Cost of Living in Ottawa | | I Love Moving

Things You Should Know About the Cost of Living in Ottawa Canada

Posted Country Guides / December 29, 2020
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

Moving internationally to Canada’s capital will put you in place with the country’s highest median income. However, before packing up the bags, go over the cost of living in Ottawa and see just how much you need to earn to live there without dipping into your savings. Go over basic expenses like housing, utilities, and groceries, before calling an international moving company to help you relocate and become Ottawan.

Moving to Canada, and especially to its capital, will put you in a diverse community where you won’t feel out of place. A stable economy with low unemployment rates make it perfect for career chasers, and a variety of educational institutions attract students and families with kids. Nevertheless, knowing Is living in Ottawa expensive and What is a good salary in Ottawa will make budget planning that much easier. To help you, we made a guide of all the things you should know about day-to-day expenses every Ottawan deals with.

Guaranteed prices for International Moving. No hidden fees or surprises! GET A QUOTE

Things You Should Know Before Moving Abroad to Ontario

When moving internationally from the US, gathering as much information as possible about the unknown location will make adjusting to a new country easier and faster. You might be relocating just across the border to neighboring CA, but there are still some things you should know long before boxing up all of your stuff:

  • Ottawa (OTT,) the Canadian capital, is located in the most populous province – Ontario.
  • Approximately 38% of the population here is bilingual, but you don’t have to worry about breaking the language barrier because most residents speak English.
  • You won’t be moving across the world, OTT is only 60 miles away from the US border.
  • OTT is one of the best places to live abroad as an expat because almost 24% of its population is immigrants.
  • It is known to have some of the most educated residents in the country.

Cost of Living in Ottawa Compared to Other Cities in Canada

CA is one of the best countries to live in. However, even there, some places are better than others. If you are still not sure where you want to settle in, and you are still wondering is Ottawa a good place to live, compare it with other cities to get a clearer picture.

Are you considering relocating to Toronto? If so, you might be wondering, Is living in Ottawa cheaper than Toronto? Know that the biggest city in the country is more expensive when it comes to housing. Also, living in Toronto will put a dent in your savings if you use public transportation because it is 20% more expensive than in OTT.

Those thinking about relocating to Vancouver should know that that metropolis is more expensive when it comes to housing and education. Basically, becoming a resident of OTT will be overall cheaper for you. To help you make an educated decision and move to the place that suits you the best, we made a table comparing these cities when it comes to housing, transportation, and education.

City Monthly Public Transportation Pass Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly Renting Apartment (1 bedroom) Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment
Ottawa $95 $1,030 $980 $270
Toronto $125 $1,350 $1,310 $665
Vancouver $80 $910 $1,300 $680

Cost of Living in Ottawa Canada Is Affected by Prices of Housing

After you figure out how to move abroad, you should think about finding accommodation that will satisfy all of your needs. Relocating to OTT will put you in place with a variety of housing options, from condos to single-family homes. However, before whipping out a checkbook, you should know What is the average house price in Ottawa.

Data from real estate company RE/MAX shows that the average housing price is $525,000. Furthermore, there is a large spike in the luxury market, where the starting price of the property is around $900,000. Statistics also show that couples mostly buy townhouses, while young professionals opt for condos. You can see that the prices vary depending on the type of property, so your budget will be affected by the housing option you choose. If you want to save up, rent in more affordable neighborhoods.

If You Hope to Save up Find a Place With Affordable Rent to Live In

When creating a moving abroad checklist and going over your budget, you might realize that you can’t afford to become a homeowner. Renting might be the best option, but that doesn’t answer your question Where should I live in Ottawa. Luckily OTT is one of the best places to live in Ontario, so there will be plenty of neighborhoods with affordable rent for you to choose from:

  • Vanier is inhabited mostly by French speakers, but don’t let that deter you. This neighborhood located on the Rideau River’s east bank is one of the most affordable ones in OTT. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants, and sport-related venues that attract a more youthful population. If you are relocating abroad alone and looking to save up on housing Vanier just might be the place for you.
  • Alta Vista is one of those quieter residential communities in the heart of the city. It is one of the best places to live aboard with family because it is just a short ride away from four hospitals, more than ten schools, and churches.
  • Sandy Hill is a very diverse area where you can find students, immigrants, but also senior citizens. If you are relocating with pets, there will be plenty of places to take them out to play, like Strathcona and Sandy Hill Parks. The area is well connected with the rest of the city, and you can get anywhere in under 20 minutes.

Utilities and Food Also Play a Role in Overall Expenses

While listing all the things you have to pay, don’t skip utilities, because living in this day and age without electricity and water is quite unimaginable. As a resident of OTT, you will be expected to pay around $115 for a basic utility bill that covers electricity, water, heating, cooling, and garbage. Furthermore, if you are wondering how to keep in touch with friends back in the US, having unlimited internet data is the solution, and it will knock an additional $50 out of your pocket.

The next thing on your list should be food. A monthly grocery budget will, like most things, depend on your lifestyle. Statistics show that the household of 2.5 people spends around $510 a month on groceries. However, if you prefer dining out, that amount will change.

Calculate How Much Money You’ll Need for Dining Out Every Month

If you are wondering how to live in another country and adjust to it, the answer is to try doing things like locals. Canadians are famous for their dining out habits, and almost 54% of residents eat out at least once a week. Adopting this habit will inevitably affect your budget, and data from Numbeo shows that you’ll need $15 for a quick meal in an inexpensive restaurant. However, a three-course meal for two in a mid-range eatery will cost $60. Keep in mind that even though OTT is not one of the best vegan cities in the world, there is something for everyone, and the restaurant offer can satisfy even the pickiest eaters.

Landing a Well-Paid Job Won’t Be Hard

No matter if you are relocating for love or just because you need a change of scenery, a part of figuring out how to move to another country is finding a well-paid job. With the right kind of employment, you won’t make a dent in your savings. Luckily, settling in Canadas’ capital will put you in the tech, tourism, and healthcare hub, where unemployment rates are lower than the national average, so landing employment shouldn’t be hard.

However, if you want not only to earn some money but to save up as well, start looking and applying for some of the top-paying jobs, and according to the website LRO Staffing, those are:

  • Software Product Manager – Potential yearly earnings $130,000
  • Software Developer – Potential annual salary of $100,000
  • Engineering Project Manager – Potential incomes $125,000
  • Industrial Electrician – Potential incomes roughly around $100,000
  • Analytics Manager – Potential earnings of $115,000 per year.

Research Average Salary Before Relocating to Ottawa

Figuring out how to live abroad means you have to research just how much money you’ll need to earn. Knowing What salary do you need to live in Ottawa will help you negotiate your paycheck with the future employer. Data from SalaryExplorer shows that the average salary in OTT is $100,200 a year. However, depending on the career and entry-level salaries change drastically. Generally speaking, those with two to five years of experience earn around 32% more than freshers and juniors.

Relocation Expenses Will Affect Your Budget

One of the main relocation mistakes to avoid is tackling the process of international move on your own. Yes, you are not moving overseas, just across the border, but hiring an international moving company will leave you with enough free time to tie all loose ends. You’ll be free to gather documents needed to travel abroad but also acquire a work permit or a visa. While an overseas shipping company is providing you with international moving services that include packing service as well as car shipping, you can sit back and relax.

However, all of this comes with a price. That’s why when going over the relocation budget, make sure you don’t forget to calculate the expenses of hiring an overseas moving company. Data from the website WorldFreightRates shows that you would need around $500 to ship your things from New York to OTT. On the other hand, if you are shipping from the West Coast, for example, Los Angeles, prices vary somewhere between $2,500 and $2,700.

Moving Internationally to OTT Will Pay off in the Long Run

When you are considering international moving to Ontario, OTT will probably be on the top of your list as a place to settle down in. The capital of Canada attracts newcomers from all over the world, with its unique mix of urban and suburban areas, as well as vast entertainment, employment, and educational opportunities.

Settling here will put you in the country’s administrative center and its culture and tech hub. Because of its diverse population, you won’t feel like you don’t belong, and the adjustment period should be short. Even though it seems like a big change, don’t hesitate to pack up bags and move because when you put everything down on paper, it pays off to become Ottawan.

Free Moving Estimate



        Get a Free Estimate Call: 855-879-6683