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Living in Ottawa


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So if you’ve decided to brave the great white north and settle down in Ottawa, here you will find 15 tips for living in Ottawa, Canada. Fear not my fellow adventurer, for I have tips for living in Ottawa to make your time in the capital city more enjoyable. Just to mention a few, invest in a good winter coat and some thermal undies – unless you want to turn into a popsicle. Secondly, beware of the notorious potholes that scatter the roads like a minefield. And lastly, don’t forget to take advantage of all the poutine and BeaverTails the city has to offer. With these tips and the essentials we’ll cover in this video, you’ll be thriving in Ottawa like a true Canadian.

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada, and it’s known for its rich history, landmarks, and events that take place throughout the year. While Ottawa might not be the first city on your list to visit or live in, there are various reasons why you should consider moving to this wonderful city. As a true Ottawa-born and raised resident, I would like to share these 15 important tips you need to know before settling down in this beautiful city.

1. Opportunity to Learn Both French and English

In Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, you’ll notice that both English and French languages are spoken, and the city is proud of its bilingual status. It’s no secret that being fluent in both languages can only be advantageous for those who live and work in the city. Not only will it improve communication with some locals, but it will also open up some job opportunities in both the federal government and private sectors. Even if you’re not planning on working in Ottawa, learning both languages will broaden your cultural horizons and help you understand the unique and diverse history of Canada.

2. Exploring the Neighbourhoods

When it comes to finding the perfect neighbourhood to settle into, the key is in the research and evaluation process. Don’t settle for the first place you come across without doing your due diligence. Take into consideration the factors that are important to you. Are you looking for a safe neighbourhood? How close do you want to be to your job, schools, and transportation? What kind of amenities are important to you? By taking the time to consider all of these factors, you’ll be able to narrow down your options and find the perfect location for you. So, don’t rush the process. Do your research and make an informed decision that you can feel confident about. And if you need help – ensure to lean on a great experience realtor to help guide you along the way – Oh, that’s me!

3. Dress Warmly in Winter

Ottawa’s winter weather can be brutal, with temperatures dropping well below freezing. If you’re planning on staying in the city through the colder months, investing in some winter clothing is essential. You’ll want to stock up on everything from heavy-duty winter coats to sturdy boots, scarves, and mittens to stay warm and comfortable. Additionally, Ottawa experiences a lot of snowfall, so it’s important to be prepared to deal with it. Whether you plan on shoveling your driveway or hiring someone to do it for you, make sure you have a plan in place to ensure you’re not stuck indoors all winter long.

4. Invest in a Good Pair of Shoes

Ottawa is a city that boasts a reputation for being quite walkable. This is certainly true, but it also means that a good pair of shoes is an absolute essential. Nobody wants to have their exploration of the city cut short due to some pesky foot aches. In addition to being an ideal spot for sightseeing, Ottawa is also a place of celebration, with new festivals, parades, and events taking place frequently. Now, comfort truly is key when it comes to taking on these exciting activities with ease. Whether it’s your first or hundredth time visiting Ottawa, be sure to come prepared with a trusty pair of shoes that’ll keep you on the go to experience all the city has to offer.

5. Tap Water is Safe to Drink

As a resident or visitor in Ottawa, you can feel confident in the safety and drinkability of the tap water. With its exceptional quality and strict regulations, the city’s tap water consistently meets high standards for cleanliness and purity. One way we can contribute to maintaining the quality of Ottawa’s tap water is by minimizing the use of single-use plastic bottles. By using a reusable water bottle, we can significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste we generate, thus minimizing our impact on the environment. Making this simple switch is a small step that can make a big difference, both for the quality of the tap water we enjoy and for the health of our planet.

6. Use Public Transportation…When You Can

Public transportation is a mixed bag in Ottawa. While it has its advantages, getting around can be a challenge. Before embarking on a journey, it’s wise to plan ahead and be flexible with your route. Despite the challenges, riding public transit has its benefits, such as being environmentally friendly and somewhat affordable. However, if you crave true freedom and flexibility, investing in a car might be the best option. Living in Ottawa can be car-centric, and having your own vehicle can provide you with the freedom to come and go as you, please. Ultimately, the choice is yours, but be sure to weigh the pros and cons before deciding.

7. Be Prepared for Rush Hour Traffic

Be prepared for rush hour traffic in Ottawa, especially during the morning and after-work hours when roads become congested with commuters trying to make it to their destinations on time. To avoid being stuck in traffic, planning your route ahead of time can make a big difference. Public transportation may also be a viable option for traveling within the city during rush hour. As they often have express lanes and dedicated park-and-ride programs around the city helping you avoid the commute effort as well as high parking costs downtown. Although Ottawa’s roads can be busy during rush hour, the city still fares well compared to other major cities in Canada and the USA in terms of the length of commute times and quality of infrastructure. Being prepared and informed can help make your rush-hour experience in Ottawa much smoother.

8. Explore the City’s Bike Paths

If you’re looking for a way to experience the sights and sounds of Ottawa while getting some exercise, the city’s bike paths are the perfect solution. With over 800 km of dedicated cycling paths, you’ll have plenty of options to explore the city on two wheels. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cyclist, Ottawa’s bike paths offer something for everyone. Consider investing in a bike and spending your weekends discovering new areas of the city. From the scenic Rideau Canal to the bustling ByWard Market, there’s always something new to discover on your bike.

9. Enjoy Wintersports

Ottawa is known for its picturesque winter season, and there is no shortage of outdoor activities to get you in the seasonal spirit. If you’re looking to keep active and stay outdoors, why not consider trying your hand at winter sports? With a variety to choose from, including cross-country skiing, ice skating, sledding, and even ice fishing, you’re sure to find something that will suit your interests. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just looking to try something new, there’s no better way to make the most of the colder months than by getting outside and enjoying the great Canadian outdoors.

10. Attend Winterlude Festival

If you’re looking for a reason to celebrate winter, Winterlude is the perfect event to attend. This popular festival, located in Ottawa, offers a variety of winter activities that will keep you entertained for days on end. Immerse yourself in the chilly ambiance while you stroll through the mesmerizing snow sculptures or glide across the ice rink. You can enjoy watching the live performances featuring various artists, savour delicious winter foods, and participate in a wide range of winter games. This festival is a must-visit for anyone who wants to experience winter at its best. So, don’t miss your chance to enjoy this dazzling winter paradise.

11. Experience Canada Day

Every year on the 1st of July, Canadians come together to celebrate their country’s birthday. Canada Day is not just a time to wave the Canadian flag and eat maple leaf-shaped cookies, but also an excellent opportunity to explore the city’s attractions. From coast to coast, there are countless events such as firework displays, concerts, and parades that will keep you entertained throughout the day. But no one has a bigger party on Canada Day than Ottawa. Be sure to bring your camera as Canada Day is a great time to capture stunning pictures of the festivities and immerse yourself in the true Canadian spirit.

12. Try Out the Local Cuisine

When it comes to food, Ottawa has no shortage of options. With a melting pot of cultures, the city offers a diverse spectrum of culinary experiences that is sure to delight any palate. If you are a foodie, you cannot miss out on trying some of the city’s signature dishes. From the quintessentially Canadian Poutine to the Middle Eastern delight of Shawarma to the sweet indulgence of BeaverTails, there is something for everyone.

13. Visit the City’s Museums

For those looking to visit museums, Ottawa is a treasure trove of cultural and historical knowledge. The National Museum of History offers a glimpse into Canada’s past, from its indigenous peoples to present-day culture. The War Museum is a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers and the history of conflict in the country. The Science and Technology Museum is a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages, with interactive exhibits showcasing advancements in various fields. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for something unique to do in the city, Ottawa’s museums have something to offer everyone.

14. Attend a Concert at the Canadian Tire Centre

If you’re looking for a venue that caters to both sports and entertainment, then the Canadian Tire Centre is a perfect choice. This arena is the home of the NHL Ottawa Senators, but it also has a reputation for hosting some of the biggest concerts and events in the region. With a seating capacity of over 18,000, the Canadian Tire Centre is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to provide a memorable experience for its audiences. Whether you’re a hockey fan or not, attending a concert at this venue is a must-do activity for anyone looking for a night of fun and entertainment.

15. Take a Road Trip

If you’re looking for a quick and exciting escape, why not consider taking a road trip from Ottawa to explore some of Canada’s most famous cities? Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City are just a few hours away, yet each offers a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you’re interested in exploring Toronto’s diverse culture and entertainment, indulging in Montreal’s iconic food scene and vibrant nightlife, or getting lost in Quebec City’s charming streets and historical landmarks, these cities are sure to leave a lasting impression.


Not only is it situated within a short drive from some of the most stunning places in eastern Canada, such as Kingston, ON, with its rich history, or Mont Tremblant, a famous ski resort, but it is also only an hour away from the United States. With its excellent location, Ottawa offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore not just the city but also the surrounding areas, all while enjoying the natural beauty of the region. Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, a cultural experience or a gastronomical delight, Ottawa has something to offer for everyone.

Living in Ottawa is like going on a deliciously challenging culinary adventure! Sure it requires some proper prep, but once you try it, you’ll never want to leave! These 15 tips will help you navigate the city with ease and have you feeling like a true Ottawan in no time. Just remember, like any recipe, it takes time to perfect and adjust to a new place, but with a positive attitude and an open mind, you can stir up a new daily recipe that will tantalize your taste buds!

And if you are thinking 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. And each and every week we are bringing brand new videos just like this one so make sure to tap that subscribe button and click the bell so you are notified each and every time we drop a brand new video. Until next time – take care!

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