: Living and working in Ottawa
2005-02-23, 05:57 PM
Just trying to get some opinions on the Ottawa region as my wife and I are considering a move to Ontario. We lived in Mississauga for a couple of years and really liked it, but we'd like a more subdued pace with cleaner air, less crowding, less crime and aggression, etc :-)
My wife works for the feds so she might be able to eventually get a transfer, and I work in the IT/Tech industry.
Thinking about Kanata, Nepean, but hard to find info that isn't geared towards tourism promo and the like. I figure the best thing to do is ask people who live there what they think of it. Pros/Cons? Best places to live? Quality of life? Etc...
Any and all opinions welcome...
2005-02-23, 06:38 PM
The best place to live in Ontario....come on over.
You are obviously aware of all the benefits. I can think of two concerns you might have. The IT/Tech industry is a little tight and you will pay a LOT more for a house.
2005-02-23, 06:38 PM
Bells Corners is a solid place to live right on the kanta border.In bells corners there are multi resturants from fast food to higher class there is 3 major shopping centers.
Bradys Pool & Spa Care
2 clothing stores
Chuck Brown (golf store)
Bent Grass (indoor golf)
Zollas (Pasta Resturant)
Pillows in stuff
Lapoints (Fish resturant)
Bells corners animal hospital
Laura Candy shop
Hakem (much like lens crafters)
Indoor flea market
Shoppers Drug Mart
Bells corners butcher
Marks worth warehouse
Bells corners mall
Welcome Back (Chinnesse resturant)
Rogers (small outlet)
M & M meats
Family corner store
In addtion the following are in bells corners
1 Canadian Tire
4 Gas stations
3 Docters offices
4 Dentists offices
1 Burger King
2 Macs milks
1 Pizza hut
1 Pizza pizza
Aslo you can walk from one end of bells corners to the other end in 1o minutes.There are multi parks and westcliff as well as lynwood villege both have huge forests with great walking an dbiking paths.There is aslo gov and high tech buildings right in bells corners.The area i live in westcliff we just had a bunch of new houses go up if you woul like i would be more then happy to get you the info and send it to you as well i could take some pics of bells conrers and send them to you please let me know
2005-02-23, 09:34 PM
Ottawa's a nice town. It's not as big or "exciting" as Montreal or Toronto, but it's got enough diversity and activity to keep it interesting.
- The Byward Market: shops, restaurants, bars; a great place to hang out in the Summer.
- The Rideau Canal and Dow's Lake: great for strolling along in the Summer and skating on in the Winter.
- The Gatineau Hills: scenic all year round, x-country skiing in the Winter.
- Restaurants of varying genres, ethnicities and price-points.
- Parks and bike paths everywhere.
- Clubs, bars, pubs, museums.
- Sports franchises: hockey, football, baseball and lacrosse.
- Several theatres, including one at the Casino in Gatineau (< 5 min. from downtown).
- And lots more.
There are lots of nice little towns in the area (Merrickville, Smiths Falls, Perth, etc.) for "day trips", and Montreal, Kingston and the Mont Tremblant ski resort are each only 2 hours away.
Major areas, relative to the downtown core are:
- East: Orleans.
- West: Nepean, then Bell's Corners, then Kanata.
- South: Barrhaven.
- North: Gatineau (Québec), a.k.a. "across the river".
jayme1009 mentioned Bell's Corners: It's a slightly older community and is somewhat more developed than parts of the Barrhaven or Kanata 'burbs. It would be a good place (and a somewhat more central point) to locate if you plan to live in the west end.
Transit can be alright, particulary if you live near express bus routes or the Transitway (sort of an expressway for buses); otherwise, it kinda sucks.
A couple of links that may be of use: Ottawa Tourism (http://www.canajun.com/ottawa/tourism/pictures/intro/) | Ottawa in Pictures (http://www.canajun.com/ottawa/tourism/pictures/intro/)
2005-02-23, 10:04 PM
Ottawa is the perfect city, as far as I am concerned. Not too big, not too small. A short 2 hours to Montreal and 4 hours to Toronto, the best of both worlds.
As far as neighbourhoods, it depends on your lifestyle, place of work, etc. If you want middle to upper class suburbia, Kanata Lakes is the place. Barrhaven is another of the largest and fastest gowing communities in the west end. It had a population of 5,000 when I moved here 22 years ago. Today we're around 40,000 with a projected pop of 100,000+ by 2010. Just about every amnemity is here. If you want east end, Orleans is the equivelent. There's also many country estate neighbourhoods within a short drive to town. It all depends on what you want. Ottawa certainly isn't just the 'ol government town it was once thought to be.
2005-02-24, 09:18 AM
Buy a bicycle. You will love it.
I see you are from Halifax. I am from there as well. Actually a very small town in NS. Some things to consider.
One thing I miss about NS is the more friendly and relaxed environment. I travel frequently back and forth. Talking to strangers is normal in NS. Striking up conversations here is not. Nobody calls you "dear" here ;). Getting a "you are welcome" after a "thank-you" is not commom. Road rage is cranked up a few extra notches. Crossing a crosswalk and having cars stops is hit or miss.
Now I *do* enjoy the area but I don't live in Ottawa. I live across the river in Quebec (http://www.ville.gatineau.qc.ca/gatineau/english/index.htm). It is 10km from my workplace in Ottawa. Housing is less expensive and you have more room, but provincial income tax is higher. It is a balancing act. A larger mortgage (thus interest charges) or a larger chunk off your paycheck as tax. It also depends on your comfort zone living in Quebec. You should have a basic understanding of french, although I know some people who don't speak a word of french. I would say about 90% of the population can speak functional English. Some areas like Aylmer have 50% English population.
Someone else mentioned it but there are 100s of kilimeters of bike trails in the city and in the parks. Also, there are bike lanes on many of the cities roads.
PS: Don't come to Ottawa if you plan on watching HDTV over the air! ;)
2005-02-24, 11:51 AM
We moved from Burlington area in 1999, sold one year old house for a tidy profit and bought just as the housing market was starting to really boom in Ottawa.
When we moved here I thought that the pace of life (traffic, shopping malls on Saturday etc.) was much slower than the GTA. Over the past 5 years things have picked up as more people have moved to Ottawa BUT it is still nothing like the GTA, sure you can get into a traffic jam but only at certain times of the day and it is never for very long. In off peak times you can get anywhere in Ottawa in 20 minutes.
Frankly, after being here for a few years, I can no longer stand the traffic in the GTA.
Some things not already mentioned:
-good skiing 20 minutes away
-great skiing 60 minutes away (with no Blue Mountain lines)
-National Arts Centre, world class entertainment, touring Broadway shows etc.
-Museums, art galleries, concert halls, NHL (next year?)
-endless summer festivals (music, arts)
One of Ottawa's major advantages is because it is the National Capital there is a lot of funds spent on entertainment, festivals etc. for a relatively small population. Also, the NCC keeps the place really clean!
2005-02-24, 01:54 PM
Jake dear, you are welcome......http://digitalhomecanada.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_biggrin.gif
Stop that! When it happens to me here it throws me for a loop. :rolleyes:
2005-02-24, 03:47 PM
Move to Winnipeg.....ok I had to try. lol
But I known a couple of people who lived in Ottawa and I have heard it to be a lovely place and now that I have read this whole thread, I may have to go out and visit the place myself. lol
2005-02-24, 03:49 PM
My wife and I grew up in Ottawa and my family are still there.
It was always a "big deal" to go to the big cities ( Montreal/ T.O.).
We also could go to Montreal for a hockey game and home the same night.
These things don't sound such a big deal now that we live in T.O. (almost).
Another thing that we did was go to Burlington, Vermont for our Thanksgiving
which was great trip for the fall colours and before the American Thanksgiving and the crowds.
My daughter went to Carleton University and liked Ottawa so much we thought she was going to stay there.
I think it is also a little more inexpensive to buy a cottage outside Ottawa than here in Toronto, if that turns your crank.
On the downside, you said you wanted to get away from "crime and aggression" and unfortunately the place is crawling with politicians.
2005-02-24, 05:42 PM
People from out side ottawa think its this little sleepy town with very little crime.10 years ago ottawa yes was small and not alot to don but over the year that has changed big time.Ottawa now is over 1 million pop and with that the are has grown people don't leave ottawa to go to big citys any more.As with cotteges it depends where you go you can go to norwaybay cotteges run from $20.000-$250,000 or you can go to the the richer area called calabogy and they are way up there in costs.As with crime most crim right now takes part in the east end aslo known as the bronx of ottawa.The politicians are all for the most part in centre town.
2005-02-24, 06:26 PM
Always considered Ottawa as my 2'nd home when I lived and worked in Atlantic Canada. I travelled there 'often' through work, and on vacation, during the 70's and 80's. Always liked the contrasts of the "old and new". I liked to stay at what used to be called "The Beacon Arms" (remember Judy LaMarsh? she also liked the place -- yikes, I used to stay where she did!!). Always enjoyed browsing Byward Market (remember picking up and cooking fresh squid, and other goodies in my room!!), the grounds of the Parliament Buildings, Bank and Elgin Streets, along the Rideau Canal, etc., etc. Very clean city. Great for walking. People there (sales-types, on the street, etc.) tended to be "indifferent", especially when compared to the friendliness of Atlantic Canadians. Always thought it might/would/could be a nice location to live, had it not been for a west coast to this country!!
2005-02-25, 05:40 AM
I've been reading and appreciating all of the feedback in this thread, thanks everyone for taking the time to post your thoughts and your willingness to share.
For the ex-Atlantic Canadians, how do you find the winters in comparison to the Maritimes? Much colder? More snow? The past few years we've been back here the winters seem tougher, colder and more blizzard warnings than I remember.
I can't honestly remember hearing anyone slag Ottawa, except to say it was a bit "boring". Maybe constant sirens and echoes of gunfire constitute "excitement" for some, but we just like the quiet life with all of the fun "out there" if you decide to go out and pursue it.
And yes harmer, I agree that the only downside probably is all the damn political types roaming around free...;-)
Hell, in NS I can't even go to Canadian Tire or Future Shop on a Sunday...but don't get me started.
Thanks folks, it's been most helpful!
Yes but we don't have 24 hours Sobeys. FYI: Sunday shopping usually runs till 5 PM.
As far as the weather goes, NS has a milder winter. Ottawa has a hotter summer. Consider air conditioning. I hacked the 30°C inside temperatures for about 5 years then caved in. I don't think I know a single person in NS with central AC as the evenings tend to cool off there. Here it has the habit of remaining warm during the night. Especially in the city. You get about one month of really hot weather here. Some summers are better than others. I actually enjoy the warn mornings as I bike to work. Nothing better than getting up and having the outside temperature at 22°C at 7 AM.
We get a lot less wind here than NS. We rarely get blizzards here as a result. This last winter has been kind. I ony had to snow blow twice. The rest of time it was less than 5 cm. Freezing rain seems to be popular during winter here. This year is was really crappy for freezing rain. I prefer a blizzard over freezing rain.
If you are a gardener we have a slightly shorter growing season than NS but the numerous sunny days make up for it. One thing I appreciate is how much sun we get here. Especially in the winter and spring.
2005-02-25, 12:47 PM
Yes but we don't have 24 hours Sobeys.
Yes we do. The Sobeys in Barrhaven is open 24 hours.
I think the one in Kanata is also a 24 hour store.
Another bonus of shopping at Sobeys...you can get Chris Brothers pepperoni up here. OK, not a big deal to some, but I used to live on that stuff when I lived in Halifax. :D
2005-02-25, 12:53 PM
I left Halifax in 1993 in order to keep my job and moved here.
I absolutley love it here. I've been living in Barrhaven (Nepean South) for 11 years and find it's the perfect location. Lots of amenities.
The only thing I really miss is the ocean, or sitting in Point Pleasant Park and watching the ships come and go.
2005-03-01, 03:06 PM
With the exception of my first two years in Cape Breton, I've lived in the Ottawa area all my life.
I'm in Kanata and love it. If you're into music there are GREAT music festivals in the summer.
The weather here can be a bit challenging, from insane cold in the winter to suffocating humidity in the summer, but I can't think of a better city to live in.
You're in Mississauga eh? You should know, we're not letting any more Leaf fans in here, unless you convert to the Sens. :)
2007-04-18, 12:43 AM
Soon, it is possible that I will move to Ottawa for the job. I'm currently in Sherbrooke, QC. I like Sherbrooke because it's a small town, but not too small. I'm looking for a nice place in Ottawa or Gatineau. I don't know anything about Ottawa or Gatineau. I know that if I get the job, i'll work around Downtown Ottawa. I'm looking for a nice place, quiet. I will be permenantely relocate to Ottawa, so I don't want to rent a room. I'm open to renting anything from Appartement, Condo, house.
My question is, where do you suggest me to live ?
Also, because i'm from the Quebec, do you suggest me to become Ontarian or remain Quebecer ? I don't know wich one is better...