Ottawa, Ontario, is the beautiful capital city of Canada. It is located where the Ottawa and Rideau rivers converge in southern Ontario. Living in Ottawa is no less than a fortune as you witness the beauty of this green city in daylight and shining nightlife.

It is one of the best and most peaceful places to live in Canada, as the city’s crime rate is very low. It is famous for many qualities, mainly its Parliament Hill, cultural diversity, and summer music gala. The Ottawa people speak the Ottawa language of southern Ontario, Canada. It is a dialect of the Ojibwe vocabulary.

If you are thinking of travelling to Ottawa, there could be multiple ways that you can adopt. You can pick the one that suits you the best. This Ottawa Travel Guide will help you to know everything about Ottawa, including places to eat, sleep, things to do, and much more! 

About the City of Ottawa:

The Quebec border is shared by Ottawa, located in Southern Ontario’s Eastern region. From Toronto and Montreal, it takes roughly five hours by car to get there. On the Ottawa River’s southern bank, it is located. 

A one-hour trip will take you to the American border. The Prescott-Ogdensburg border crossing is the nearest one. Together with Gatineau, Quebec, Ottawa forms the National Capital Region (NCR). The city, which was once known as Bytown and was renamed “Ottawa” in 1855, has grown to become Canada’s political and technological hub. 

Ottawa was originally a Christian Irish and French colony but has since developed into a multiethnic metropolis with a varied population. The city has a population of 934,243 as of the 2016 Census, and the Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) has a population of 1,323,783.

According to Mercer, Ottawa has the second-highest quality of life of any major city in the Americas and ranks 14th globally. Living in Ottawa also means you’ll be in the second and third-cleanest cities in the world, respectively. The city was the best place to live in Canada in 2017 by MoneySense. 

The University of Ottawa and Carleton University dominate the city’s center, making Ottawa a bustling and young metropolis. As the nation’s capital, it is endowed with stunning architecture, a vibrant downtown, and various fascinating neighbourhoods.

How to Move to Ottawa:

Families flourish, and careers develop in Ottawa. Don’t let the minority of people who may disparage Ottawa’s capital as boring deter you if you are considering moving there. Most people who relocate to Ottawa stay for a very long time, and there are solid reasons for that. 

We will cover all the necessities for your move to Ottawa, including information on the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, visas, housing, and jobs, as well as lifestyle and things to do in Ottawa.

Things are reasonably straightforward for anyone travelling to Ottawa from another Canadian city. Still, there are costs to pay and forms to submit for ex-pats who want to go abroad. On the website of the Canadian government’s immigration and citizenship section, for instance, you can get more detailed information about the visa application process. 

Since the new Express Entry System was legislated in January 2015, those who want to settle permanently in Ottawa must demonstrate relevant expertise and strong language proficiency. The closest Canadian embassy should be your first stop. 

Once your application has been sent, it may take up to 7 days for a response. You must appear for an interview to demonstrate why you should be granted entry. 

Once your application has been submitted, it could take ten working days for a decision to be made. You will need to appear in an interview to support your case for admission. Once you’ve arrived in Ottawa, you’ll need a social insurance number to start looking for work. 

If you are given a visa, you should ensure you have your most recent health documents on hand because doing so will make getting health insurance much quicker. Visit the Newcomer Information Center at 200 Catherine Street as soon as possible. You can find all the details required to adjust to living in Ottawa quickly. 

Don’t forget to apply for the publicly funded Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), which provides coverage for essential medical treatments. Compared to many other capital cities worldwide, Ottawa offers incredibly cheap housing, and with the correct tools, you can quickly settle down. 

While you can always get a good notion of what is available online, there are also several independent organizations whose primary purpose is to facilitate your property search. 

Websites are excellent if you’re looking to rent a place, and the Ottawa Real Estate Board is always a good place to explore if you’re looking to buy. Additionally, looking through the classifieds in regional publications like the Ottawa Citizen or the Ottawa Sun may aid in your hunt for a home.

Getting to Ottawa:

With so many transportation choices available, getting here is simple whether you go by car, bus, train, or airplane. One of the most picturesque capital cities in the world, Ottawa is located on the border of the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. 

It is nestled at the confluence of three rolling rivers. Ottawa is a simple place to reach at any time of year. It is only a two-hour drive west of Montreal and a four-hour drive northeast of Toronto. 

Following, we’ll go over several popular ways to get around Ottawa:

By Air

If you move by air, keep your ticket and passport handy. It will prevent you from panicking about situations. Search and compare multiple flight rates. 

Decide whether you will take direct or connecting flights, then choose the one that suits your pocket. Ottawa International Airport is an airport that deals with international flights and also covers Europe and The United States.

Using Trains

Going for an option like trains would be comfortable if you live around Canada and the route takes you to Ottawa. Canada’s Passenger Train Service is an excellent option as it covers all significant places in Canada. 

The ticket would be affordable, but the duration might be longer than a flight, but if you’re happy with the training atmosphere, book a ticket for yourself. 

With a Car

Heading to Ottawa in a car is a perfect option because it saves your time and energy from waiting in queues. You can rent a car, or it would be best to have your car because that sets the next level of comfort.

The important highways include 417, 416, and 174, and the speed limit is 100 to 110 km/h. Moreover, this option would be lighter for your pocket than a train ticket.

Using a Bus

Another alternative is taking a bus if the distance is very short. It’s best for you if you don’t want to spend too much to get there. You don’t need to worry about the routes; consider booking the one with fewer stops.

Consider other options if you live outside Canada or in places far from Ottawa because travelling on a bus for long hours could be exhausting.

Ottawa’s Cost of Living

Another crucial aspect to focus on is the cost of living. Ottawa is much more sensible than other Canadian cities like Toronto. You can easily bear your food expenses. Living in Ottawa is also very eye-catching for people due to its decent pricing for various factors, as discussed below.

Market Streets

You can explore numerous shopping options around the town, from top-notch high-end brands like CF Rideau Centre, Merivale Mall, and the downtown mall to local markets like Main Farmers’ Market

Besides that, you can always find good local stores in your area. There is a large area and variety to discover all the essentials at excellent prices.

Food and Other Supplies

There’s a wide range of comfort food options, including famous Italian food, Caribbean, and Thai cuisine. Also, Ottawa’s Shawarma is very popular among people, especially when you have it with your loved ones. Moreover, there is also room for sweet tooths with some perfect gelato flavours.

What is the Weather like in Ottawa?

Due to Ottawa’s semi-continental climate, the atmosphere remains quite hot during the summers and gets harshly cold and freezing in the winters. 

Ottawa’s weather gets warm by the start of June till September, when the temperature reaches up to 30°C. Autumn starts by the end of September, and you can adore the aesthetics of the scenery.

The winter season takes over by ending in November, and you witness snowfall. The temperature in winter can drop to as low as -14°C. These chilly breezes continue till April, when they exchange duty.

Best Places to Visit in Ottawa

If you get a chance once in your life to visit Ottawa, you should visit a few of the historical and popular places in Ottawa (world-class museums like the Canadian war museum). You can learn more by physically being in the place than by reading or getting to know about it. 

  1. Centennial Flame

It is situated at Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Ontario, near the Queen’s Gate. In doing so, it celebrates the 100th anniversary of Canada’s confederation. On January 19, 1967, it was first illuminated to the public. 

  1. Byward Market

It is among the oldest farmer’s markets in Canada. A diverse selection of foods is available within the establishment. Elegant restaurants, florists, hotels, and boutiques can all be found there.

  1. Sparks Street Mall

This mall is a vast arena consisting of several outdoor dining areas. It acts as a host to the Ottawa International Buskers Festival, where people over the globe highlight their talent before the visitors.

  1. Canadian Museum of History

The museum celebrates Canada’s diverse past and serves as a symbol of the country’s multicultural identity. Douglas Cardinal designed this terrific building. The museum hosted numerous exhibitions in the past where antique and precious pieces were displayed.

  1. Norte-dame Cathedral Basilica

The Ottawa Roman Catholic Church dates back to 1842, making it the city’s oldest active church of its kind. Constant maintenance and updates have kept it in fine shape. Numerous glass windows add to its aesthetic appeal.

  1. Gatineau Park

The park is known as Ottawa’s Conservation Park. The entrance is located four kilometres away from the center of Ottawa.  In spite of the fact that it was founded in 1938, its beauty still stands today. The National Capital Commission is in charge of its administration.

Other Things To Do When in Ottawa

You can spend your spare time making the most of the beauty of Ottawa. There are many other things to do in Ottawa during your leisure hours, such as taking fun rides and doing your favourite activity.

Witness Changing of the Guard

It is among the most popular tourist attractions. It occurs every morning from the end of June to late August at Parliament Hill, Ottawa. The show starts at 9:50 a.m. on the East Lawn of the hill.

Canadian Grenadiers and Foot Guards perform with pipers and bands. You can enjoy audio coverage of the show and Canadian history if you reach a little early. You can bring your camera to capture these beautiful moments.

Witness Northern Lights

Northern Lights are a sparkly eyecatcher. You can witness it at 111 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Canada. This place is an attraction for those who are fond of colours and find it magical.

You can make the most of the shiny views for five summer nights a week for 30 minutes as it is free of cost. Usually, the show goes from around July till September. The show timing ranges between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Have Boat Cruise on the Ottawa River

This view could be the best for those who admire water waves. You can view Ottawa from a different angle with a Boat Cruise on Ottawa’s River. The ride provides a clear view of Parliament Hill, Rideau Falls, and The Sumptuous homes of Sussex Drive.

It starts from middle-May till the last of September. You can book a ride in any available slot of day or night, ranging from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Ride on the Rideau Canal

This Canal is declared the heartbeat of the city as it connects the city to Lake Ontario and Kingston’s Saint Lawrence River. Due to the curtain-like appearance of this 202 km long Canal, it was named ‘Rideau’ (French for ‘Curtain’).

It is popular among people as it serves as a Skating Rink in winter when the Canal is frozen, with an area of 7.8 k.m. which makes it the longest natural ice rink globally.

Best Neighbourhoods in Ottawa

Ottawa is a young, vibrant city with a diverse and supernatural neighbourhood mix. While Ottawa is sleepier than Montreal, Toronto, or Vancouver, it still has excellent restaurants, space museums, sporting events, plenty of green space, and lively nightlife. 

This guide discusses some of the most popular Ottawa neighbourhoods for those looking to relocate to the nation’s capital. 

Remember that determining which part of Ottawa is best for you may take some time, so defer to doing a long-term duty until you have seen more of the city.

Here are some famous neighbours of Ottawa:

Downtown Ottawa

The accessibility of living Downtown, which provides residents with easy access to the city’s economic core and where people socialize, is one of the primary benefits of living in Ottawa. 

Government buildings dedicated to civil service dominate Ottawa’s Downtown. This area also has a lot of business activity, with many hotels, apartments, and condominiums. 

Downtown Ottawa has almost every amenity a city professional could desire, including many excellent restaurants and pubs. However, living in downtown Ottawa differs from living in the Downtown of a larger city.


Centretown is located to the south of the central business district. This area has numerous restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, and unlike Downtown, it is not entirely deserted at night.

Centretown, one of Ottawa’s most important neighbourhoods, is home to many homes and condominiums, including low-rise and high-rise buildings, apartment complexes, townhouse evolutions, and traditional single-family homes.

The Canadian Museum of Nature is located in Centretown, a historic district with many landmarks. The Rideau Canal, the CF Rideau Centre (Ottawa’s largest mall), cross-town bus transit, and the Byward Market are all nearby. 

Centretown is a desirable location for both young and old adults, which is one of the reasons why it is slightly more expensive than other areas of Ottawa.

ByWard Market

The ByWard Market, a historic bazaar that houses many of the city’s most well-known bars and restaurants, is the centrepiece of downtown Ottawa. 

By day, it’s a pleasant place to wander or buy fresh fruits and vegetables from a farmers’ market, but at night, the market takes on a new personality, revealing itself to be the core of Ottawa’s nightlife.

If you want to maintain an active social life without constantly needing to take a taxi home, the ByWard Market may be the perfect Ottawa neighbourhood for you. Despite being a little rougher and noisier, professionals, students, and couples outnumber families in this Ottawa neighbourhood.

Little Italy 

Preston Street, also known as Corso Italia, is the focal point of Little Italy. You’ll enjoy walking along the recently remodelled neighbourhood’s wide pavements and sampling Italian and other areas of expertise at the area’s many restaurants, which include a summer sidewalk cafe scene.


Chinatown is a densely packed neighbourhood full of shops and restaurants where you can sample the world’s goods and culinary traditions. 

Asian goods and restaurants from Korea, Thailand, China, and Vietnam, as well as the Philippines, India, the Mediterranean region, and the Middle East, are widely available.

Sandy Hill

Sandy Hill’s nearness to the University of Ottawa has contributed to its distinct character. Many of Sandy Hill’s inhabitants have moved to the suburbs and rented their homes to students, transforming the neighbourhood into a student haven.

On the other hand, Sandy Hill is still an excellent option for young people looking to settle in Ottawa because it has a wide variety of multicultural restaurants and bars with affordable prices for students, convenient access to downtown amenities, and the availability of almost any activity any night of the week.

Old Ottawa South and The Glebe

The Glebe and Old Ottawa South are two of Ottawa’s wealthier neighbourhoods. There can be all colonial-era structures, sizable parks and gardens, tree-lined streets, upscale cafes, brunch spots, and organic food stores.

The Rideau Canal is a great place to ice skate in the winter and goes running or biking in the warmer months, and it is easily accessible from both neighbourhoods.

Due to their proximity to Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, these Ottawa neighbourhoods are home to a sizable population of students. If you look hard enough, you can find affordable housing.


Another significant area of Ottawa is Vanier, situated on the east bank of the Rideau River. A national historic site, more Francophone neighbourhoods has experienced a demographic shift in recent years, and most of the population is no longer composed of French speakers.

A low-cost Ottawa neighbourhood located outside of the downtown area is called Vanier. Vanier’s reputation for being a little seedy may be the cause, but recent events and gentrification initiatives are starting to change this, and prices are starting to rise.

 However, Vanier is an excellent choice for those who want to cut their rent costs while staying close to downtown Ottawa.

Somerset Street West

Even though Somerset Street West is less established than other areas on this list, some newcomers to Ottawa may find it a good fit. Ottawa’s Chinatown and Little Italy are located in this region, roughly surrounded by Bank Street to the east, Preston Street to the west, Somerset to the north, and Carling to the south.

As a result, the neighbourhood is thriving and offers a wide variety of excellent and, for the most part, affordable dining options. Compared to other Ottawa neighbourhoods, Somerset Street West has fewer green spaces and is a highly populated area with many homeless shelters.

Somerset Street West might be a better option if you’re a young person rather than a parent looking for a place to raise your kids.

Westboro and Hintonburg

Westboro and Hintonburg are the following destinations we reach. Both of the nineteenth-century Ottawa neighbourhoods are close to the city’s center. Better yet, both Ottawa neighbourhoods are renowned for being unique and fascinating.

The eldest of the two neighbourhoods is Westboro. You’ll find lovely tree-lined streets, top-notch schools, bars and eateries, specialty stores, and roomy, unusual homes here.

Expect to pay a little bit more to live in Westboro because it is so secure, practical, and desirable. Hintonburg has cheaper but rising rents.

 New Edinburgh and Rockcliffe Park

We arrive in New Edinburgh and Rockcliffe Park after crossing the Rideau River once more. These wealthy Ottawa neighbourhoods, north of Vanier, are home to numerous embassies and consulates, some of the city’s richest and most influential people, and the prime minister.

These peaceful areas of Ottawa, which feature beautiful mansions and lots of green space, are way out of most people’s budget. 

They are still fun to visit during Halloween or drive-through in December when many homes are lavishly decked out for Christmas.

Alta Vista

Alta Visa might be a good choice for those seeking a more composed residential experience. Compared to the Glebe or Old Ottawa South, housing costs are slightly lower here, but many amenities like schools and bike paths are still available. 

Two hospitals in Ottawa and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario are in Alta Vista. While several public transportation lines serve Alta Vista, getting Downtown may be challenging for those without cars. 

Because of this, Alta Vista might be a better fit for people looking to settle down as opposed to those looking to keep up a faster pace of life.


Reach Orleans, the first community on this list that meets the criteria for being a suburb, by continuing east. There are many subdivisions, housing developments, high schools, and a sizable mall in the sprawling city of Orleans.

Large numbers of francophones live in Orleans. Residents of Orleans will have easy access to Petrie Island, a park with a beach. 

Keep in mind that owning a car is practically a necessity in Orleans because the city has a very suburban feel to it and has little in the way of nightlife.

South Keys and Gloucester

The South Keys residential area and the longtime township of Gloucester are both passed through as we head south. These suburban areas have numerous brand-new housing developments, strip malls, and chain stores. 

They might not have the same allure as older Ottawa neighbourhoods, but they are still good choices for people looking to save money on housing.

Kanata, Barrhaven, and Nepean

The boundaries of Ottawa’s city have recently been expanded, and several formerly independent towns have been merged. Three Ottawa neighbourhoods—Kanata, Barrhaven, and Nepean—are now considered city suburbs rather than independent towns. 

These areas are very family-friendly and safe, and there are malls, schools, medical facilities, sports venues, and other helpful amenities and services close by. Families can frequently afford more extensive amenities than they would elsewhere because they are still, in general, less costly than those closer to Downtown.  

However, some homes in these areas can be pricey despite the lengthy commute along the Queensway during rush hour.

Gatineau and Hull

If you want to experience French culture significantly more, Gatineau, Quebec, might be the best choice. Rent on this side of the Ottawa River will be considerably less than on the Ontario side. However, speaking French will be a distinct advantage because one can only obtain many administrative services in that language.

Gatineau also has some of the most panoramic view areas in the National Capital Region, including Wakefield, a delightful rural area with breathtaking views of Gatineau National Park, and Le Nordique Spa in Chelsea. 

Although Quebec has significantly lower rents than Ontario, you should know that Quebec’s taxes are higher.

Best Places To Eat When in Ottawa

The city’s tech arts (technology museum and national arts center) have recently started to take a small foothold. Gatineau, Ottawa’s twin city across the river, and Ottawa’s food scene have expanded quickly.

Even though the city has had some popular destination eateries for almost ten years, the more recent additions and less expensive meals, such as shawarma, sandwiches, and pho, are crucial to Ottawa dining.

Here are some famous places to eat when in Ottawa:

Sansotei Ramen

Sansotei Ramen first debuted in Toronto and now operates several restaurants, along with this one in Ottawa, which is becoming increasingly well-liked.

Along with a variety of ramen noodle soups made with broths made every day, they also serve chicken wings, fried chicken, seaweed salad, gyoza (pan-fried Japanese meat dumplings), and gyudon as side dishes (rice with beef and caramelized onions). 

Mango cheesecake is a tasty treat if you’re craving something sweet.

Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Flora Hall Brewing

The renovated 1927 structure that houses this brewpub was first used as an auto radio repair shop in October 2017.

It has since become a well-liked gathering spot in Ottawa thanks to its wide selection of high-quality craft beers, cozy atmosphere, and a menu that offers inventive and modern takes on traditional favourite food from around the world using locally and seasonally sourced recipes.

Monday-Friday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. (later on Fridays), and Saturday-Sunday, noon.


Their motto, “Town loves you and expects you to be happy,” says it all. Creative cuisine prepared with fresh, regional ingredients is offered at a fair price and is complemented by enjoyable music, a welcoming atmosphere, and first-rate service.

Open from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Monday.

Play Food & Wine

Play food & wine offers abundant small plates for sharing, a wide variety of savoury and sweet dishes, cheeses and charcuteries, and the best wines by the glass to go with each dish. 

Local farms supply the kitchen with seasonal, sustainable, and local products. Open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and for lunch from noon to 3 p.m. Friday through Saturday. Mondays are closed.

Beckta Dining & Wine

One of Ottawa’s most well-known restaurants is Stephen Beckta’s, whose central location is Beckta Dining & Wine. 

You’ll adore the elegant, cutting-edge cuisine served seasonally and using organic, local ingredients. The excellent service makes your great dining experience even more enjoyable.

Tuesday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Best Time to Visit Ottawa

The best time to find travel packages is between December and February, when Ottawa is less popular due to the winter weather and snow. Due to the prevalence of winter sports in the region, it is frequently on traveller watchlists. 

The busiest travel times for visitors are in the spring and summer, when plenty of outdoor celebrations and events make the most of the picturesque surroundings. 

Available Transportations Around Ottawa

Getting around in Canada’s Capital is simple in any season! Take advantage of Ottawa’s transportation options, including public transportation, the light rail system, taxi services, ride-sharing, and more! 

In the Ottawa-Gatineau region, public and private transportation options the Ottawa-Gatineau region ns include:

Ottawa’s Public Transportation

OC Transpo operates a large public transportation network. The system consists of bus and O-Train light rail services that connect to cover both the city and the region. 

Adult fares are C$3.40. A C$10.25 day pass is available. On weekends and holidays, a family of two adults and two children can ride the system for C$10.25 for the entire day.

Through Taxi

In Ottawa, there are several taxi companies. Five miles cost approximately C$17.35. If you go to the Quebec side, you’ll find separate cab companies that can only operate on their side of the provincial border.

Through Private Car

A car rental isn’t necessary if you’re staying in the city, but it can help explore the surrounding area. Compact car rentals start at C$16 per day from companies like Enterprise and Hertz.

In the downtown area, street parking may be limited. There are several parking lots, both private and public. Municipal lots start at C$2.00 for 30 minutes, with a daily maximum of C$15.00 until 6 p.m. Evenings are less expensive.

Check Out This Ottawa Travel Guide & The Best Things to Do in Ottawa:


Is Ottawa or Calgary bigger?

Approximately 1,019,942 people live in Calgary, according to population projections for 2022, while 812,129 people live in Ottawa. It shows Calgary to be bigger than Ottawa. 

As the nation’s capital and home to a million people, Ottawa is now recognized as a major city, if not a metropolis. The ten largest cities in Canada are Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Mississauga, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton, Brampton, and Hamilton.

 It depends on the person. As it is bigger and more developed than Ottawa, Calgary is a wise choice. Calgary is far removed from Toronto and Montreal, two of the world’s largest, most progressive, and most cosmopolitan cities.

What is the Currency of Ottawa?

The national currency in Ottawa is the Canadian Dollar. You must convert your money into Canadian dollars before visiting Ottawa.

The Canadian Dollar (CAD): What Is It? The Canadian Dollar, also referred to as the “loonie,” is denoted by the currency acronym or symbol CAD.

To differentiate it from other currencies denominated in dollars, such as the United States dollar, the Canadian Dollar, which is made up of one hundred cents, is frequently represented by the symbol C$.

Why is Ottawa Important to Ontario?

The city is home to parliament buildings, where Canada’s House of Representatives and State legislature of Canada meet. It was also located far from the American border, reducing its vulnerability to attack. 

When Canada became a sovereign power within the British Commonwealth in 1867, Ottawa was still designated as the country’s capital, a title it had held since 1857.

It began as a trading and logging community and developed into a town of international significance.

Is Ottawa Safe?

Over the last decade, Ottawa has had the lowest violent crime rate among Canada’s six largest cities. Furthermore, Ottawa has one of the lowest “Crime Severity Index” (CSI) values among Canada’s 33 Census Metropolitan Areas. 

The CSI assesses both the volume and severity of the police-reported crime. Ottawa has a reputation for being one of the safest cities in Canada. Compared to other cities, Ottawa’s crime rate is at the lower end of the scale.

Final Thoughts

Ottawa has a lot to be proud of. Ottawa’s benefits are becoming more widely known: The best city in Canada to live in concerning income, vehicle ownership, rate of unemployment, housing, weather, and lifestyle is Ottawa, according to a Canadian Business study. 

Ottawa is a significant economic force, offering employment and opportunities in the government, high-tech industries, and vital industries like health and education. 

The city is home to renowned academic institutions, the national gallery of Canada, top-tier research facilities, and significant global corporations. All of these things combined make Ottawa the best city to live in.