Living in Ottawa HACKS
Ah, Ottawa. The capital city of Canada, the home of beavertails, and the land of abundance (especially during winter when the snow hits). As a fellow Ottawan, I can provide you with some insider hacks to help you navigate this beautiful city full of culture, history, and lots of friendly faces. But navigating a new city can be tricky – especially when it’s Canada’s capital. Fear not, my fellow adventurers, for I am here to provide you with some Living in Ottawa HACKS! As a local, I know the ins and outs of this city like the back of a hockey glove. From where to find the best poutine to how to survive the winter (hint: don’t underestimate the power of a good toque), I’ve got you covered.
Ottawa is a beautiful city that is extremely welcoming to newcomers. Although it might seem daunting to navigate a new city, especially when it’s the capital of Canada, there are many helpful hacks that you can use to make your experience living in Ottawa a smooth and enjoyable one. From finding the best local eateries to using public transportation efficiently, these hacks will help you to better integrate and enjoy your lifestyle in Ottawa. Whether you are a student, a young professional, or an established family, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. So, don’t hesitate to explore and make the most of your time in Ottawa!
Embrace the outdoors
Ottawa boasts a plethora of natural beauty waiting to be explored. Packed with numerous parks, recreational paths, and outdoor attractions, Ottawa is a haven for those who love to experience the outdoors. Gatineau Park, one of the main attractions in the area, offers over 90km of trails for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Meanwhile, Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Ottawa. Not far from the canal, Dow’s Lake beckons visitors with its picturesque scenery and serene atmosphere. Whether you’re visiting Ottawa for a day or planning to live here, be sure to make the most of your time in the city by immersing yourself in its natural beauty.
Ottawa also boasts an impressive network of biking trails that cater to cyclists of all skill levels. With over 800 kilometers of multi-use pathways, residents and visitors alike can enjoy a scenic ride while exploring the city’s diverse landscapes. The extensive trail system includes popular routes such as the Capital Pathway, which connects major attractions like Parliament Hill, the Rideau Canal, and the Ottawa River, as well as the rural charm of the Greenbelt Pathway. According to a 2019 survey by Bike Ottawa, approximately 62% of Ottawa residents live within 400 meters of a cycling facility, making it an accessible and eco-friendly transportation option. Whether you’re an avid cyclist or a casual rider, Ottawa’s biking trails offer a unique and enjoyable way to experience the city’s natural beauty and vibrant urban spaces.
Winter survival skills
With its snowy landscapes and cozy activities, Ottawa’s winter season can be an enchanting experience. However, it is important to be well-equipped and prepared for the harsh winter weather. Investing in high-quality winter clothing can make all the difference in keeping you warm and comfortable during your outings. Additionally, outfitting your vehicle with snow tires can provide added safety on slippery roads. It’s also essential to learn how to navigate icy sidewalks safely to avoid any potential accidents. Despite the challenges, don’t forget to take advantage of the numerous winter activities Ottawa has to offer. Skating on the world-renowned Rideau Canal and attending the Winterlude festival are just a couple of ways to embrace the winter season.
Public transportation – Friend or Foe?
Navigating a public transportation system can be overwhelming, especially when there are ongoing issues with reliability and affordability. Unfortunately, this is the current state of the OC Transpo and O-Train systems. While some routes run smoothly and on time, others are plagued with issues and delays. However, despite these challenges, it’s worth considering familiarizing yourself with the transit system as an alternative to driving. Not only can it help you avoid rush-hour traffic and high-cost parking and lack of downtown parking, but it’s also a great step towards environmentally-friendly transportation. With a bit of patience and research, taking public transit in Ottawa might be a benefit or something to look out for.
Bilingualism is a plus
Living in Ottawa has its perks, and being a bilingual city certainly makes the list. Being exposed to both English and French languages opens up a world of opportunities, not just for career advancements but also for cultural exposure. Brushing up on your French language skills or taking lessons can only benefit you. By communicating in both languages, you increase your chances of finding employment and establishing new connections within the city. Many employers value individuals who are able to communicate in both English and French, making you more marketable and employable. Learning a new language can be daunting, but with the benefits that come with being bilingual, it is certainly worth the effort.
Get involved in local events
Living in Ottawa provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a vibrant cultural scene. With a variety of festivals and events happening throughout the year, there is always something to do. Make sure to put the Canadian Tulip Festival, Bluesfest, and Canada Day celebrations on your to-do list. These popular events offer a chance to explore Ottawa’s diverse cultures and music scene. Attending local events is also a great way to meet new people and feel connected to your community. Make the most of your time in Ottawa by getting involved in local events and embracing all the city has to offer.
Navigate the housing market
Navigating the housing market in Ottawa can seem daunting, but by doing some research beforehand, you can increase your chances of finding the perfect home in a desirable location. Start by researching the different neighbourhoods and their price ranges. Consider important factors like proximity to work, schools, and amenities. Doing so will help you narrow down your options and focus on areas that fit your budget and lifestyle. If you’re not familiar with the Ottawa area, it’s a good idea to work with a local real estate agent. They can provide you with valuable insights and guidance that will help you find the home of your dreams. By taking the time to navigate the housing market in Ottawa, you’ll be able to enjoy your new home and neighbourhood with confidence.
Discover hidden gems
Living in Ottawa means experiencing Canada’s capital city. Beyond the well-known landmarks, there are also some hidden gems that are lesser-known but equally enjoyable. One of them is the ByWard Market, which is a lively and trendy hub of shops, eateries, and food stalls. Another hidden gem is the Mer Bleue Bog, a beautiful and unique natural area that features a boardwalk overlooking wetlands, forests, and abundant wildlife. For art lovers, the National Gallery of Canada is a must-visit destination featuring an extensive collection of art exhibitions, including works by famous Canadian and international artists. Exploring these hidden gems in Ottawa can be a fun and enriching experience for residents and visitors alike.
Take advantage of free activities
There’s no need to break the bank to have a good time in Ottawa. The city is filled with free activities and attractions that are both enjoyable and budget-friendly. If you’re looking for some sightseeing, head over to Parliament Hill or check out the Governor General’s residence. Alternatively, you can also visit one of the museums in the city on their designated free admission days. It’s not just limited to museums and landmarks either – the city often hosts free events that you can attend with friends or family. With all these options, there’s no excuse not to take advantage of the many free activities that Ottawa has to offer.
Network with locals
When you move to a new city like Ottawa, it can be daunting to find your footing and establish a sense of community. One of the best ways to do this is by networking with locals. From sports teams to hobby groups, there is something for everyone. Attending social events and joining clubs or organizations is a great way to meet people who share similar interests or backgrounds. Additionally, volunteering can be a fantastic way to give back to your new community and make meaningful connections at the same time. By networking with locals, you can also unearth hidden opportunities that you may not have been aware of otherwise. Overall, taking the time to get to know the people and culture of Ottawa can help you feel more at home and connected in your new city.
Be prepared for varying weather:
Living in Ottawa means being prepared for a myriad of weather conditions. This city experiences both hot, sticky summers and bitterly cold winters, with everything in between. It’s important to have a versatile wardrobe that you can use to adjust to the ever-changing climate. Pack some shorts and T-shirts for those hot summer days, but don’t forget a jacket in case it starts to pour. When winter comes, make sure you have a warm parka to keep you toasty in the frigid temperatures. Don’t let the weather stop you from enjoying all that this city has to offer—just be prepared and adapt your plans accordingly.
So there you have it, folks! Our top hacks for living your best life in Ottawa. From exploring the city’s countless museums and galleries to embracing winter sports (or at least attempting to), we’ve got you covered. And remember, always be on the lookout for the best poutine in town – you never know where your taste buds might take you. But most importantly, don’t forget to take a step back and appreciate the unique and vibrant community we call home. Because when it comes to building a new life in Ottawa, the possibilities truly are endless.
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.