If you have set your mind on moving to Ottawa but are still unsure whether you’ll be able to fit in and feel at home up north, know that a quarter of the local population was born outside of Canada. The capital of the country is a multilingual and multicultural city, with nearly half the residents under the age of 35. If you want to blend in easily, there are few things you should know about before you start packing your bags and taking a leap of faith, otherwise known as moving to Canada.
Tips on How to Pick the Right Neighborhood in Ottawa
Picking the right place to settle down among so many excellent Ottawa neighborhoods will play an essential role in the overall quality of your life in your new country. In 2001, the old Ottawa city was joint together with many surrounding suburban areas, such as Kanata, Nepean, and Cumberland, forming a community of around a million people. The newly-founded municipality is now organized into 23 wards, which contain more than 80 residential or commercial districts.
Therefore, do your research, and pick a suitable neighborhood even before you relocate. Take into consideration factors such as the commute time, vicinity to your office and schools, crime rates, number of parks, museums, theaters, etc. It will be easier to start looking for a home when you know where to look and what exactly you should look for.
Start House Hunting on Time
Ottawa offers its residents a lot of housing options, from modern buildings to single-family homes. Once you decide between buying or renting and pick the neighborhood, you can start house hunting. You can hire professional services, such as real estate agents, to help you go over some of the documents needed to travel abroad while you are still in the US. Also, the Internet can help you gain a more detailed insight into the housing market.
You’ll Quickly Realize That You Need a Car
The capital covers around 1,100 square miles (more than Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Montreal combined), meaning that going from one side of the city to another can take some time. To avoid long commutes, consider shipping your car with you. You might not use it every day, but sometimes, when you feel like exploring another side of the O-Town, it can come in handy. Nevertheless, the car is not your only option; you can use public transportation, walk, or bike around.
Biking Is a Thing
With around 500 miles of recreational pathways, O-Town’s neighborhoods are a cyclist paradise. Make sure that you don’t leave your bike in storage, bring it with you when moving abroad. Cycling will be a great way to learn a lot about your new home, and at the same time keep up with the healthy lifestyle.
You’ll Get to Enjoy a Diverse Weather
When it comes to international moving, you have to think about the weather differences that you will experience in an unfamiliar country. When thinking about moving to Canada, don’t get spooked by tales of snowstorms and long winters you probably heard at some point. Yes, those things happen in the Great White North, but in Ottawa, you will be enjoying a humid continental climate with four distinct seasons. If you are not sure about what to pack when moving abroad, take clothes appropriate for all seasons.
The Cost of Living Is Affordable, Especially Compared to Toronto or Vancouver
The capital of Canada is a safe, welcoming, and overall clean city. Even with an above-average cost of living in Ottawa, the capital is still affordable, especially when compared to other major Canadian cities such as Toronto and Vancouver. On top of that, Ottawans have one of the highest median household incomes in the country and the highest in the province of Ontario, at around $86,000 a year.
According to data from Numbeo, if you want to rent a one-bedroom apartment, prices go between $800 and $1100, depending on the location, while prices for buying an apartment go from $200 to $320 per square foot. Compared to other big cities like Toronto, housing prices are 30% lower.
The same can be said for monthly utility services as well since, in O-Town, the average bill is lower than in Toronto.
The Capital Has Top-Notch Education Institutions
Ottawa is one of the cities with the most educated residents in the whole country. Over 50% of the population has graduated from college or university. Statistics show that O-Town has the highest per-capita concentration of PhDs, scientists, and engineers in all Canada. With a variety of educational institutions, it will be easy for you to find the right educational module to pursuit. If you are relocating with your family, there will be schools for everybody to learn something new. Also, you can attend them in two different languages, so take your pick.
There Are Bilingual Universities You Can Attend
Yes, people speak English and French in Canada, and the Canadian capital has an entrepreneurial workforce with a bilingual rate of around 44%. If you want to break the language barrier, you can always attend bilingual universities and get your degree there while mastering the French language. Also, if you are moving with kids and you want them to have the best education possible, enroll them in primary and secondary bilingual private schools.
Additional 5 Things to Know When Moving to Ottawa
Knowledge is power, right? Put every piece of information you can gather about the new country to good use. Living in Ottawa will take some time to get used to, but if you participate in local events and meet new people, it will be easier to adjust.
1. It Will Be Easy to Find a Job When You Are Moving to Ottawa
O-Town has the sixth-highest total household income of all metropolitan areas in Canada. Data shows that employment has been growing since 2001, making it easy to land a dream job. The Federal Government is still the largest employer, but all of those seeking work in the high-tech industry, healthcare, and tourism will be happy here as well. Put the Internet into good use and check out openings while you are still in the US.
2. Dining out Will Be a Treat
Foodies have nothing to worry about; they will have a variety of different places to explore and different cuisines to try. The city is filled with international restaurants from all over the world. If you crave Chinese, French, Italian, or even Vietnamese and Greek dishes, you’ll find some in no time. Take a walk down Westboro, Little Italy, Elgin Street, and Chinatown, and you will find great spots to dine out.
If you are moving to another country for love, knowing great dining spots can be a way to impress your loved one. Also, when you relocate, it might be hard to keep in touch with friends, but you can always invite them over and have an exciting restaurant exploration together.
3. This Is the Capital of Festivals
Speaking of things to do in Ottawa, do you like festivals? Going out, exploring, and experiencing art and music? If the answer is yes, then you will enjoy spending time in Ottawa. There are events throughout the year, and from June to September, you can check out world-class music festivals. Pop, country, folk, indie, and jazz are some of the most popular genres here. The rest of the year is reserved for Winterlude, food, cultural, and international festivals.
4. Sport Is a Big Deal
Are you a fan of hockey, football, or baseball? If you are, life in O-Town will be a treat. The capital is home to four professional sports teams and several non-professional ones. Canadians are big on hockey, so be prepared to learn all about Senators and head to the Canadian Tire Centre to watch them play.
5. There Are Many Fun Things to Do: Indoor and Outdoor
Keep in mind that you will be staying in one of the greenest cities in Canada. Finding parks, trails, and beaches where you can hike, swim, canoe, camp, or even kayak should not be a problem. When the weather is just right, spending the day outside, like a true Canadian, will be the logical solution. Nevertheless, when it starts snowing, and when the bad weather ruins your plans, you can always check out one or two museums because Ottawa has plenty of them. Besides, there are archery arcades and pottery classes you can attend. When you move to O-Town, know that you won’t ever be bored.