Life in the Canada’s Capital - Ottawa Rental Guide
In Canada’s Capital, Ottawa , lives the country’s parliament buildings, great nightlife and a high quality of living. Ottawa is located in eastern Ontario and split by the Rideau River. When the temperature cools in the winter, The Rideau Canal is transformed into the world’s largest skating rink. If you’re looking to pursue a career in Canadian politics, Ottawa is the place to be. If politics isn’t your thing, speaking both English and French is a huge asset in the city since many jobs will require it.
Ottawa offers a fantastic quality of life. While Ottawa has a population of approximately 900,000, but is not a crowded city by any means. It is known for being peaceful, family friendly, relaxed and active. As well, it’s been highly rated for car ownership, population growth, healthcare and culture. The climate in Ottawa is sunny while a bit chillier than Toronto in the winter. Winters welcome lots of snow while autumn and spring bring strong swings in temperatures. Be ready to wear no jacket one day and boots the next. On the bright side, this keeps things exciting! The people in Ottawa are both welcoming and multi-cultural. Around one in six people are visible minorities while one in five were born outside of Canada. Although this ratio is not as high as Toronto, it’s still a diverse community which embraces both French and English culture in Canada. If you’re ready to become a part of the country’s capital, we have a large selection of apartments for rent in Ottawa that might be right for you.
Where to live in Ottawa - The city of politics
Whether you’re looking to live somewhere in suburbia or right in the heart of Ottawa, there are over 250 neighbourhoods to call home. Ottawa covers 2,778 km 2 of land—more than 3 times the size of Toronto. That’s a lot of space to find a new home. The range of apartment rentals include high-rise, detached, semi-detached, townhomes, and basement apartments. Approximately 70% of dwellings are homes, while the rest are condo apartments. The majority of homes are detached and the rest are townhouses and semi-detached. Before you start hunting for the perfect home, let’s give you a taste of Ottawa’s neighbourhoods. Here are three communities to consider when moving to Ottawa:
If you’re looking to live life in suburban Ottawa, check out Morgan’s Grant. It’s comprised of small pockets of villages and communities with a population of about 10,000. We’re sure you’ll know your neighbours in the grocery store if you pass them. It is located in the far west end of Ottawa and offers many affordable apartments for rent . If you work in the area, it will be a peaceful commute. However, if you work downtown allot yourself about 30-60 minutes to get to work with normal traffic. Also note that you will need to own a vehicle if you decide to live in this area unless you can get dropped off in Kanata. Due to having one of the lowest crime rates in Ottawa and having some of the best schools, it is a perfect place to raise a family.
The community of Centrepointe offers a great balance between city convenience and suburban peace. It is also located in the western part of Ottawa and includes neighbourhoods that are urban, suburban and on the border of the greenbelt. For those attending college, it is close to the Algonquin College and the airport—in case you wanted to stretch, take a walk, go to the airport, get on a plane and never return. But we’re pretty sure you’ll want to stay a while since its close the city’s greenbelt—there’s tons of walking, cycling and hiking you can do right at home. For those looking for Centrepointe apartments , and working downtown, this commute will not be horrible. You’re looking at about 30 minutes in rush hour or 40 minutes by bus. Overall, Centrepointe is a happy medium between suburban and urban life.
Finally, we present Centre Town—as you may have guessed, it is in the center of Ottawa. With proximity to downtown, comes slightly higher crime rates when compared to Ottawa and other neighbourhoods. The area is still reasonably safe and enjoyable to live in but the crime rates are good to note if you have younger children. Of course, the biggest perks of living downtown are the convenience of its amenities, restaurants and nightlife. It is also close to University of Ottawa if you look in the Sandy Hill area. The range of economic status of residents in the area is quite large—you’ll meet everyone from affluent professionals to the homeless. This also offers a nice range of price points for you to choose from when looking for apartments in Centre Town . Although this area is probably not best suited for raising a family, it’s great for young singles and couples.
Want to know more about neighbourhoods in Ottawa ? Check out our neighbourhood rental guides which will provide you more in-depth demographic information.
How do I Get Around in Ottawa?
Ottawa’s public transportation is convenient and well connected. It is known as the OC Transpo. Although most of Ottawa’s public transit is supported by bus routes, the O-Train subway is frequented by those travelling north and south. The buses generally run east and west via the Transitway which is mainly separated from the city’s roads. The transitway is a great choice for those coming to and from the downtown core as you’ll generally find that you’ll avoid traffic. A one-way ticket will cost you $3.60. For those of you who travel often, Ottawa, not surprisingly, has its own airport. It’s just 30 minutes south of the downtown core.
Driving and parking in Ottawa is reasonable in Ottawa. Since Ottawa is less congested than other major cities like Toronto, driving is quite convenient and quick. In the absence of rush hour, you can get from one side of the city to another in around 30 minutes. Renting a parking spot hovers around $150/month. There are also a number of free parking spots right by public transportation stations making the commute a bit friendlier. There is also city parking available which range in prices. Annual residential street parking permits cost $686 + HST.
Walking & Biking
Walking and biking in Ottawa is accessible. There are over 170km of bike paths you can choose from within the core. Along some of the paths you can find parking as well as washrooms. For those who don’t drive, buses have bike racks so you can always hop on the bus to get you home after a long bike ride.
What’s the Cost of Living in Ottawa?
Living in Canada’s capital is reasonably priced given Ottawa’s income levels. Whether you’re looking for a rural, suburban or urban lifestyle, you’ll find the right fit for you. To help you determine your monthly budget, here is a general breakdown on what you can expect to spend:
Rent & Utilities
As with any city, location will impact the cost of your rental. The cost of a 1 bedroom apartment in an expensive area will be approximately $1,645/month. In a less expensive area, you’re looking at about $1,290/month. For a larger apartment around 900 square feet in an expensive area, it will cost you approximately $1,945/month. In less expensive areas the same apartment will cost you around $1,215/month.
Utilities will cost you about $120 which includes heating, electricity and gas. Internet will cost about $60 while your cellphone will cost you around $60. In total, your housing expenses will cost approximately $1,455/month.
Assuming you’ll be relying on public transportation, it will cost you $119.50/month to get yourself around on the OC Transpo. A one-way ride will cost $3.60.
Eating out is one of those things you don’t think you’ll do when you move to a city but almost always do. So, let’s all be honest with ourselves. In the morning, we all like a cup of joe. Well, most of us. Having your caffeine fix four times a week will cost you about $5/coffee. For $9 you can have a taste of your favourite combo at your favourite fast food place. You’ll probably do this once a week. A basic lunch within the business district at work will cost you about $19. We estimate that will do this twice a month. If you are looking to enjoy yourself with a date at least once a month, set aside another $80. In total, you will spend approximately $234 for dinning out. As for your quiet nights in, you’ll need some groceries. Expect to spend about $200/month.
Fully enjoying Ottawa includes going out and enjoying yourself. A beer will cost you around $7 at a pub and you’ll likely down 8 of them in a month. Your cab ride home will tack on another $10. Let’s estimate that you will take one per weekend. Whether your entertainment money is going towards beer or movies, it should all balance out. This brings your entertainment budget to $96/month. Remember, you don’t need to spend money to have fun.
Health & Fitness
For those of you who want to work on their summer bods at the gym, set aside $60/month. A small cost for a healthy active lifestyle.
Crime in Ottawa
Raising a family in a safe community is important to many Canadians. Crime rates in Ottawa are 27% lower than the Canadian average making it a perfect place to raise children. If you’re looking for more specifics on Ottawa’s amenities like schools, check out our neighbourhood guides.
How to find the Perfect Ottawa Apartment - The Ottawa Rental Guide
Ready to live in the country’s capital? Well, let’s help you get the place you love and settled. Here are some next steps and guide for renting:
Determine your needs and identify your wants:
Determining your needs will help guide your initial search. Once you’ve found several places that suit your needs, you can decide amongst which one to jump on with your criteria of wants.
Create a budget:
This step is easy. Just use our rental calculator to help estimate your monthly budget. You can thank us later.
Do your research:
Take a look at our neighbourhood guides for information on local amenities, demographics and crime statistics. Compare apartments online against your needs, must-have list, average rent prices and other factors that are important to you.
Pick up the phone and call the contact for the apartment listing. Schedule a time to check out your short list of eligible apartments. Don’t hesitate on this step because apartments can be taken right before your eyes. When touring, be sure to ask questions both about the apartment and your responsibilities as a tenant.
Gather your documentation:
Now with AreaVibes, you will be able to send a more detailed renter application with credit checks to streamline your application process.
We hope that our guide to renting in Ottawa will help you snag the place that your heart desires. When you do, Ottawa will welcome you with open arms.