I have lived in both cities.I actually grew up just north of Toronto and lived in Toronto for about 10 years once I was old enough to live on my own!I still have many friends there and have spent a lot of time in Toronto in more recent years.
As for Ottawa, I have lived here for a total of 30 years, so I’d say I’m pretty well acquainted with both.Here are what I think are the main things to keep in mind as a job seeker: There are basically two industries in Ottawa: the federal government and hi-tech.Sure, there are lots of other jobs, but those are the two biggest.
If you want to work in the federal government, you will very probably need to be bilingual.There are some unilingual jobs, but they are becoming more and more rare.Housing is cheaper here than in Toronto for sure.Rent is less, though you still have to pay $1100 to $1200 a month to get a decent apartment.
And houses are less in many neighbourhoods.The other advantage is that there are many smaller communities just outside Ottawa, such as Kemptville, Richmond, and Carleton Place that are well within commuting distance and where the housing prices are even lower.Unless you are a real outdoor enthusiast regardless of the environmental conditions, the weather can be quite extreme in both the winter and the summer.Winters tend to be longer than they are in Toronto and much snowier.
Ottawa is the snowiest capital city in the world averaging 224 cm or 88 inches of snow every winter, so be prepared for that!As for the summers, they have become increasingly hot and humid over the recent years — some days reaching 40º C with a humidex of 47º C — to the point that it is uncomfortable to be outside.While the really extreme temperatures are not typical, it is not unusual to have days on end when the temperature is 30º C with a humidex in the range of 35º C. Air conditioning is helpful!The city is easy to get around in.
Nothing is too far away and rush hour generally lasts about two hours as opposed to all day in Toronto.Additionally, many federal government workers choose an earlier work day (7 a.m. to 3 p.m.), so this means that the traditional rush hour of 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. isn’t as bad.As far as public transit, there is an extensive bus system and a Light Rapid Transit line running east to west just opened at the beginning of October.Ottawa is a beautiful city with lots of green spaces, bike paths, and outdoor activities.
It also has lots to offer in the way of cultural activities such as the national museums.And there are lots of great restaurants here that are much less than what you would spend in Toronto.When I first moved here in the mid 80s, this was not the case.
Ottawa truly was a “provincial” little place, but it has evolved and become more interesting over the years.Ottawa does have a lot of things to recommend it, mostly the ease with which you can live here compared to Toronto (and less stressful as a consequence!
Ottawa mostly has federal government and some IT companies.It’s very narrow job market.No real exciting opportunities, unless your dream is to be an intern at Global Affairs or something similar.
You need to be prepared to know French language because federal government is bilingual.Also you need to be prepared that people in Ottawa are very cold and not very friendly, so you should have some friends on speed dial on your phone to chat.
Thanks for the A2A.I think you will be surprised at how much smaller Ottawa is and how much cheaper housing is— although it is having a boom right now.I don’t think you will find the traffic any better— not at rush hour, anyway.
The new Light-Rail Transit system is not the subway, but should help commuting and maybe traffic levels one they get the bugs out of the system.