Cost of Living in Ottawa

What you Need to know before moving to Ottawa?

Ottawa has a population of over 1.18 million people and is the capital city of Canada. The city offers a wide range of amenities, with everything from museums and galleries to public parks and world-class restaurants. Ottawa is filled with urban life, culture, and natural beauty.

Every year, many young professionals are attracted to the city by its strong economy and affordable cost of living. Whether you want to live in this vibrant city or just visit for business trips, you’ll want to know what it will cost you before making a move. Here are some things that you need to know about Ottawa’s cost of living and what the monthly costs would come to be if you are to start your life here.

Ottawa's cost of living

The cost of living in Ottawa is 18% lower than the national average. This is great news for those looking to move there because it means that you can enjoy your day-to-day life at a much lower average monthly cost. The median home price in Ottawa is $364,400 USD, which is $156,000 USD lower than the national average. The median rent price for an apartment in Ottawa is $1,711 per month, which is $1,158 USD below the national average.

If you’re looking to move to Canada and live a great life on a budget, Ottawa is one of your best bets!

Renting in Ottawa

Renting in Ottawa is more affordable than average. With the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment at $867 per month, living in Ottawa won’t break your bank. But depending on where you’re looking to live, that price could increase drastically. For instance, if you’re looking to live downtown, you’ll pay about $1,021 per month for a one-bedroom apartment.


Average Rent Per Month

Average Prices

Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre1,628.85 C$
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre1,232.69 C$
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre2,758.00 C$
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre2,066.67 C$

Where can you find Affordable Housing?

One of the biggest expenses for any city is housing. You’ll find that Ottawa has a surprisingly affordable cost of living when it comes to housing costs. There are many neighbourhoods in Ottawa that offer affordable and beautiful luxury homes, condos, and apartments. The average cost of rent in Ottawa is $1,359 per month, which is lower than the national average.

Ottawa also has many “garden suites” (apartments on the ground floor of a single-family home) that are perfect for young professionals looking for affordable housing options. These apartments come equipped with a separate entrance and can be rented for as little as $800 per month.

Ottawa offers many housing options, so you should have no problem finding an affordable place to live.

State of Housing Rates in Ottawa since 1956


1956 $13,351
1957 $14,230
1958 $15,564
1959 $16,038
1960 $16,791
1961 $16,070
1962 $15,952
1963 $16,549
1964 $16,563
1965 $17,056
1966 $18,004
1967 $19,476
1968 $23,329
1969 $25,652
1970 $26,532
1971 $27,808
1972 $30,576
1973 $38,305
1974 $46,661
1975 $49,633
1976 $54,623
1977 $57,032
1978 $59,134
1979 $61,896
1980 $62,748
1981 $64,896
1982 $71,080
1983 $86,245
1984 $102,084
1985 $107,306
1986 $111,643
1987 $119,612
1988 $128,434
1989 $137,455
1990 $141,438
1991 $143,361
1992 $143,868
1993 $148,129
1994 $147,543
1995 $143,193
1996 $140,534
1997 $143,873
1998 $143,953
1999 $149,650
2000 $159,511
2001 $175,971
2002 $200,711
2003 $218,692
2004 $235,678
2005 $244,532
2006 $255,889
2007 $272,618
2008 $290,366
2009 $303,888
2010 $327,225
2011 $343,284
2012 $351,792
2013 $357,348
2014 $361,707
2015 $367,632
2016 $371,901
2017 $392,474
2018 $407,571
2019 $441,693
2020 $529,675
2021 $719,605

Tips for saving money while living in Ottawa

Ottawa is a city that’s filled with culture, entertainment, and natural beauty. However, it also offers a high cost of living. Luckily, there are ways to save money without sacrificing your lifestyle. 

Save Money on Transportation: 

Ottawa has a fairly extensive public transport system that includes buses, trains and streetcars. If you want to get a monthly pass for public transit in Ottawa, it will run you about $100-150 per month. The monthly pass for April 2017 had an estimated cost of $138 for adults and $97 for children (4-13 years old). 

If you don’t want to purchase the monthly bus pass, then you might want to consider taking other methods of transportation like biking or walking! Either way, it all adds up over time, so try not to spend more than $200-$250 on transportation per month.

Save Money On Food: Eating out can be expensive in Ottawa, but grocery shopping isn’t as expensive as some might think. You can save up to 50 percent on groceries when compared to other Canadian major cities. Even if you’re buying organic produce at the grocery store, it will still be cheaper than eating out most days of the week!

How to take advantage of all the amenities on offer here ?

The opportunities to enjoy this urban city are endless. The Rideau Canal and the Ottawa River offer scenic views. You can take in some of the nation’s most impressive artwork at the National Gallery or visit one of many museums, galleries, or theatres. For history buffs, there are also plenty of important Canadian sites nearby.

Ottawa also offers a variety of recreational activities for every taste, from hiking and cycling to swimming and golfing. There are also excellent educational opportunities for those who want their children to grow up with bilingualism. With all these amenities on offer, it can be hard to know where to start!

Public transportation 

Although Ottawa is a city, public transportation is not as convenient. There are buses and a train service that runs during weekday morning and evening hours. The bus system does not run on weekends or holidays.

Transportation Costs

Average Prices

One Way Ticket (Local Transport)3.6 C$
Monthly Pass (Regular Price)122.50 C$
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)24.00 C$
Gasoline (1 liter)1.36 C$
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car)28,700.00 C$
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car)25,397.80 C$


An average salary of around $2,200 per month is necessary to live comfortably in Ottawa

The average cost of Living in Ottawa per year is around $23,000

Ottawa is relatively cheaper than Toronto on average it’s 3% cheaper to live in Ottawa than it is to live in Toronto

According to data, +749K are English-speaking people and +138K are French-speaking people in Ottawa so you can survive with knowing English alone, but it would be better to know both languages.


Ottawa is home to some of Canada’s most popular museums, including the Canadian Museum of Nature, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Canadian War Museum. The National Gallery of Canada has a vast collection of artwork that showcases both Canadian and international art.


Ottawa has more than 300 parks and green spaces. This includes the Rideau Canal, which is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Museums and galleries 

Ottawa has had a rich and diverse cultural life since the early 1800s. The city’s galleries and museums are vibrant, dynamic spaces. There are a variety of galleries that showcase everything from contemporary art to Indigenous culture.