Ottawa is a pretty great city. We have a city and nature vibe mixed, and it's known to be a small but big city as well. And we can't argue that.
It's no wonder that Ottawa has been named the best place to live in Canada, even though us who live here sometimes can't understand why. Between the contrast of our summers and winter, and how long it takes for us to get trendy things, us Ottawans definitely complain a lot.
This city is absolutely stunning no matter what the weather is, and if you disagree, then that's cool too. We all have our own opinions on if this city is meant to be the capital of Canada or not, but this article is all in good fun. C'mon, you know these things are true. Embrace it!
Here are some of the 14 best and worst things about living in Ottawa:
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This subject is definitely a bittersweet one. Most of us rely on OC Transpo to get to work, unless you're willing to drive downtown yourself. While the bus can definitely be shady at times and not show up, it's reliable most of the time and gets you where you need to be.
Worst // The construction here is absolutely brutal
Hey, if it's a one way street and you miss where you're supposed to turn, good luck! The construction in Ottawa from the months of April to October are unreal. You can't walk downtown without having to go around 3 fences, and being cut off by a sign that says go around. Where there is Ottawa, theres construction.
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We support local and it's the best. Ottawa coffee shops do so well because people want to support them, and they're looking for a new place to chill out. Since Ottawa doesn't get many new things, when we do we cling on and make sure it stays here forever by giving it all our money.
Worst // The prices of the coffee at these adorable coffee shops
I recently went to a local cafe and got an iced vanilla latte with almond milk. It was 8 dollars! EIGHT! That's like half a tank of gas for me. I understand supporting local, but damn, Timmies can get me a coffee for less than $2. But here I am, craving that coffee I just complained about.
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Best // Our summer weather (well, besides this one)
Most of the time, Ottawa summers are absolutely perfect. They may be hot AF, but we're usually begging for rain as our grass turns brown. This year was a different story, but even though it's humid as hell here, we still live for our summers. There is nothing like hanging out in the ByWard Market when it's a nice hot day, because the beaches usually have E. coli warnings. Fun!
Worst // Our horrendous winters
When it's not summer here, it's snowing. We hardly have fall or spring, because the snow melts and it turns to +30 or we've had about two weeks of 'perfect' weather and we get a warning for a snow storm. And then it all begins. Ottawans get anxiety just by thinking about winter, and if you're not into winter sports, you'll probably avoid leaving your house for a few months unless necessary.
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Best // Nature is right in our backyard
If you're sick of the city vibes, all you have to do is cross over to Gatineau and Gatineau Park is waiting for you. We're seriously so lucky to have such amazing nature so close to the city, and you can even manage to go to some trails all year round. The views are unreal and you always feel refreshed after spending time in nature.
Worst // You can't really spend all day at a beach in the summers
This is one of the things I would definitely trade, since I'm like a fish in water. I love water, lakes, beaches, oceans, pools, anything. But it gets damn annoying when it's the perfect beach day, and you know every beach you go to in Ottawa will be gross and the water is green. Where can I get some palm trees? Some nice blue water? Let me know, thx!
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Best // We have amazing local food that keep us loving the city
Man, the food scene in Ottawa is limited but so good. Everyone has their spots they absolutely adore, and anywhere you go you compare the food to them. Ottawa is known for BeaverTails and things like that, but our little hole in the wall delis, shops, and restaurants are what makes the city so much better. Underrated spots here are also bomb AF.
Worst // It takes us forever to get anything trendy
Or just normal in every other city. How long did it take us to get a Chipotle? A poke bowl spot? I mean, bubble waffle cones have been super cool for years and we just got them. It's definitely not our fault, but we'd like more cool things, please and thanks! The city is known as a government city, so that's why you don't see any cool advertising or billboards here. However, we don't need that kind of stuff. All we need are cool food places to take Insta pics at, duh!
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Best // There are so many neighbourhoods in Ottawa, and so much to do in all of them
Like I said before, Ottawa is a small but big city. It has so many neighbourhoods, anyone that's from here would be confused when leaving their bubble. Wait, I need to go from The Glebe to Barrhaven? Is that even possible? But yes, and even though everyone states that Barrhaven is so far from everything, it's all pretty close together if you really think about it. You can basically get anywhere to downtown in 35 minutes, which really isn't bad.
Worst // The reputation some neighbourhoods have
Whether you're from Barrhaven, Orleans, or even downtown, you live in Ottawa. There is such a stigma around not living downtown that people will make fun of you if you live anywhere else because it's so far. You need to chill though. It's really not that serious, and even just living in Ottawa means you're #blessed.
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Best // The ByWard Market is the place to be at night
Nightlife in Ottawa is, well, sort of non existent. I'll get to that later though. However, no matter what, when you're in the ByWard Market you're bound to have a good time. Just walking around at night is fun and you'll most likely end up at a bar that you've been at 20 times before because... well let me get into it.
Worst // The nightlife is basically non existent
Okay, I'm about to get into it. Ottawa has about 5 good bars, and unless you avoid going downtown at all costs, you know what these bars are. They're the ones that are easy to get into and you know you'll run into people you know. However, it would be nice to have as many bars as Toronto does to switch it up and meet new people. By the end of the night you feel like you've lived this moment 30 other times and just want to eat at the Rideau Street McDonald's before heading home and never doing that again.