Ottawa

Old Jan 17th 2023, 12:23 am
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Is Ottawa actually boring?

We’ve been doing our research on locations and seeing a lot of mixed feedback. Some say Ottawa is empty dead and boring. Other places have said it’s up and coming and there’s loads to do.

We’re a couple in mid 20s moving from Scotland
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Old Jan 17th 2023, 12:43 am
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Default Re: Ottawa

I was from Scotland and I went to Vancouver when I was 35 years old some 27 years ago. I like it here and never look back.

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Old Jan 17th 2023, 8:38 am
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Default Re: Ottawa

We’re not looking for a crazy nightclub life style but we do like going to a bar for drinks every now and then. Looking for something in the middle of fun and peace and tranquility.

Any suggestions of locations to look at other than Ottawa? We need to be in Ontario for my job.
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Old Jan 17th 2023, 4:32 pm
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Default Re: Ottawa

Originally Posted by lauren275 View Post
We’re not looking for a crazy nightclub life style but we do like going to a bar for drinks every now and then. Looking for something in the middle of fun and peace and tranquility.

Any suggestions of locations to look at other than Ottawa? We need to be in Ontario for my job.
You could try Kingston- its smaller than Ottawa but has plenty of bars, restaurants, right by the water for summertime boat trips,much nicer than Ottawa
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Old Jan 17th 2023, 6:39 pm
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Default Re: Ottawa

I would guess that the mixed feedback is probably because some people live in the suburbs, and others closer to the downtown / city centre. As with many Canadian cities, outside the downtown is just generic suburbia which is just sea of detached houses, chain stores and everything designed for spending the day in your car. For interesting nightlife you're going to want to make sure you're within walking or transit distance of all the downtown amenities. I'd say focus on living near the downtown area if you can afford it, or at least be near a bus stop or LRT train station (though the Ottawa LRT has been plagued with problems)
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Old Jan 17th 2023, 10:44 pm
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Default Re: Ottawa

Originally Posted by lauren275 View Post
Is Ottawa actually boring?

We’ve been doing our research on locations and seeing a lot of mixed feedback. Some say Ottawa is empty dead and boring. Other places have said it’s up and coming and there’s loads to do.

We’re a couple in mid 20s moving from Scotland
Great question. I work for a company in Ottawa and have had 3 trips up there in the last 5 months. My perception of it as a boring place has shifted marginally and I'd put it on a par with a large English town like Guildford or Reading but with out the same transport links to a major city or the airport links. It seems to fly anywhere from Ottawa you often have to switch at Toronto or Montreal which can drag travel out. Our UK staff hate flying there for this reason.

I've identified two areas of nightlife in Ottawa- the Bymarket and then there is quite a few places down Elgin Street. There is of course bars and restaurants dotted around Ottawa but in these places there is some choice. I'm also told by younger folks at work (25 to 30) that Westboro and the Glebes are reasonable neighbourhoods to live in. if you want a restaurant or bar you will find them- don't expect an unlimited choice though and if you like chasing the latest greatest club it probably isn't going to happen for you either.

Winters might be better than I expect there as there is good proximity to some local ski areas. 20 to 30 minutes drive.

Ottawa is very clean and very safe. Rents and property by Canadian city standards are reasonable.

The weather is worse than Toronto though and the airport connection issue are items that certainly put me off.




Last edited by JamesM; Jan 17th 2023 at 10:47 pm.
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Old Jan 18th 2023, 2:08 am
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Default Re: Ottawa

Originally Posted by JamesM View Post
Great question. I work for a company in Ottawa and have had 3 trips up there in the last 5 months. My perception of it as a boring place has shifted marginally and I'd put it on a par with a large English town like Guildford or Reading but with out the same transport links to a major city or the airport links. It seems to fly anywhere from Ottawa you often have to switch at Toronto or Montreal which can drag travel out. Our UK staff hate flying there for this reason.

I've identified two areas of nightlife in Ottawa- the Bymarket and then there is quite a few places down Elgin Street. There is of course bars and restaurants dotted around Ottawa but in these places there is some choice. I'm also told by younger folks at work (25 to 30) that Westboro and the Glebes are reasonable neighbourhoods to live in. if you want a restaurant or bar you will find them- don't expect an unlimited choice though and if you like chasing the latest greatest club it probably isn't going to happen for you either.

Winters might be better than I expect there as there is good proximity to some local ski areas. 20 to 30 minutes drive.

Ottawa is very clean and very safe. Rents and property by Canadian city standards are reasonable.

The weather is worse than Toronto though and the airport connection issue are items that certainly put me off.
But, if you lived in Ottawa, you wouldn't use the airport, you'd drive to Montreal and fly from there.

I did know one person who liked Ottawa. That was because he could fish at lunchtime and fishing was his thing. In the end he moved to San Jose so fishing wasn't ultimately more important than career.
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Old Jan 23rd 2023, 4:41 pm
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Default Re: Ottawa

Byward market is seen as a tourist trap and has lots of bars etc but is also close to various homeless shelters. There are lots of homeless people hanging around there and as much as I support the shelters there doing good work I feel unsafe being in that area even in daylight.
West Ottawa is fine and is reasonably close to the Rideau lakes area as well as Algonquin Park and Gatineau Park.
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Old Jan 23rd 2023, 9:10 pm
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Default Re: Ottawa

Last time I was in Ottawa I walked around the Byward Market on a sunny morning. I had to detour around one street by the Salvation Army as someone was uttering loud threats to another person. Other parts of the Byward Market were ok but I don't think I would wander around there at night. Years ago it felt safer. I saw one tent on Rideau Street near The Bay and open drug use and aggressive begging along Bank Street.

The other popular night life spot used to be across the river in what was then called Hull. After the bars closed in Ottawa around 1am many people would go to the Quebec side where bars remained open till 3 or 4 in the morning. I don't know if that's still a thing.

Real estate in The Glebe is expensive as it's mostly old Edwardian red brick houses. I imagine rent would be pricey too.
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Old Jan 23rd 2023, 10:10 pm
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Default Re: Ottawa

Originally Posted by jandro View Post
Last time I was in Ottawa I walked around the Byward Market on a sunny morning. I had to detour around one street by the Salvation Army as someone was uttering loud threats to another person. Other parts of the Byward Market were ok but I don't think I would wander around there at night. Years ago it felt safer. I saw one tent on Rideau Street near The Bay and open drug use and aggressive begging along Bank Street.

The other popular night life spot used to be across the river in what was then called Hull. After the bars closed in Ottawa around 1am many people would go to the Quebec side where bars remained open till 3 or 4 in the morning. I don't know if that's still a thing.

Real estate in The Glebe is expensive as it's mostly old Edwardian red brick houses. I imagine rent would be pricey too.

What's Hull called now?
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Old Jan 23rd 2023, 11:52 pm
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Default Re: Ottawa

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
What's Hull called now?
It's part of Gatineau now but used to be it's own municipality. It's still a name for the centre of Gatineau.
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Old Jan 25th 2023, 4:18 pm
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Default Re: Ottawa

We've lived in Ottawa for 4 years, having moved from York, UK.

It gets its reputation as its where the federal government workers are, but there is a lot going on if you look, lots of festivals and events.

Byward Market is sketchy, and there's other areas like the Glebe and Hintonburg/WestBoro which have bars and restaurants.
if you are into live music, then most bands miss Ottawa and go to Montreal and Toronto, but I've been to a few in Montreal instead.

The big positives for Ottawa is access to the outdoors, trails, ski hills etc, all within 20-30 minutes, and Tremblant is 2 hours away.

As other people commented, the lack of direct flights to Europe from Ottawa is becoming a pain, but again Montreal is a 2 hour drive away to fly from there.
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Old Jan 27th 2023, 10:18 am
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Default Re: Ottawa

"If you’ve never been to Ottawa, don’t bother. Of all the G7 capitals, it’s one that hardly conjures up much in the way of attractive images. Don’t believe me? Try it." – Tyler Brule. Bit rich coming from someone born in Winnipeg.

Then again, as his reliably risible column makes clear, his main issue with Ottawa was the lack of attention to detail from staff at a hotel he stayed at.
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Old Jan 27th 2023, 8:38 pm
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Default Re: Ottawa

Originally Posted by DeanN View Post
"If you’ve never been to Ottawa, don’t bother. Of all the G7 capitals, it’s one that hardly conjures up much in the way of attractive images. Don’t believe me? Try it." – Tyler Brule. Bit rich coming from someone born in Winnipeg.

Then again, as his reliably risible column makes clear, his main issue with Ottawa was the lack of attention to detail from staff at a hotel he stayed at.
I disagree with his opinion about Ottawa being an unattractive city. The central part is quite scenic with grand buildings and backdrops of the Ottawa River and Gatineau Hills. However, there may be some truth in his assessment of the poor service he received at The Chateau Laurier, It's one of the foremost hotels in the city - a designated national historic site.
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Old Jan 28th 2023, 2:04 am
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Default Re: Ottawa

Originally Posted by DeanN View Post
"If you’ve never been to Ottawa, don’t bother. Of all the G7 capitals, it’s one that hardly conjures up much in the way of attractive images. Don’t believe me? Try it." – Tyler Brule. Bit rich coming from someone born in Winnipeg.

Then again, as his reliably risible column makes clear, his main issue with Ottawa was the lack of attention to detail from staff at a hotel he stayed at.
Seeing this, I didn't immediately believe that someone could actually be called Tyler Brule. I googled and there is someone of that name who is a Canadian who doesn't like Ottawa. Well, fair enough, lots of people don't like Ottawa, but why cite him or her, how would we have heard of this person and why would his or her one opinion matter to us?
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