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Ottawa compared to Toronto

Ontario, Canada
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112 posts
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Ottawa compared to Toronto

I am presently living in Toronto and considering moving to Ottawa. Mostly because the real estate prices are getting so expensive now in Toronto. I would like to hear how you would compare the 2 cities, what you like and what you don't like about Ottawa if you have lived in Toronto before. I know Toronto is a lot more multicultual and cosmopolitan than Ottawa, but I am also looking at the fact that since Ottawa is smaller, you don't have to commute as much. Any comments?

London, Canada
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1. Re: Ottawa compared to Toronto

There are benefits to Toronto's more central location and size, and as you've mentioned more cosmopolitan nature. But I do sympathize with the cost of living.

Ottawa (despite the watery Rideau this year) has a much harsher and longer winter so unless you love skiing and snow, that might be a consideration as well. It is beautiful and it's proximity to Montreal would still allow you to visit a city with some of the same excitement as Toronto whenever you wanted.

From your other posts I'd say one of the considerations about moving should be about your teenager(s). Moving kids in the midst of high school is very difficult, particularly with the new system of graduation after Grade 12, as well as leaving behind friends and childhood memories. For some children it can be a great opportunity, but for others a crisis. So make the decision carefully.

Both cities offer post-secondary education in terms of college or university experience, but it might not be too early to factor in educational costs a few years down the road too. Are there programs in Toronto at Ryerson, U of T, Seneca etc. that might be more suitable than those available at Carleton or U of Ottawa? Would your kids be able to live at home rather than on campus?

I'd venture to say there are lots of considerations besides good neighbourhoods and Chinese restaurants to think about. Hopefully it can be a family decision that will leave everyone feeling optimistic about what you decide.

Good luck!

Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: Ottawa compared to Toronto

The previous poster is right about moving teenagers being a difficult thing. Also about Montréal being so close and full of great activities. We drive there often sometimes just to see a exhibit or for a meal. I am French and really loved Ottawa because it is a bilingual city. What I like the most about Ottawa is the fact that I can live in a nice large Edwardian house right downtown. I could never afford the same type of housing in Toronto.

Therefore we can walk to work, to the movie, to the theater, to a pool, to a concert or to the opera. On my way back from work I can buy groceries in nice specialies shops. We do have a car but we used it very rarely.

In the summer, Ottawa is surrended by a large green belt, where you a cycle for kilometers on. Within half hour from downtown you could canoe on Meech Lake. I want to say is that the quality of life is good in the Capital. Hope this help?

Ontario, Canada
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3. Re: Ottawa compared to Toronto

Thanks for your replies. Indeed there are a lot to consider when making a decision to relocate. Would you say it's very important to be bilingual in Ottawa for work?

ottawa
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4. Re: Ottawa compared to Toronto

Depends what line of work you are in. I wont lie to you, it is a plus to be bilingual, but soooo many people are only unilingual and still have a good job and were able to find something fairly quickly.

I would say start looking from now before making a move.

Ottawa, Ontario
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5. Re: Ottawa compared to Toronto

Ottawa is definitly a quiter place than Toronto, Toronto has more polution going on, lately, more gun violence, etc. But Toronto has more Houses which are more expensive, so definitly Toronto is a more expensive area to live in. Toronto also has more Attraction eg. wonderland etc. Ottawa doesn't have that much, but considering Montreal is about 2 hours away there are lots of things, in the winter Ottawa has the Canal, we can take a drive to Montreal go to Laronde etc. Overall Ottawa is a quieter city.

Kelowna, Canada
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6. Re: Ottawa compared to Toronto

In response to some of your posts people have been mentioning the Glebe. If you would like to live in the Annex in Toronto then you would like the Glebe. My own feelings about the city itself are that if you took all of Toronto's cultural attractions and put them in Hamilton you would have re-created Ottawa. Before the howls of reply begin, I say that as someone who does not diss Hamilton. The other striking thing about Ottawa is that unlike Washington DC it is a real city and has real functions beyond being the capital. The climate? The big thing is that although Ottawa is actually only a very few degrees colder than Toronto it means that typically on many winter days when in Toronto it rains or the snow melts, in Ottawa it snows or the snow stays to accumulate. So it seems a much more wintery city.

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