Moving to Ottawa | Country Guides | I Love Moving

A Guide to Moving to Ottawa for You and Your Family

Posted Country Guides / December 30, 2020
Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

Moving to Ottawa will most likely be in the top ten best decisions you ever made. Why do we say that with such certainty? Because moving internationally to Canada’s capital means living in a beautiful, safe, and friendly place that offers amazing job and educational opportunities. Let’s go a bit more in detail on the question: is Ottawa a nice place to live, and why should you hire an international moving company and come here.

What to Know Before Moving to Ottawa, Canada’s Capital City

Since you’re considering living in Ottawa, you probably know a lot of facts already, but if this idea just popped in your mind, here is some of the basic info. Over 1.4 million people live in this amazing place, located in Ontario, an east-central province that borders the US. Ottawa’s oldest section is called Lower Town. It is predominantly inhabited by French speakers, while English speakers are mostly in Centretown, west of the Rideau Canal that connects the city with Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River.

It is a cultural hub with many different nationalities residing. Economic stability is one of its biggest pros, which also means that the job market doesn’t lack opportunities. It is one of the best places to live abroad with family because of the high safety level and incredible options for education. The nature surrounding the community is amazing, and there are a ton of parks and greenery that both you and your dog will love in case you’re moving to Canada with pets. All in all, it is a friendly city in one of the friendliest countries in the world.

What Is the Procedure for Moving to Ottawa?

If you still didn’t figure out how to immigrate to Canada, here’s a quick guide. There are several types of visas for Americans who plan on adjusting to a new country – Canada. In case you’re interested in permanent residence, remember that qualified workers and already employed people get visas more easily. There are a few more ways:

  • Tradespersons who want to immigrate can try Federal Skilled Trades Class,
  • You can get permanent residence if you marry a Canadian citizen, regardless of which sex,
  • If you have an idea of how to contribute to the Canadian economy, try The Federal Skilled Worker Program,
  • There’s also Provincial Nominee Programs, where provinces decide which expats can come. If you decide that you want to be in O-Town, you can apply for the Ontario province,
  • Try the express entry if you have US citizenship, language skills, and you’re a skilled worker. When you create a profile, your application will be processed within six months. Getting all of your documents needed to travel abroad should be checked on your moving abroad checklist before the Embassy contacts you.

Is It Expensive to Live in Ottawa?

Of course, having this amazingly good quality of life comes with a price, so the cost of living in Ottawa may be one of its cons, depending on your budget. According to Numbeo, it is not exactly the cheapest place to live in Canada, but it is not so far from it either. A four-person family can reside here with a monthly income of $3,150, and a single person who’s moving abroad alone needs $860 – without counting in the rent. If you wish to have a home in the city center, the average price for renting a one-bedroom apartment is $1,200, and for a three-bedroom, you’ll pay $2,000.

If you move somewhere further from Downtown, the rent prices will go down, and you’ll find one-bedroom apartments for $930 and three-bedroom apartments for $1,500 per month. If you used to reside in cities like Los Angeles or New York City, these prices might seem very affordable to you. Also, living in Toronto and living in Vancouver is more expensive than here in O-Town. Only the cost of living in Montreal may come in cheaper.

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

What Is a Good Salary in Ottawa?

Currently, the average salary after all the taxes is a bit less than $3,000, which is more than enough. Then again, your lifestyle and the place of residence determine how much you should earn, so get ready for some possible modifications in your daily costs after moving to Canada. Check out the video below to find out more useful information on costs you will have once you hire international movers and come here.

Is It Hard to Get a Job Here?

Of course not. In fact, this is one of the best places to live in Canada when it comes to finding work. There are so many positions in excellent companies that are hiring. As an American newcomer, you should try hard to find employment before you arrive. Take a good look at the job market, start networking, and send your resume to the best fit you find. In no time, you’ll get yourself employee relocation. Prepare the crucial relocation questions to ask the employer, and you’re good to go. Some of the top employers here are the City, Bank, and the University of Ottawa, Adobe Systems, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, and Shopify.

You’ll Realize That It’s Best to Learn French Before Moving to Ottawa

Depending on what jobs in Canada you are interested in, you might want to take some French lessons. Even though you’re not moving to France, some of the positions ask for bilingual candidates because French is also an official language. You can focus on learning a language abroad, but it is better to break the language barrier before you move. You’ll have a huge advantage compared to other candidates if you follow useful tips for learning a new language and master at least the basic level of French.

What Is the Best Area to Live in Ottawa? Pick Your Favorite Neighborhood or a Suburb

It can be hard choosing between Ottawa neighborhoods because of so many beautiful options there are. But, since you should choose one place based on your preferences, here are our top suggestions.

  • The Glebe – this wonderful community will surely win your heart. It is very close to Downtown, and it will give you the same urban vibe. It is where Lansdowne Park is located, a famous attraction with plenty of green space and modern amenities. It’s a fun neighborhood that has many good places to go out for drinks or dinner, so it makes it perfect for singles, young couples, or generally outgoing people.
  • Sandy Hill – this place could be the perfect home for young professionals and students. Here is the University and there are many bars and pubs with live music which makes a perfect combination. You can enjoy walking or biking by the canal or in one of the many parks. The rents are also affordable, which will make your living overseas adventure a lot easier.
  • Kanata – Are you planning on shipping overseas with your family, or you’re moving with pets? This fast-growing suburb could be the best choice. You’ll find parks, playgrounds, walking and biking trails, shopping centers, and so much more. There’s a strong sense of community, and activities for both adults and kids are plentiful. A lot of big companies are here, so you won’t even have to go through long drives to work.

Choose How Will You Commute Around These Beautiful Areas

The walkability score in O-Town is generally high, so any time you want, you can just walk from point A to point B. There is also public transportation called OC Transpo with buses that service almost the whole city. Having a car isn’t necessary since you can get anywhere by walking, biking, or using a bus. However, if you plan on having weekend getaways after moving overseas, it is always better to have your own ride. There are taxis as well – hail one on the street if its roof light is on. That will mean that it is available.

What Climate Can You Expect in O-Town?

Sure, the walkability score is amazing, but what if it’s freezing cold outside or it’s raining all the time? Luckily, that’s not the situation here. Summers are sunny and warm, while winters are less sunny than, for example when living in Calgary. Winters can also be very harsh and snowy – keep that in mind when choosing your clothes while thinking about what to pack when moving abroad and how to pack shoes for moving. The weather is pretty much changeable – springs and falls can be very surprising.

What Will You Get to Enjoy After Moving to Ottawa From the US?

Many think that this is just a boring Government City, while the truth is totally opposite – there are so many things to do in Ottawa in your free time. Rideau Canal freezes during winter and creates the biggest skating rink in the world. You can play hockey whenever you want, go out camping and exploring the wilderness, or mountain biking. Those who like outdoor activities will never be bored here, plus they’ll get to see so many wild animals in their natural habitat.

There are numerous museums and galleries, historical sites, and many other landmarks for those who enjoy culture and arts. O-Town is also a foodie destination, so going out and trying new things can be very fun. ByWard Market is the perfect place to start exploring the local food scene, while the Westboro area could become your favorite spot for shopping.

Festivals Are a Big Deal Here

Ottawa is all about festivals – music, food, winter, international, or even tulip festivals happen every year, and they’re great for families or having fun with friends and colleagues. Check out the calendar and enjoy the magic that these events offer. Take a look at the following video to have a better idea of what we’re talking about.

Don’t Forget to Find a Good Overseas Shipping Company

It’s always better to have some help when it comes to international moving, whether it is investing in packing services, boxes and moving supplies, or renting storage. Moving internationally is very demanding, and it takes a lot of time and effort. Getting a reputable overseas moving company to give you a hand with overseas vehicle shipping will make this whole experience much smoother, and you’ll actually have time to mentally prepare instead of doing the physical work that will tire you and stress you out. Services from a good international moving company will provide you a great start in this beautiful country.

Free Moving Estimate



        Get a Free Estimate Call: 855-879-6683