenbelt, Agriculture Canada’s 1,000 acre experimental and horse farms in its northern part separates Barrhaven from the remainder of Ottawa’s urban area. On the community’s west is farmland. The Rideau River forms its eastern boundary.
Barrhaven contains many parks and recreation areas and several bicycle and hiking trails. It is also home to the large Walter Baker Sports Centre which contains a library and other facilities, such as an Olympic swimming pool. The large Nepean Sports Complex is on the community’s north side.
Barrhaven is well connected to the main urban area of Ottawa by several stations on the OC Transitway network where a transfer can be made to Ottawa's Rapid Transit system. Intercity VIA Rail connections can be made at Fallowfield railway station to go to the main VIA station in Ottawa and to Montreal and Toronto.
Major streets connecting Barrhaven to Ottawa’s main urban are Woodroffe, Greenbank and Prince of Wales. Strandherd, a major arterial street, traverses across Barrhaven east-west and connects to the Ottawa South neighbourhood across the Rideau River via a new bridge. Strandherd also fronts Barrhaven’s central commercial area.
Barrhaven’s central commercial area is in the centre of the community. It contains a Cineplex and large box stores.
Highway 416, a provincial north-south freeway, forms the western boundary of Barrhaven which connects with Highway 401, Canada’s major arterial freeway, which connects Toronto and Montreal, two border crossings and points west and east. Highway 416 also connects with Highway 417, the Queensway, in western Ottawa, which traverses to points north and easterly to Montreal.
Barrhaven’s core or Old Barrhaven is in the centre of the community. New residential development is on its west and south. Most of Barrhaven’s newer development is medium density semi-detached, row and townhouses east and west of the core. Newer detached homes are in its southern end.
Barrhaven contains several English and French public and Catholic schools.
Barrhaven has several medical clinics.