Your Comprehensive Guide for Moving to Ottawa

Pros & Cons of Living in Ottawa

Are you thinking about moving to Ottawa?  In this short video I will tell you the pros and cons about living here from a locals perspective. Hopefully this video will give you a sense of if Ottawa is the right place for you!


Ok so we pay a lot of taxes here in Ottawa. Not only are you taxed quite heavily on your income – you are taxed on everything you buy. Sales tax here is 13% so if you go to the cash register and are surprised at the total it is because 13% sales tax was added to all of your purchases. We also pay property tax – which is generally 1.1% of your home’s assessed value. As you can see this all adds up very quickly. Obviously our taxes pay for our healthcare, roads, and city services but it comes at a cost! 


Ottawa in my opinion offers a fantastic lifestyle. We are the capital of Canada and we are a busy city and Ottawa offers so much to enjoy.  Living here you get to experience the busy city lifestyle but you can also enjoy the calm of the Ottawa River or one of the many parks scattered throughout the city. If you enjoy leading an active lifestyle you’ll love the bike, ski, and skating options – If you enjoy exercising indoors there are plenty of gym options as well! 

I would necessarily consider Ottawa laid back – so if you’re used to the city lifestyle you’ll fit right in! 

Is the Weather Really that Bad?

Ok so this is kind of a pro and a con. The weather in the summer here is the best but as winter comes around it goes swiftly downhill. I personally don’t love the winter so I might be a little biased. But the winters here can be tough. Not only is it cold and snowy – but we don’t have all that much sunlight during the day as by 4:30pm in the dead of winter it is generally already dark. In the summer months however we can see the sunset at 9pm!

The people 

The people in Ottawa are incredibly friendly – obviously you’ll run into the odd nasty person but overall the people here are great. I’ve heard from a lot of newcomers that they can’t believe how nice strangers are to them. Here it is edicate to hold the door for people, thank the bus driver, and say goodmorning to all of your coworkers.

The Food! 

The food in Ottawa is fantastic. As we are a very multicultural city you will find food options from all over the world. If you are a newcomer you will be able to find your local cuisine at either a restaurant or local grocery store. 

Can I Live in Ottawa Without a Car?

The Transit system 

Our transit options here in my opinion are not great. Ottawa is very much a car city – everybody here drives whereas in toronto most people walk or take the subway. We do have a bus transit system here – and I used it for years while attending university so I will be the first to tell you it’s not the best. If you are coming from a city with a lot of transit options I think you’ll be disappointed by what we have here. I would absolutely recommend moving to Ottawa with a car – you’ll enjoy the city much more that way.

The employment opportunities

Ottawa has a lot of employment opportunities. Whether you are looking to get into the trades, government or start your own business Ottawa would be a great place to get started. Ottawa residents are heavily employed by the Government of Canada – so if you are looking to move here and open a business it is a huge benefit that because of this Ottawa has some economic protection.

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