Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, is often regarded as one of the best places to live in the country. Its unique blend of urban sophistication and natural beauty makes it an attractive destination for people from all walks of life. As the political and cultural heart of Canada, Ottawa offers a rich tapestry of experiences, from its vibrant arts scene and diverse culinary offerings to its world-class museums and historical landmarks. This city is not only picturesque with its well-maintained parks and green spaces, but it also fosters a strong sense of community and safety, which residents highly value.

Ottawa is consistently ranked among the top cities in North America for quality of life, supported by its robust economy, excellent educational institutions, and efficient healthcare system. The presence of major universities like the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, alongside a thriving technology sector, provides ample opportunities for education and employment. Moreover, Ottawa’s lower crime rates and effective law enforcement contribute to its reputation as one of the safest cities in Canada.

The city’s affordability compared to other major Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver is another significant draw. Housing prices, although rising, remain more reasonable, making homeownership more accessible for many. Additionally, Ottawa’s extensive public transportation system, including the recently expanded O-Train light rail, ensures convenient and efficient travel across the city.

Ottawa’s appeal extends beyond its practical benefits. The city hosts numerous cultural events and festivals, such as Winterlude and Canada Day celebrations, that bring the community together and attract visitors from around the world. Its multicultural population enriches the city’s cultural fabric, offering a wide range of ethnic restaurants, markets, and community events that celebrate diversity.

Furthermore, Ottawa’s abundant green spaces and recreational opportunities, including the scenic Rideau Canal and the expansive Gatineau Park, promote an active and healthy lifestyle. Whether you enjoy boating in the summer, ice skating in the winter, hiking, or cycling, Ottawa’s natural beauty and recreational amenities provide endless opportunities for outdoor activities.

So, is Ottawa Worth Living In?

Personally, yes, yes, and yes! Ottawa is definitely worth living in. While some people claim that Ottawa is boring, this perception couldn’t be further from the truth. The city offers a vibrant cultural scene with numerous museums, galleries, and theaters, showcasing both local and international talent. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the stunning natural landscapes, including the picturesque Rideau Canal, which transforms into the world’s largest skating rink in winter. Ottawa also boasts a diverse culinary scene, bustling markets, and lively festivals throughout the year, ensuring there’s always something to do. The city’s blend of urban amenities and natural beauty creates a unique and dynamic living experience.

Another reason people love Ottawa is its strong sense of community and high quality of life. The city is known for its friendly, welcoming residents and safe neighborhoods, making it an ideal place for families and individuals alike. Ottawa consistently ranks high in terms of healthcare, education, and public services, providing a supportive environment for both personal and professional growth. Additionally, its bilingual nature fosters a rich cultural exchange, making it a dynamic and inclusive place to live.

Quality of Life

Ottawa consistently ranks high in terms of quality of life. According to the Mercer Quality of Living Survey, Ottawa is one of the top cities in North America for quality of life. This is due to several factors, including a high standard of healthcare, excellent educational institutions, and a robust economy. Residents enjoy access to top-tier medical facilities and services, ensuring their health and well-being are well taken care of. The city’s economic stability offers numerous job opportunities, contributing to a low unemployment rate and a high standard of living. Furthermore, Ottawa’s clean environment, efficient public transportation, and abundance of green spaces enhance the overall quality of life for its residents.


Safety is a critical factor when considering a place to live, and Ottawa excels in this area. The Crime Severity Index (CSI) for Ottawa is significantly lower than the national average, making it one of the safest cities in Canada. The city’s effective law enforcement and community-focused policing contribute to its low crime rates, providing peace of mind for residents. This strong emphasis on safety means that people feel secure in their neighborhoods, whether walking through downtown or enjoying one of the city’s many parks.


Ottawa is home to some of the best educational institutions in the country. The city boasts two major universities, the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, both of which are renowned for their research and academic excellence. These universities attract students from around the world, contributing to a diverse and vibrant community. Additionally, there are numerous highly-rated public and private schools, making Ottawa an ideal place for families with children. The city’s commitment to education is evident in its well-funded libraries, innovative learning programs, and strong support for lifelong learning opportunities. This focus on education ensures that residents have access to quality learning resources from early childhood through to advanced degrees.

Employment and Economy

Ottawa’s economy is robust and diverse, making it an attractive place to live and work. The city has a strong job market, particularly in the public sector due to its status as the nation’s capital. Many federal government departments and agencies are headquartered in Ottawa, providing stable employment opportunities. Additionally, Ottawa is a hub for the technology sector, often referred to as “Silicon Valley North.” Major tech companies like Shopify have their headquarters here, alongside numerous startups and established firms in software, telecommunications, and biotechnology. According to Statistics Canada, Ottawa’s unemployment rate is consistently lower than the national average, reflecting a healthy job market. The city’s economic diversity, coupled with a supportive environment for innovation and business growth, ensures a dynamic and resilient economy.


Access to quality healthcare is another significant advantage of living in Ottawa. The city is home to several top-tier hospitals and healthcare facilities, including The Ottawa Hospital, which is one of the largest and most comprehensive medical centers in Canada, and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), which is renowned for pediatric care. The healthcare system in Ottawa is known for its efficiency and high standards of care, contributing to the overall well-being of its residents. In addition to hospitals, Ottawa offers numerous clinics, specialist services, and wellness centers, ensuring that residents have access to a full spectrum of healthcare services.

Environment and Green Spaces

One of the standout features of Ottawa is its abundant green spaces. The city boasts over 800 parks and numerous outdoor recreational areas. The Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offers scenic views and recreational activities such as boating in the summer and ice skating in the winter. Gatineau Park, just a short drive from downtown Ottawa, provides extensive trails for hiking, cycling, and skiing. These natural amenities enhance the quality of life and promote a healthy, active lifestyle. Ottawa’s commitment to preserving its natural environment is evident in its clean air, well-maintained parks, and extensive network of bike paths and walking trails.

Cultural and Recreational Opportunities

Ottawa is rich in cultural heritage and offers a wide array of recreational opportunities. The city is home to several national museums, including the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of History, which offer world-class exhibitions and educational programs. Festivals and events, such as Winterlude and Canada Day celebrations, attract visitors from all over the world, showcasing Ottawa’s vibrant cultural scene. The city’s diverse population ensures a lively mix of ethnic restaurants, markets, and community events, reflecting its multicultural character. Ottawa also boasts numerous theaters, concert halls, and galleries, providing residents with a variety of entertainment options. The National Arts Centre regularly hosts performances by the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, ballet companies, and international touring acts. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy activities such as kayaking on the Ottawa River, hiking in Gatineau Park, or exploring the city’s extensive network of bike paths. Whether you’re interested in arts, history, or outdoor activities, Ottawa offers something for everyone, making it a dynamic and engaging place to live.

Cost of Living

While Ottawa offers many benefits, it is also important to consider the cost of living. Compared to other major Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver, Ottawa has a relatively affordable cost of living. Housing prices, although on the rise, are still more reasonable compared to these larger cities. According to the Ottawa Real Estate Board, the average home price in Ottawa is approximately $650,000, which is more affordable than the average prices in Toronto or Vancouver. Renting is also relatively affordable, with a variety of options available for different budgets. Utilities, groceries, and other everyday expenses are also generally lower than in larger metropolitan areas, making Ottawa an attractive option for those looking to balance quality of life with cost-effectiveness.


Ottawa’s transportation infrastructure is well-developed, offering various options for commuting. The OC Transpo public transit system is extensive, providing bus services throughout the city and connecting suburbs to downtown. The recently expanded O-Train light rail system provides efficient transportation across key areas, reducing travel time and easing congestion. Ottawa also promotes cycling, with numerous bike lanes and pathways, making it a bike-friendly city. For those who prefer driving, the city’s road network is well-maintained, although traffic congestion can be an issue during peak hours. Additionally, Ottawa is planning further improvements to its transportation network, including expansions to the light rail system and enhancements to cycling infrastructure, ensuring residents have reliable and sustainable transportation options.

Community and Diversity

Ottawa is known for its welcoming and diverse community. The city has a rich multicultural fabric, with significant populations from various ethnic backgrounds. This diversity is reflected in the city’s cultural events, culinary scene, and community organizations, fostering an inclusive environment where everyone can feel at home. Ottawa hosts numerous cultural festivals throughout the year, such as the Ottawa International Jazz Festival, the Ottawa Lebanese Festival, and the Canadian Tulip Festival, celebrating the city’s cultural diversity. The presence of international communities enriches the city’s social fabric, providing a wide range of cultural experiences and fostering mutual understanding and respect among residents. Community centers, cultural associations, and support services for newcomers further enhance the sense of belonging and community spirit in Ottawa.

Having lived in Toronto for several years, I experienced firsthand the challenges of high living costs and the constant hustle and bustle of a larger city. While Toronto has its own unique charm and endless opportunities, the financial strain and hectic lifestyle became overwhelming. Moving to Ottawa was a game-changer for me. The blend of affordability, safety, and access to green spaces has significantly improved my quality of life. In Ottawa, I found a perfect balance; the city offers the cultural richness and amenities of a big city but with a much more manageable pace. The friendly community and vibrant cultural scene provide a welcoming atmosphere, making it easy to connect with people and feel at home. Ottawa’s extensive parks and outdoor recreational opportunities have allowed me to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle. Overall, Ottawa’s combination of urban sophistication and natural beauty makes it, in my opinion, the best destination for those seeking a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.

Ottawa offers a high quality of life, safety, excellent educational and healthcare facilities, a strong job market, and abundant recreational opportunities. While the cost of living and traffic congestion are considerations, the overall benefits make Ottawa a compelling choice for individuals and families alike. Whether you are seeking a vibrant cultural scene, outdoor adventures, or a safe and nurturing environment for your family, Ottawa has something to offer for everyone. Good Cleaner Co is proud to be an example of the opportunities available in Ottawa, reflecting the city’s promise and potential. For more information about living in Ottawa, visit Ottawa Tourism or