Have you always been drawn to the vibrant, multifaceted capital of Canada, a city that boasts one of the highest standards of living in the nation? Maybe you’ve already looked into what the Ottawa real estate market has to offer and decided that this is the year to make your move. If that’s the case, congratulations! As you plan your packing strategy, take a moment to take in a few basic notions about setting up base in Bytown. Here are 5 things you should know before moving to Ottawa:
The Perfect Combination
The city of Ottawa doesn’t always have the typical big city vibes you’d expect, despite being the 4th largest city in Canada by population. It does, however, offer the best of both worlds: it features a vibrant hub with high-rises and a colorful social scene and, further out, numerous quiet and peaceful areas with parks and rivers.
This is the ideal mixture of circumstances for all kinds of residents—from families with small children to young, active professionals and senior citizens. No matter what your background, priorities, skill-set and expectations, chances are high that you’ll fit right in to the friendly and multicultural local community.
Abundant Professional Opportunities
With an unparalleled economic stability, Ottawa has a very low unemployment rate of merely 5.5%. The two sectors offering the most jobs are high-tech industry and the federal government, both featuring high-paying positions to their employees. This is one of the main reasons why Ottawa boasts the highest median household income among the largest cities in Canada, ensuring a high standard of living.
But even if you don’t have the qualifications to work in these sectors, don’t worry, because there are plenty of other opportunities available in Bytown. The hospitality and food services industry always has plenty of vacancies, as do the educational, the wholesale and retail trade and the transportation and services sectors. Entrepreneurship is also widely encouraged in Bytown through a wide variety of incubator programs, courses and initiatives.
Varied and Budget-Friendly Housing
The capital city of Canada boasts a surprisingly affordable housing market. The residential average price is currently set at $427,487, while an average condo-class property will cost you around $263,744.
Unlike in other large Canadian cities such as Toronto or Vancouver, the downtown core of Ottawa doesn’t feature exorbitant prices. If you’re an outgoing person, Centretown is the perfect base for you, boasting proximity to chic restaurants, vibrant nightclubs and the famous ByWard Market. Lowertown offers easy access to playgrounds, parks and schools, making it the ideal choice for families with small children. Students will definitely appreciate the low-cost rentals in Sandy Hill, close to the main universities. Old Ottawa South and The Glebe are for those in search of a family home with a charming garden attached to the property.
Over the last decade Bytown has advanced into having one of the most diverse culinary scenes in the country. It offers a wide array of gastronomic experiences, ranging from fine dining restaurants led by innovative chefs to street-side food trucks boasting mouth-watering dishes. ByWard Market features a bustling outdoor market by day with over 260 stands and a buzzing nightlife with a myriad of cafes, clubs, restaurants and pubs.
The Savour Ottawa initiative aims to connect local, artisanal food producers growing healthy—and oftentimes organic—produce to restaurants, retail grocery stores and the general public. This act provides continuous support to small businesses, while also strengthening the local economy.
If you plan on moving to Ottawa with your children, there are a few key notions you need to be aware of. Firstly, the education system in Bytown is of top quality, offering public, private and faith-based schools in both English and French. Six colleges and universities can also be found in the city, along with a myriad of opportunities for further professional development in the form of courses and training programs.
With over 1,000 parks scattered around the city, it’s safe to say that there are plenty of green spaces in Ottawa, which your kids will definitely appreciate. Let’s not forget about the many recreation programs, camps, sports clubs and arts centres, providing children with both fun and educational activities at the same time. And then there’s the fact there are there are seven downhill ski resorts within easy driving distance of the city.
In conclusion, Ottawa, with its proximity to nature, low crime rates and vast employment opportunities, along with its exciting culinary and nightlife scene, offers a safe and entertaining base for all its residents. Add top notch health care, high standards of living and an outstanding education system to the equation and you’ll soon find Bytown’s charm irrestistible —maybe it’s no wonder that Ottawa’s Canadian Museum of Civilization is the most visited museum in Canada! Whether you’re interested in relocating with your family or you’re single and looking to make it somewhere new on your own, moving to Ottawa might well be worth your while.