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Where Should You Live In Ottawa?


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Blog by Ray Smiley | January 17th, 2015




Your decision about where to live in Ottawa will be governed by many personal choices and decisions. Perhaps only you will know where the best place to live is, if you are moving to Ottawa. But maybe you could use a helping hand; a professional real estate agent can really help you to make sure that you get your choice right and don’t live to regret your choice.

Vectoring in on the right Ottawa district

Essentially the way finding a home in Ottawa is little different from other North American cities, in the sense that good neighborhoods can be found from the rural, quiet and tranquil districts to those that offer 24/7 attractions and street life in the heart of the city. The basic rules are that the further out of the city that you decide to live, will mean that the neighborhoods have lower crime rates, larger lots and cheaper real estate prices.

On the flip side, the further out of the city center that you live mean that you are distancing yourself from theaters, nightlife and access to the best cultural activities that Ottawa has to offer. In your daily routine, the closer you live to your place of work, the shorter the time spent commuting to and from your work place. The question you need to ask is how much time you spend more each morning or evening getting to and from work?

What does Ottawa have to offer families with children?

If you have a child or children and you are moving to Ottawa you will have already organized your priorities for your home in Ottawa. Probably for you, the top of the list is moving to a neighborhood where you qualify to be able to enroll your kids in the best schools that Ottawa has to offer. You can find easy access to the lists of the best performing and highly rated public secondary schools in Ottawa to use a starting point to finding the best place to live in the city.

A list of school profiles is useful in some cases, but how reliable is this? On the basis of exam results, the data is very solid but academic results are only half of the picture, there are other metrics that you may want to, or even need to, have access to in order to make an informed decision where to choose to live.

Many real estate agents advise home buyers to check out the Fraser Institute rankings, as well as others, to pinpoint the best performing public schools and the neighborhoods they are located in. Alternatively, the real estate agent can help you with good local knowledge from other families like yours that have moved in to districts in Ottawa and found that their neighborhoods are the right ones for them or alternatively were not what they were expecting.

Planning a family or already have one on board?

This could be you, right? It makes sense even if you are just starting to plan to have a family to make sure that your move to Ottawa is into the right zone to qualify for access to Ottawa’s best performing public schools. Rankings and lists are one thing but they do not tell you everything, you will need to check out the schools personally, a professional real estate agent will be able to help you with this.

Staying away from Ottawa crime districts

Ottawa real estate agents will help you pick a property in the lowest crime risk districts, the good news is that having selected Ottawa as the place you want to live you are about to move to one of the safest cities in Canada and North America. Of course, Ottawa, like all cities, suffers from the usual city problems. Yes, there are problems with drug abuse, gangland activity and street theft, but on a far smaller scale than most other Canadian or American cities. The good advice is to exercise common sense and discretion in Ottawa when you are out and about and in Ottawa you will be unlikely to run into criminal problems.

What are the demographics of Ottawa properties?

Ottawa is a city that is predominantly made up of houses, single detached dwellings with their own driveways, gardens and outbuildings. Also there are row houses or semi-detached homes that have gardens and garages to park your car off street safely. These homes make us 70% of Ottawa’s residential dwellings the remaining 30% are condominium apartments.  

The condominium apartments are plentiful, often concentrated in and around the city center and have the advantage of being close to shops, offices and amenities, for this reason you don’t need to get out and drive your car to go to work, do your shopping or visit the gym or take your kids to school. For these reasons, Ottawa offers many advantages for those planning to take up residence.