BZ Real Ogden Portraits Ivan Carroll

Ivan Carroll stands in front of his Central Ogden home.

'I think people here take pride in authenticity.'

Ivan Carroll moved to Ogden from Utah County four years ago.

He says it was work that brought him here, but the city’s character is what makes him stay.

Carroll lives on Jackson Avenue, in the heart of historic east-central Ogden. He said when he moved to the city, he quickly discovered it was unique, standing apart from other Utah towns.

“Pretty much anywhere you go in Utah, you can find a church every couple of blocks,” Carroll said. “That’s true in Ogden too, but you’ll walk past five churches, and they’ll all be of different denominations. You don’t really find that anywhere else in this state.”

Carroll, 34, said he’s found the people of Ogden to generally be more inclusive and less concerned with appearances compared with other areas of Utah.

“You’re not expected to be a certain type of person in Ogden,” he said. “I think people here take pride in authenticity.”

And Carroll, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, feels Ogden’s diversity goes beyond religion. He said the city features a breadth of people, landscapes, architecture, businesses and activities. He said Salt Lake City is comparable in terms of diversity, but it lacks Ogden’s charm. 

“Salt Lake City, that kind of density isn’t for me,” he said. “In Ogden, it lives like a bigger city, but also has that small town feel. Ogden is relatively walkable, there are all kinds of different things to do, lots of choices in restaurants, the arts, but there’s also a really strong sense of community.”

Carroll also said the city’s trail system and its proximity to downtown is unparalleled.

“You’ve got the downtown area, and then this amazing trail system,” he said. “And they’re both within walking distance of my house.” 

But the city isn’t perfect, Carroll said, noting that some of Ogden’s parks are run down and he’s noticed a lot of litter throughout the city. Carroll said some of the city’s plans, like the redesign of Lester Park, make him optimistic that those issues can be fixed.

“Utah County is a little quieter, calmer and generally cleaner,” he said. “But I think Ogden is improving. I plan to live here for a good long while.”

You can reach reporter Mitch Shaw at Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23 or like him on Facebook at


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