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Plans to leave the US and move to Canada and its capital are getting more common by the day. According to a recent poll, as many as 16% of Americans stated that they wanted to leave their country, and a quarter of those expressed the desire to move up north. So what does living in Ottawa actually look like? We’ll move past the stereotypes (OK, maybe not all of them) to show you the pros and a few cons of moving to Ottawa, the great capital of the Great White North.

What to Expect Once There

The Canadian capital sits in the province of Ontario, bordering Quebec and its city of Gatineau across the Ottawa River. Together, they form a shared metro area. Most folks speak English, so no need to worry about breaking the language barrier. French is still required for certain types of work, however. Especially if you’re to interact with the public.

Reasons Why Ottawa’s More Popular Than Toronto

We can almost hear you wondering: “It is?” Well, it is. It’s the capital city. Not only that but the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is a local. And Matthew Perry was born here. But more importantly, Ottawa is less expensive, and life itself is much cozier. If you want to avoid the horrible everyday traffic of Toronto, O-Town is an excellent choice.

The Government City of Canada might be a perfect place for you

The Cost of Living in Ottawa

When talking about the cost of living in Ottawa, the vital thing to know is that it’s cheaper than Toronto, Canada’s largest city,  and other major cities in Canada, as well. Some things, such as gym memberships, tend to cost more. More importantly, though, prices for apartments are less than half of those in T-Dot, and rents are significantly lower. If there ever was a reason to hire international moving service and move up north…

Where to Get a Job?

If you don’t have the qualifications to work for the government (French is a must in this province), try with IBM, Nokia, Adobe, or Corel, among other major international companies. These are some of the biggest employers in the area. Construction is a big industry, too. Unless you already have an offer, make sure you learn how to find a new job after relocating.

What You Need to Know When Moving to Canada
The cost of living is affordable, so land a good job and you'll live like a true Canadian in no time

There Are Some of the Best Places to Live in Canada With Reasonable Prices If You Don’t Mind Commuting

Some things in Ottawa are facts of life, like politeness and cleanliness. Others include the fact that different parts of town are not close to one another. But we’ll get to that in a second. First, let’s take a look at some great neighborhoods for everyone’s taste and budget.

Where to Live in O-Town?

How much money do you have and want to spend? If your budget is considerable, then head for the Downtown, Glebe, or New Edinburgh and Rockcliffe Park, and live surrounded by public officials, yuppies, doctors, and lawyers. Would you rather find a more affordable spot for yourself? Go for Sandy Hill, Hintonburg, or Vanier.

You’ll Soon Realize Walking Is Pointless

As we said, everything is far apart. So people don’t walk much, except for leisure. Gatineau Park is the right place for that. If it is too far for you, there are lots of green spaces, so if you’re moving with kids, they’ll have a place to run and enjoy nature.

How Do People Living in Ottawa Move Around Then?

Well, public transport, bicycles, and cars. There are public rail and bus systems, and almost 120 miles of bicycle paths. Public transportation is of good quality, and people like it. If you choose to drive, you can expect less congestion than in Toronto or other bigger cities, even in the rush hours. So overseas vehicle shipping may be a smart thing to do. For longer-distance trips, there is one international (Macdonald – Cartier) and two regional airports.

Start living in Canada's capital; it may be the best place to turn a new (Maple) leaf

Things to Do and Places to Visit in Ottawa

Once you move here, you won’t have a single boring moment. There is always something to do, visit, or see in O-Town. Here are some of our favorite things to do in Ottawa.

Festivals of All Kinds

Torontonians brag about their own, but they can’t come even close. Ottawa’s festivals are the best in Canada. Here’s just a sample for you:

  • International Jazz Festival – 10 days of jazz from all over the world
  • Bluesfest – 10 days of blues from all over the world
  • Folk Music Festival – Four days of folk concerts
  • Fringe Festival – 10 days of theatre plays
  • Dragon Boat Festival – A race in dragon boats for four days
  • Winterlude – Three weeks of competitions in skating, snow games, and making ice sculptures

Rideau Canal

Rideau Canal is a great place to see and walk by. When winter comes, it transforms into the biggest skating rink on Earth. Perfect for a romantic day in case you’re moving to another country for love. Also, other winter activities can be found not far from downtown. Word of caution – even though the winter in Ottawa is marvelous, have at least one very warm jacket. This is Canada, after all.

A Cultural Map of the City

Museums are everywhere. Gain new experiences while moving around the Canadian Museum of History, National Arts Centre, Aviation and Space Museum, Science and Technology Museum, or Museum of Nature, to name just a few.

Where to Eat?

One of the best things about Government City is that you don’t have to spend hours getting from one bar to the next. Once downtown, you’ll find many of them in close range and find a perfect spot for you. If you get hungry, you’ll have plenty of choices; there are many different cuisines, as this is a multicultural community.

Ottawans Love Sports

Senators. Period. Make no mistake, Stanley Cup is just around the corner. Any positive talk of Leafs will get you shunned. If ice hockey isn’t your cup of tea, check out Redblacks, Rough Riders (football), Blackjacks (basketball), and Champions (baseball).

When winter comes, Rideau Canal transforms into an ice skating rink of epic proportions

Are There Any Downsides of Living in Ottawa?

If we say no, you won’t believe it, right? For starters, there’s the weather. It’s dry and hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. With summer temperatures come insects, too. Also, some people would describe Ottawa as boring. True, the nightlife is not as vibrant as in other metropolises, but many, many perks compensate for it.

Firstly, there is the highest income per capita in Canada. From that stems the ability to live any lifestyle you wish in a neighborhood of your choosing. Ottawa’s crime rates are low, and the city is spotless. Schools and universities offer excellent opportunities for education, so it’s not surprising that people are not only courteous and polite but also well educated. And it’s very close to both the US and Quebec. What’s there not to like?