Are you considering relocating to Canada and wondering which city to call home?
Recently we had the opportunity to visit Ottawa, the capital of Canada and were surprised by this city's beauty.
In this blog post, we will explore why Ottawa is an ideal city to settle in, covering various aspects such as population, location, education system, attractions, transit system, weather, job opportunities and housing.
Table of contents
1. Population and Location.
Ottawa is the country's capital and Canada's fourth-largest urban region. It comprises more than 1.4 million inhabitants, 66% of whom live in Ottawa and the rest in neighbouring municipalities, including Gatineau (located across the Ottawa River in Quebec). A special feature of the region is that English and French are widely spoken and reflected in the city's culture and commerce.
Located in eastern Ontario, Ottawa sits on the banks of the Ottawa River, providing residents with a stunning natural landscape, parks and green spaces, and year-round access to outdoor recreation.
2. Education System.
The city offers English and French education in public (non-religious), Catholic and private schools.
Ottawa has four school boards (2 English and 2 French): 2 public and 2 Catholic school boards. Each school board has its own set of rules and admission criteria.
The city is home to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB), Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario, and Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) offering quality education from elementary to high school.
Moreover, Ottawa houses prestigious universities like the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, and Algonquin College, providing students with a wide range of academic and vocational programs.
3. Important Places and Attractions.
Ottawa has monuments and cultural attractions to suit all tastes. The city is famous for its impressive Parliament Hill, where you can attend the changing of the guard ceremony and explore historic government buildings.
The National Gallery of Canada displays remarkable art collections, while the Canadian Museum of History offers a fascinating journey through Canada's past.
Other must-see sights include the Rideau Canal, the ByWard Market and the picturesque Gatineau Park, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.
4. Transit System.
Getting around Ottawa is easy, thanks to its public transportation system. OC Transpo and the Société de Transport de l'Outaouais (STO) work together to provide transit services across the National Capital Region, which includes buses and trains.
OC Transpo manages an extensive bus network that covers the entire city, allowing residents to conveniently commute to work, school or explore the various neighbourhoods.
In addition, the O-Train Confederation line offers reliable light rail service, ensuring a fast and smooth transportation experience.
For more details on how public transportation works in Ottawa and other cities in Canada, check out the post Understanding the public Transportation System as a Newcomer to Canada.
Ottawa experiences four distinct seasons, each with its charm.
Winters can be cold, with average temperatures below freezing. Still, the city transforms into a winter wonderland offering activities such as ice skating on the Rideau Canal, the world's largest natural ice rink.
Summers are warm and pleasant, offering ample outdoor activities and festivals opportunities.
6. Job Opportunities.
Ottawa's diverse and thriving economy offers ample employment opportunities in various sectors.
Although Ottawa offers opportunities in various sectors, a few industries stand out as key drivers of the city's economy.
The city is home to four main sectors that provide job opportunities for thousands of people: public administration, high-tech companies, healthcare and the educational services industry.
Companies specializing in software development, telecommunications and aerospace thrive in this innovation hub. In addition, the government sector offers a wide range of career opportunities due to the city's status as the capital of Canada.
For more information on how to get a job in Canada as a Newcomer, don't forget to check the post How to get a Job in Canada as a Newcomer.
7. Housing and Accommodation.
Ottawa offers a wide range of housing options to suit different preferences and budgets.
Whether you're looking for a downtown apartment, a family home in the suburbs or a quaint residence near the river, Ottawa has it all. In addition, Ottawa's living cost is relatively affordable compared to other major Canadian cities, making it an attractive option for newcomers.
According to information provided by Numbeo, a 1-bedroom apartment is between 1500 and 1800 CAD, while a 3-bedroom apartment is between 2300 and 3000 CAD depending on the location with respect to the city center.
To find your first rental in Canada, visit the post How to Rent your first Home as a Newcomer to Canada.
I hope this post has given you a taste of curiosity about the capital city of Ottawa and that you might consider it among your options if you haven't decided on your destination city yet.
If you are still looking for other options, don't hesitate to check out 14 top reasons to live in Mississauga, 10 cities to live near Toronto as a newcomer to Canada, and 13 tips to choose the best place to live in Canada.