Ottawa is the capital of Canada and is situated in the east of southern Ontario, close to Montreal and the US border. Sprawled on the Ottawa River is the Parliament Hill, the grand Victorian architecture and museums like the National Gallery of Canada, with great collections of local and foreign Canadian arts. The park-lined Rideau Canal is covered with boats during summer and ice-skaters during winter. It is a lively and young region, providing different and wide range of areas that are surrounded by culture and history.
The Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) population of Ottawa is calculated at 1.25 million, which makes the province the fourth largest populous city in Canada. The region has a population density of 317 residents per square kilometer (820/sq mi).
Weather: 3 degrees Celsius, Wind South at 16km/h, 93% Humidity
Ottawa has a sunny weather, with colder winters than Toronto. Snow deeper than 1 cm falls for about 120 days in Ottawa, while in Toronto, it only falls for 65 days. Over 2 meters of snow falls during winter in Ottawa.
In Ottawa, the temperature fluctuates during spring and autumn; they can experience a warm weather today and a snowy one the next day. During summer they experience a lot of smoggy days but not as much as southern Ontario cities like Toronto.
About 37% of Ottawa’s population can speak both French and English. It is the largest city in Canada that speaks both French and English language as its official language. If you are seeking employment in Ottawa or coming there for educational reasons and not sure of what to expect, just as every other city, it has its turn on and turn offs. However, your choices are dependent on your age, lifestyle and so many other personal reasons. What you like may be disliked by someone else.
Nearly one-sixth of Ottawa’s residents are visible minorities about one in five of its residents are not indigenes of Canada.
The amount is the same as the foreign-born percentages for Calgary, Montreal, and Edmonton and obviously lower than Toronto (49%) and Vancouver (38%).
Asia is the largest source of immigrants to Ottawa with the Chinese taking the lead. Nearly one in three people can speak both English and French with Francophones concentrated on the eastern part of Ottawa.
Ottawa is well known for being a quiet, reserved, family oriented region, were people are relaxed and engage in sport than nightlife.
The Canadian Magazine, Money Sense rates Ottawa as Canada’s great city. Ottawa ranks high in many categories especially for new car ownership, population growth, low crime, amount of doctors and culture.
The healthcare in Ottawa is of high quality. You may find it challenging to get a family doctor when you first get to Ottawa but the good thing is there are clinics you can walk-in and be attended too quickly.
According to research conducted recently, Ottawa’s average household income was estimated at $89,400 and that of Canada was at $81,300 annually. Ottawa was rated below average for affordable housing only aside that, homes in Ottawa are very much affordable than in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver. Ottawa’s average house prices cost the same as or may be slightly higher than that of Montreal and Edmonton. Workers in Ottawa earn more.
Ottawa has one of the highest percentages of parks per resident in Canada. They are available all over the city since most of the areas are not wide apart; they have parks with playgrounds for kids. Residents who love to work out in the open have lots of options to choose from. Ottawa has many serene bike paths, majorly by the rivers.
- Lots of Great Museums
We get the honors of playing host to most of the nation’s best artifacts being Canada’s capital. We have the Museum of Nature, the Canadian Museum of War on Lebreton flats. The Canadian Science and Technology Museum is under reconstruction and will come out better in 2017.
The Canadian Aviation and Space Museum and the Diefenbunker holds the true facts about the cold war. Across the river in Gatineau is the Canadian Museum of History, and it houses the IMAX theatre. You can find more fascinating things on this list
- Lower Crime Rate
Crime is a part of urban cities but Ottawa is not as violent as many big cities. It has one of the lowest crime rates than any bigger city in Canada, with 799 violent crime incidents per 100,000 individuals on 2012. Only Calgary has 735. Generally, the level of crime in many cities has reduced.
- Less Traffic Congestion
You hardly come across gridlocks in Ottawa. The little congestion you see can’t be compared with what you see in bigger cities. The 401 covers from east to west and goes through downtown. Gridlocks have reduced greatly due to the recent rehabilitation on the roads. If you are familiar with congestions on Don Valley, Parkway or Highway 40 via Montreal then what we have on 401, won’t seem like gridlock to you.
- Housing Prices are Reasonable
The amount you pay for a house in Ottawa is far lesser than what you will find in other big cities like Vancouver, Toronto or Calgary. Well, if you are relocating from a small city, it may seem on the high side and the closer it gets to downtown, the more expensive it becomes. You will definitely find a house that fits into your budget in Ottawa.
It’s not very lively
If you are relocating to Ottawa from a very lively city like Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver you may think it to be too quiet. Yes, we have theatre, galleries and live bands but they are in no way as loud as the big cities. We also have lots of nice restaurants and clubs in the inner part of downtown. However, they are just a handful when compared to the amount of relaxation spots you can find in other cities.
Jobs where you interact with people often, requires you to be able to speak both French and English. This can only be a condition if you only know one of the official languages.
Kids in Ottawa take French classes in school so they can have a good foundation but most people who are relocating from English speaking countries have limited options to choose from.
More than 9,600 new jobs were made available in the capital city within August 2015-August 2016. The federal government still remains the biggest employer with over 135,000 workers, the military inclusive. The local council hires nearly 20,000 people for job openings in hospitals, universities, schools, tourism and shopping malls.
Ottawa has been called “Silicon Valley North” due to the amount of high tech firms situated there.
High-tech companies located in Kanata Research Park ar
- Alcatel Lucent
- Bell Canada
- General Dynamics Canada
There are over 1,800 technology firms in Ottawa, like Protecode, Shopify, and Solace System. There have also been lots of job opportunities in the manufacturing sector and the healthcare sector too. Projects like the Ottawa Light Rail Transit expansion Stage 2 and the rehabilitation of the parliamentary precinct are expected to create more construction jobs in the near future.
Ottawa has a workforce of very highly educated people. More than half of its residents are graduates and the city has the highest number of scientists, engineers and PhD holders in Canada. It has two major universities, then University of Ottawa and Carleton University.
The University of Ottawa is a bilingual university with nearly 35,000 undergraduates and more than 6,000 post-graduate students. It assures its graduate that they stand a 97% chance of getting employed and it has the biggest law school in Canada.
The University of Ottawa was placed in band 251th-300th equal in the Times Higher Education 2016-2017 rankings of universities around the world. In the last three years, Ottawa has made it into the world top 200. It is ranked 7th among universities in Canada.
The university offers more than 450 courses and programs in Common Law, Arts, Civil Law, Education, Medicine, Social Sciences, Science, Health Science and the Tefler School of Management.
Carleton University has close to 23,000 undergraduate and 3,500 post graduate students. About 15% of its students are from other countries and it was ranked within the 501-600 equal by the Times Higher Education rankings.
Other Canadian universities that are ranked the same as Carleton are Concordia University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, University of Regina and Universite de Sherbrooke. The two major collegesin Ottawa are Algonquin College and the French speaking La Cite Collegiale.