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Home Sweet 613: A Handy Guide to Moving to Ottawa

Home Sweet 613 A Handy Guide to Moving to Ottawa

Fresh beginnings in the 613 sound sweet, but there are tons of things you should know before starting your life’s new chapter here.

After all, from calculating the cost of living to completing a long list of visa requirements, moving to Ottawa is not a cakewalk.

Don’t worry though. We’ll make things easier by answering all the questions that may be bugging you right now.

Is it smart to move to Ottawa?

– From cityofottawa

Yes, moving to Ottawa is a smart choice, as according to a study by Canadian Business, Ottawa is one of Canada’s best places to live, considering factors such as income, car ownership, housing, weather, and lifestyle.

The study also revealed that Ottawa has an impressive score of 95.51 out of 100 for work-life balance, attributed to several factors, including low rates of unemployment and excellent city livability. Furthermore, Ottawa excels in inclusivity and tolerance.

What is Ottawa famous for?

– From rideaucanalofficial

Ottawa is famous for several iconic landmarks and cultural attractions, but foremost among them is the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for transforming into the world’s largest outdoor skating rink during the winter months.

Beyond the Rideau Canal, Ottawa’s fame extends to Parliament Hill, the Byward Market, the Notre Dame Basilica, and the National Gallery of Canada.

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Ottawa?

– From cityofottawa

To live comfortably in Ottawa, you should aim for an annual income ranging between $43,000 and $60,000, which translates to a monthly budget of $3,583 to $5,000.

Is Ottawa more affordable than Toronto?

– From cityofottawa

Yes, Ottawa is more affordable than Toronto, evidenced by factors like the city’s higher median income. Ottawa also has a more cost-effective living environment, especially in terms of housing options.

In November 2023, the average house price in Ottawa was $633,138 with variations based on property types: single-family homes averaged $754,730, townhouses $524,972, and apartments $444,100.

Comparatively, Toronto proves to be more expensive, with an average rent for a two-bedroom apartment hovering around $1,900 and a substantially higher average home price of $1,043,000.

What are the challenges of living in Ottawa?

– From cityofottawa

Living in Ottawa presents unique challenges, notably the city’s extreme weather conditions.

Residents must have super-warm winter parkas for frigid temperatures that can drop to around -14°C (7°F) and even lower with wind-chill, reaching below -30°C (-22°F) on some winter days.

Additionally, its transportation system faces challenges in coping with the expanding population and increasing traffic. Ottawa’s high concentration of individuals with PhDs per capita also contributes to a competitive job market.

How to Apply to Come to Ottawa

– From cityofottawa

To come to Ottawa, start by completing the immigration application process on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website

Choose from various immigration options, including permanent residence programs for work, long-term stay, and family sponsorship.

Alternatively, you can consider work permits or student visas, offering the potential for permanent residency after studying.

You must then acquire and prepare documents, such as a Canadian immigrant visa, Confirmation of Permanent Residence, a valid passport, and detailed lists of personal items. 

What should I do before arriving in Ottawa?

– From flyyow

Before arriving in Ottawa, register for the Settlement Online Pre-Arrival Program (SOPA) to prepare for work in the city. Ensure you possess a valid travel document, Canadian immigrant visa, and Confirmation of Permanent Residence.

Check the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for a comprehensive list of essential documents and guidelines, and secure sufficient funds to cover living expenses for up to six months, including food, clothing, transportation, and rent.

You also need to pack versatile clothing suitable for various weather conditions and arrange temporary accommodations. Furthermore, explore employment opportunities in your field and learn how to get your foreign credentials recognized in Canada.

What should I do at the Ottawa airport?

– From flyyow

Upon arriving at the Ottawa airport, your initial steps involve speaking with a customs officer and retrieving your luggage.

You will be required to present crucial documents, including a Canadian immigrant visa and Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) for yourself and accompanying family members along with valid passports or travel documents.

Once through customs, you should prepare to travel to the city center. Commuting into the city is seamless, with options such as buses, shuttles, or taxis available to transport you from the airport to your destination in Ottawa.

What should I do during my first weeks in Ottawa?

– From flyyow

In your initial weeks in Ottawa, make sure to contact an immigrant-serving organization for settlement support, open a bank account, and secure permanent accommodations with a reference or co-signer.

You must then set up crucial services like utilities, insurance, and telephone, enroll your children in school while arranging childcare, apply for the Canada Child Tax Benefit, and ensure your children are immunized.

Furthermore, you must obtain an Ontario driver’s license and secure a free library card at the Ottawa Public Library. Lastly, pursue recognition of foreign credentials, register for language training, and gain Canadian work experience through volunteering.

How do I find a home in Ottawa?

From realtordotca

To find your ideal home in Ottawa, is the go-to resource, recognized as the most popular and trusted real estate website in Canada for both residential and commercial listings. It has over 240 million visitor sessions annually.

The platform also offers access to all Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listings in the Ottawa area.

Is it possible for a non-resident or foreigner to open a bank account in Ottawa?

– From scotiabank

Yes, foreigners or non-residents may open a bank account in Ottawa by providing appropriate identification, often requiring an in-person visit to the bank.

To meet identification requirements, two original documents from a reliable source are necessary. These documents should include one indicating the individual’s name and address and another indicating their name and date of birth.

Acceptable documents include those issued by the Government of Canada or a province, recent tax assessment notices, benefit statements, Canadian public utility bills, and foreign passports. Photocopies are not accepted.

How does healthcare work in Ottawa?

– From ottawahospital

Healthcare in Ottawa operates through the province’s medical coverage, offering comprehensive services to residents of Ontario.

This publicly funded model encompasses essential medical care, such as doctor visits, hospital stays, and various treatments.

How challenging is it to secure employment in Ottawa?

– From cityofottawa

Securing employment in Ottawa can be a competitive endeavor, and the job market’s competitiveness gets tougher when aiming for well-paid positions.

To enhance your chances of success, it is advisable to secure a suitable job before relocating to Ottawa.

What are the regulations and customs procedures for shipping personal items to Ottawa?

– From cityofottawa

To learn the regulations and customs procedures for shipping personal items to Ottawa, you must refer to the Customs Tariff, the Customs Act, and other related regulations.

But for starters, prepare two copies of a detailed list, including the value, make, model, and serial number of all goods intended for import into Canada as part of your personal effects.

Segment the list into two sections: one for goods accompanying you and another for items arriving later. 

Individuals establishing residency for the first time or returning residents must have owned, possessed, and used the goods abroad before arriving in Canada.

How to Enroll in Primary or Secondary School in Ottawa

– From westottawaschools

To enroll your child in a primary or secondary school in Ottawa, you must contact your local school board, which oversees multiple schools in your region, providing a choice of institutions.

The enrollment process requires essential documents such as a birth certificate, proof of guardianship or custody, proof of residency, and a record of immunizations to ensure your child’s vaccines are up to date.

But don’t worry too much, as local school boards will guide you through the enrollment procedure.

How to Enroll in Post-Secondary School in Ottawa

– From uottawa

Enrolling in a post-secondary school in Ottawa involves applying and gaining acceptance into a chosen program of study.

Prospective students can apply to any program that piques their interest, but admission is contingent upon meeting the specific requirements of the school and program.

Each post-secondary institution and program has unique admission criteria, and some programs may have limited space due to high demand. 

Therefore, it’s crucial for applicants to thoroughly understand the admission requirements of their chosen school and program.

What are the transportation options in Ottawa?

– From cityofottawa

The primary transportation network in Canada’s capital region is managed by OC Transpo, which includes buses and Ottawa’s O-Train light rail.

For breezy door-to-door transportation, residents and visitors can utilize taxis, bikes, and ride-sharing services.

What is the climate like in Ottawa? 

– From cityofottawa

In Ottawa, the climate is semi-continental, featuring warm, humid summers and harsh winters (ottawa winter activities). The city also experiences snow depths exceeding 1 cm on approximately 120 days each year.

The average temperature in Ottawa hovers around 15.6 °C (60 °F) with a minimum of 10 °C (50 °F) and a maximum of 21.3 °C (70.3 °F). During the coldest nights, typically towards the end of the month, temperatures can drop to approximately 2 °C (35.5 °F).

What clothing is appropriate for different weather conditions in Ottawa?

– From cityofottawa

Ottawa’s variable weather demands adaptable clothing choices. For the rainy spring, you need raincoats, waterproof shoes, and light sweaters.

Summer (things to do in ottawa this summer) calls for breathable fabrics, sun protection gear, and sandals. In fall, essentials include warm layers, wind-resistant jackets, and waterproof footwear.

Winters require hats, gloves, scarves, thermal layers, insulated jackets, and waterproof boots. During this season, layering and insulation are crucial to stay dry and warm.