Quality of Life in Ottawa, Canada

Purchasing Power Index 87.28   High
Safety Index 70.54   High
Health Care Index 70.42   High
Climate Index 44.46   Moderate
Cost of Living Index 75.58   High
Property Price to Income Ratio 9.26   Moderate
Traffic Commute Time Index 35.53   Moderate
Pollution Index 25.73   Low
ƒ Quality of Life Index: 161.44   Very High

Minimum contributors for an underlying section: 122

Maximum contributors for an underlying section: 343

Last update: June 2023

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5 Comments so far
Steve on Apr 02, 2023:
Cannot recommend this place to anyone, what a mess.
Felipe on Feb 05, 2023:
Can't wait to be out of here, back to my homecountry (Spain).

It's like everyone here is under influence, drunk or high. And not in an amicable way.
Azif on Jan 26, 2023:
THe downtown of ottawa is a zero culture nightmare. Streets smell of cannabis so bad, it is diry, so many crazy hobos around
In general people smell canabis here like cigarettes, but the problem is that cannabis smoke is so terrible that if you pass through this smoke, and you dont even breathe, you feel the intoxication effect through the skin later. It is like a chemical weapon.It is a zero culture nightmare to have streets like that.
Not only streets smell of drugs and make you drunk, public areas like parks and stairs are not maintaned during the winter time, so you always have to climb through the snow if you wanna go somewhere. The abcence of maintainense, and constant smell of drugs and diesel. There are still many beautiful buildings from the past. But in 2023 it is not suitable for civilized life,
Canada showed great example what happen if you legalize drugs.
Anonymous on Dec 17, 2022:
Hello my name is Monkey I'm From South Africa And Evil Villain send me to ottawa:( can someone tell me plane from ottawa to south Africa pls;(
Igg on Apr 29, 2022:
The previous commenter painted an image of essentially Gotham City and I want to say that this isn't quite accurate. Some of the things are true (like immigration being difficult) but some of the things mentioned aren't really quantifiable. Who you meet and the culture of wherever you go or work or see in the community is going to vary drastically, so much. This is a geographically large city and the vibe downtown is not the same as the vibe in Orleans and is not the same as the vibe in Herongate, and is not the same vibe as Little Italy or Chinatown. But these things don't actually have to do with the *average* quality of life so much as what you as an individual are looking for.

Regarding average quality of life, as of the time I'm writing this, here's what my thoughts are:

Healthcare here can be difficult to access until you have a primary healthcare provider. You may end up on a waitlist for that. I recommend any of the Community Health Clinics.

Housing varies, but buying an actual house here right now is something you'd need to be wealthy to do. I don't think this is unique to Ottawa per se, but prices have at least doubled since 2016. Downtown and other neighbourhoods either have new condos or are currently building them. Gentrification is happening. Take of that what you will.

I can't speak much to education but there are, I believe, 4 post secondary institutions here. Carleton, La Cité, Algonquin, and uOttawa. I think most of anglophone Ottawa forgets La Cité exists. I've been a student at all of the other schools besides La Cité. My general impression is that you get more out of Ottawa as a student than as a permanent resident. But this isn't necessarily true of other cities with more to do.

There are a lot of museums here. Ottawa has a reputation for being boring, which is understandable to me. But I think it's also a matter of individual preferences and where you seek entertainment. But most of the city definitely is boring, at least for having the population it does.

The public transit system is so bad it's being audited by the province, if I recall.

Safety-wise: I would say that Ottawa is fairly safe. I personally feel safe going outside at night downtown as a visibly marginalized person (I use a mobility device, and I'm trans), but not everyone does. I don't like our police but I don't know if they are better or worse than other places.

Air quality has been fairly bad downtown, but there are a lot of neighbourhoods that feel almost rural. If you're wearing a proper mask anyway like you should be, it shouldn't be an issue.

Groceries and other costs are higher downtown than in other neighbourhoods. Something that costs $27 downtown might be $12 in Herongate.

I imagine commutes are probably not good initially for people new to the area, because there are a lot of one way streets in some areas, and it can get confusing where you're supposed to go.

Wheelchair accessibility in the city is better than Montreal but worse than Toronto, in my opinion. There are a lot of heritage buildings here that people aren't willing to renovate. Finding places to rent with a wheelchair is a nightmare, but not impossible if you can afford it. Looking around the times of May 1 or Sept 1 for move-ins generally means rent is more manageable since that's when students move. Outside of that timeline you may be gouged.

Tl;dr Ottawa is a place of contrasts etc