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Ottawa City Guide

Overview

Oh, Canada! Living in the nation’s capital of Ottawa means you’ll be at the centre of some of the country’s hottest happenings. Looking for a rental in the city? Ottawa is a great place to live with a lot to offer. From its famed winter festival and over-the-top Canada Day celebrations to its job force and educational institutions, Ottawa packs a lot of value within its borders.

The city is one of Canada’s most diverse, and around 39 percent of Ottawa residents are bilingual. Ottawa was granted official bilingual status by the province of Ontario in December 2017. Home to the University of Ottawa, the world’s largest French-English bilingual university, the city also maintains its youthfulness with Carleton University - another top-ranked post-secondary institution. In 2017, MoneySense ranked Ottawa the best community in which to live in Canada, and the city has been rated the second cleanest in the country.

Ottawa hosts Winterlude, the biggest festival in Canada - where millions of people visit to ice skate on the Rideau Canal. The city is home to noted museums and galleries like the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. If you’re a sports fan, Ottawa has what you’re looking for - NHL and CFL teams, nationally-ranked university teams, and more! TEXT
Walk Score ®
54
Transit Score ®
49
This area is somewhat walkable -- most errands can be accomplished on foot. Transit is solid, with some nearby public transportion options.

Neighbourhoods

Ottawa boasts beautiful architecture, a solid public transportation system, and many walkable and rideable paths weaving through the city. For those looking to rent a home, apartment, condo, or townhouse, Ottawa is more cost-effective than other major cities like Toronto and Montreal. The average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment is $1120, with a low vacancy rate of 1.7 percent. Ottawa has a number of beautiful neighbourhoods full of personality - let’s take a look at a few!

Central Ottawa

Lowertown/Byward Market - Sandy Hill - Downtown

The Lowertown/Byward Market area is one of Ottawa’s most well-known neighbourhoods. Around 25 percent of residents speak French primarily, with the remainder speaking English. The neighbourhood has 105 restaurants and 79 bars and nightclubs, so this is the place to be if you’re looking for a night out on the town! There’s lots to do at other times of the day, too - the area hosts Ottawa’s largest indoor/outdoor market, and there’s a beautiful community garden available for residents to enjoy. Sandy Hill used to be one of Ottawa’s wealthiest neighbourhoods, and was the home to famous Canadians like Oscar Peterson and Sir Wilfrid Laurier. The University of Ottawa is located here, as are a lot of available rental properties. Residents say that Sandy Hill is a great place to live because of its strong sense of community and its diversity. The area is very accessible, making it easy to get around and out to other parts of the city. Downtown Ottawa is bordered in part by the Ottawa River and Rideau Canal, and is home to landmarks like the Parliament Buildings and Ottawa City Hall. The area has a wealth of condos and apartments in addition to older homes and townhouses. There are a wide range of job opportunities in Downtown Ottawa, along with tons to do - from museums and galleries to shopping centres to outdoor activities along the Rideau and the parks in the area.

East Ottawa

Rockliffe Park - Vanier - Overbrook

Rockliffe Park is like a little piece of the country in the heart of the city, with tons of parks and greenspace. It’s the only community in Ontario that has been designated a Heritage Conservation District, and boasts a lot of history. Most of the homes in the neighbourhood are detached, and it is the home to many dignitaries and ambassadors. Vanier has long been recognized as a francophone neighbourhood, and while it has gotten more diverse, it still maintains its French history. Vanier has invested into itself with new condo projects and other revitalization plans, aimed at bringing new residents and businesses into the neighbourhood. Overbrook is one of Ottawa’s most culturally and architecturally diverse neighbourhoods - and one of the city’s most accessible. Pedestrian and cyclist bridges make it easy to walk and ride around the area, and it has close access to OC Transpo (Ottawa’s public transportation system), VIA Rail, and more. Vanier is home to a wide range of schools, making it a great place for families looking to rent in the area.

West Ottawa

Westboro - Carlingwood/Glabar Park/McKellar Park - Westgate Shopping Centre/Experimental Farm

Want to live in one of Ottawa’s hottest neighbourhoods? Westboro is the place for you if you’re looking for a rental in the city’s trendiest area. There’s a mix of older and newer homes with tons of great cafes, restaurants, and shops. Public art installations, recreation centres, and community gardens all add to the vibe of the neighbourhood. The Carlingwood/Glabar Park/McKellar Park community is a wonderful area for renters, as a number of townhouses and low-rise apartments have been built among its single family homes. The neighbourhood has a little bit of everything - shopping centres, parks, sporting centres, wading pools, restaurants, bars, and more. The Westgate Shopping Centre/Experimental Farm has a strong military presence that remains apparent today. Many of the homes were built after WW2 to accommodate returning soldiers, and many of the street names reflect the area’s military history. There are a number of community-wide activities like the Carlington Family Fun Day, the Carlington Cup hockey tournament, and the Winter Festival, giving residents regular opportunities to get together and enjoy the neighbourhood.

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Rentals in Ottawa, Ontario

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