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Living in Ottawa

Family Life in Ottawa

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Family Life In Ottowa! Roll up your sleeves, buckle your seatbelts, and prepare to embark on a virtual journey through Ottawa! In this blog, we’re going to explore the hidden gems of this dynamic city that make it a great place for families – its great schools, lush green parks, and vibrant communities.

Experience Ottawa, Canada’s lively capital! It’s ideal for families with top-notch schools and countless outdoor activities. From hiking in the serene Gatineau Park to skating on the iconic Rideau Canal, there’s beauty in every season. With diverse neighbourhoods to choose from, Ottawa has something for everyone.


Ottawa’s diverse education system offers a range of public and private institutions. The Ottawa-Carleton and Ottawa Catholic School Boards oversee various well-respected schools across the city. Families seeking private education have top-rated options like Ashbury College and Elmwood School for girls, known for their rigorous curriculum and nurturing environment. Schools like Colonel By Secondary offer exceptional advanced placement programs. Whether it’s public or private, Ottawa offers quality, tailored education for all.

Public Schools: In Ottawa, there are various public school boards available, such as the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) and the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB). These boards provide a diverse selection of elementary and secondary schools, ensuring that every student has access to quality education. Whether you’re looking for an engaging elementary school or a supportive secondary institution, Ottawa’s public schools have got you covered.

Private Schools: Private schools in Ottawa come in a variety of forms that cater to different needs and interests. Let’s explore some of these options:

Independent Schools: These schools operate without government funding, relying on tuition fees and private donations. They offer a unique educational experience tailored to individual students.

Religious Schools: Affiliated with religious organizations, these schools incorporate teachings that align with specific faiths. Students receive a well-rounded education that includes religious teachings alongside their academic curriculum.

Montessori Schools: Montessori education follows an alternative approach that emphasizes student independence and self-directed learning. Students explore their interests at their own pace, fostering a love of learning and personal growth.

Specialized Schools: If your child has a particular passion or talent, specialized schools can provide focused education in areas such as arts, science, technology, or sports. These schools offer specialized programs and resources to nurture their unique skills.

Alternative Schools: Ottawa is also home to a number of alternative schools that offer unique approaches to education. These schools often operate outside of typical educational structures, focusing on holistic and student-centric approaches to learning. They prioritize hands-on learning, critical thinking, and foster an inclusive and diverse learning environment.

By offering diverse educational options, private schools in Ottawa strive to meet the needs and preferences of families looking for a tailored learning experience.

FAMILY LIFE IN OTTAWA Parks and Recreation

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast or a family looking for fun activities, you’re in for a treat. Let me give you a sneak peek of what Ottawa has to offer. Just a short drive from the city, you’ll find Gatineau Park – a natural playground with countless hiking trails, lookout points, and even cross-country skiing in winter. And did you know that the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, turns into the world’s longest skating rink during winter? It’s perfect for biking and strolling during the summer too. Right in downtown Ottawa is Major’s Hill Park, offering a beautiful green space, playgrounds, and breathtaking views of the Parliament Buildings. And don’t forget Mooney’s Bay – a favourite among families – with its picnic areas, swimming opportunities, and various water sports. With Ottawa’s lush green spaces, beautiful parks, and abundant recreational activities, everyone from adrenaline junkies to nature lovers and families will find an outdoor experience that suits their preferences, making the city a perfect blend of urban life and natural beauty. Let’s look at just a few of these:

Gatineau Park: Located just across the river in Quebec, Gatineau Park is a massive outdoor haven that has something for everyone. From picturesque hiking trails to thrilling skiing adventures, this park is brimming with opportunities to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

Rideau Canal: Did you know that the Rideau Canal transforms into the world’s longest skating rink during winter? And guess what? It’s also an amazing spot for biking and walking during the summer! So whether you’re up for some icy excitement or a leisurely stroll, the Rideau Canal has got you covered all year round.

Major’s Hill Park: If you’re in downtown Ottawa, don’t miss Major’s Hill Park! This hidden gem offers more than just breathtaking views of the Parliament Buildings. With its charming playgrounds and delightful atmosphere, it’s the perfect spot to relax and soak in the beauty of the city.

Greenbelt: This extensive area encircles Ottawa, covering over 20,000 hectares of land. It includes a mix of natural forest cover, wetlands, and recreational areas.

Mer Bleue Conservation Area: This 3,500-hectare conservation area is known for its unique bog ecosystem and diverse wildlife. It’s a great spot for nature walks and bird watching.

Stony Swamp: Part of the Greenbelt, Stony Swamp is significant for its ecologically diverse area, featuring more than 40 kilometres of trails, several beaver ponds, and remarkable biodiversity.

Mud Lake: Although smaller compared to others, Mud Lake is a significant urban green space known for its rich biodiversity, especially for bird watching. It’s part of the Britannia Conservation Area.

Family-Friendly Communities

Ottawa has diverse and family-friendly neighbourhoods with unique atmospheres and a range of amenities. Here are some of Ottawa’s family-friendly communities, each with its charm and a strong sense of community.

Kanata: A suburb in Ottawa’s west end, is a vibrant community known for its planning, green spaces, and excellent living standards. Home to leading tech companies like Mitail and March Networks, its population of around 101,760 enjoys a high employment rate, with a third aged between 25-44. The community is renowned for its top-ranking schools, including Earl of March Secondary School, and sports scene, hosting the Canadian Tire Centre. With popular shopping locations like Kanata Centrum and Tanger Outlets, Kanata attracts families and young professionals.

Barrhaven: Situated in Ottawa’s southwestern part, Barrhaven is a rapidly growing suburban neighbourhood, often dubbed as a family-friendly community due to its safety, excellent schools, and abundant recreational facilities. The population of Barrhaven is around 87,000, with a significant number of families having children under the age of 14, making up nearly 19% of the total population. The neighbourhood is home to over 20 schools, including esteemed institutions like John McCrae Secondary School and Mary Honeywell Elementary School. Families can enjoy over 50 parks, including the expansive Walter Baker Park, equipped with sports fields, a splash pad, and a winter ice rink. Additionally, the Minto Recreation Complex offers an aquatic centre, fitness area, and sports fields. Barrhaven is also known for its community events like the annual Barrhaven Run for Roger’s House, which fosters a strong sense of community. With a myriad of shopping options including Barrhaven Town Centre and Chapman Mills Marketplace, the neighbourhood offers a well-rounded blend of suburban life with urban conveniences.

Orleans: Orlean, located in Ottawa’s east end, is a bustling, family-friendly community blending city life and small-town appeal. Home to over 116,000 people, its top-tier schools make it a favourite amongst families. With abundant recreational facilities like Princess Louise Falls and shopping centres such as Place d’Orleans, residents enjoy varied outdoor activities and shopping options. Community events like the Orlean Farmers’ Market and Craft Beer Festival further foster community spirit. Boasting family amenities, a well-regarded school system and vibrant community life, Orlean offers a balanced suburban lifestyle, perfect for family living.

Stittsville: This suburban community in the west end of Ottawa is notably family-friendly, characterized by its serene suburban landscapes, excellent educational institutions, and wide range of recreational facilities. Stittsville is home to roughly 30,000 residents, demonstrating substantial growth over the past decade due to its appeal to families. The community is equipped with several reputable schools such as Stittsville Public School and Sacred Heart High School, contributing to a holistic educational environment. Families can enjoy over 31 parks and green spaces, including the prominent Bell Park, with its baseball fields and playgrounds. Stittsville also hosts numerous community activities, such as the annual Parade of Lights and Stittsville Appreciation Awards, fostering strong community engagement. With the Carp River, several biking trails, and the Goulbourn Recreation Complex offering a myriad of sports and leisure activities, Stittsville provides an active and enriching living environment that appeals to families of all sizes.

Ottawa presents an array of charming, family-friendly communities, each reflecting a unique character and offering an abundance of amenities. From the technological hub of Kanata to the vibrant community spirit of Orleans, each neighborhood fosters a nurturing environment in that families can thrive. With vast green spaces for nature enthusiasts, excellent education systems, and a plethora of recreational facilities, these communities genuinely embody Ottawa’s diverse and vibrant spirit. Whether you seek the energy of a bustling city or the tranquillity of a suburban retreat, Ottawa’s family-friendly communities ensure a balanced, fulfilling lifestyle for all residents.

And if you are thinking of relocating to Ottawa feel free to reach out to us. Give us a call – shoot us a text – send us an email – or even wrap it in a bow and send it first class because we got your back when moving to Ottawa or anywhere across Canada.

You can learn more about the city of Ottawa by visiting its official website: https://ottawa.ca/en.




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