- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Ottawa Guide (PDF)
Expats moving to Ottawa will find a wide range of accommodation options. Depending on one’s budget and preferences, it should be fairly easy to find a home close to work, school, shops, medical facilities and public transportation networks.
Ottawa consists of various residential neighbourhoods that are suitable for a range of demographic groups. Central areas such as the Glebe or ByWard Market are popular with young professionals while the prestigious Rockcliffe Park is home to the city’s diplomats, politicians and top business people.
Types of accommodation in Ottowa
Whether expats are looking for a modern apartment in the heart of the city or a larger family home in a country setting, there's lots of choice in Ottawa. When it comes to different types of housing, Ottawa has everything from compact city apartments and townhouses to condominiums, duplexes and multiplexes.
It is important to consider the condition of a property before moving in. Many expats like the idea of moving into an apartment that is part of a historic building or an older house that is full of character. However, it's important to bear in mind that many of these older properties will require renovations during the lease period.
For those moving to Ottawa with children, the size of the property, as well as proximity to good schools, will certainly be important. Many schools in Ottawa offer bus services to transport students to and from the premises each day. For those living in certain parts of the city, it may even be possible to find a home within walking distance of a local school.
Another important factor to consider when looking at accommodation options in Ottawa is how to get to work. Public transport networks in Ottawa are fairly extensive, and as long as expats live within walking distance of a bus stop or O-Train station, they shouldn’t have too much difficulty getting around the city.
Renting property in Ottawa
While it is possible to find a good number of properties to rent using online portals, many new arrivals prefer to enlist the help of a real estate agent who is familiar with the local property market.
Once expats find a property they are interested in, they will need to complete a preliminary application. They will be required to include a letter of employment from their company stating the salary, position and the length of the employment contract. In addition, some landlords or rental agents request a letter of reference from a former landlord and expats may be asked for their Social Insurance Number (SIN) so a credit check can be completed.
To secure a rental property in Ottawa, expats will be expected to pay the first and last month’s rent up front. The lease should state the cost of rent per month, along with whether this price includes utilities such as water and electricity. Generally, these are not included in the rental price; however, with some condominiums, expats will find that rental is inclusive of electricity.
Most landlords in Ottawa will want their tenants to sign a contract for at least one year.
►To learn more about transport options available to new expats read the Getting Around Ottawa page
Are you an expat living in Ottawa?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Ottawa. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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