Welcome to OTTAWA


  • Neighbourhoods
  • Parks, and Recreation
  • See & Do – Ottawa

Government Guide

Arriving at Ottawa International Airport (YOW) Transporting Pets


  • Private Health Insurance
  • OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan)
  • Family Doctor


  • Short Term Accommodation
  • Long Term Accommodation

Cost of Living

Public Transportation

Important Documents and Banks Transferring Money Overseas Schools

Taxes Other Info


Ottawa is the second largest city in the province of Ontario, and the centre of politics in Canada. It is one of the safest cities in the country, and it is close to Quebec. You will be between French and English Canada with a dynamic culture, remarkable nature, space favorable to have a family and grow your career.


The 10 Most Family-Friendly Neighbourhoods in Ottawa

In my neighbourhood

Parks and Recreation

See & Do – Ottawa

Government Guide

The following link gives you access to the government guide on how to settle life in Ontario.

Newcomer’s guide

Find information in your language

Arriving at Ottawa International Airport (YOW)

The link below directs you to information regarding ground transportation.

YOW Ground Transportation

Transporting Pets

Cats and dogs will need a rabies vaccination and you have to bring them with the vaccination certificate. How the certificate should look like is under the following links, as well as container guidelines.

Dogs Cats Other Animals


After arrival, when you have your permit handy, you will be able to apply for the government health card (OHIP). However, your coverage may start three months after your arrival date in Ontario. You should get private health care insurance while you wait.

Private Health Insurance

Option 1 You can find an insurance company in your country and ask its representatives to quote the coverage for you.

Option 2 – You can get a quote from a company operating in Canada:

CAA Blue Cross Allianz

OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan)

The application can be done online. You will have to upload documents according to your status in Canada.

Family Doctor

In Canada, there are walk-in clinics and hospitals in case of emergency. However, you and/or your family need to find a family doctor to be responsible for your care.

How to find a family doctor in Ottawa


In Canada, apartments for rent are usually available to move in on the 1st day of the month. My suggestion is to start looking for advertisement based on the date you will arrive. If you arrive past the 15th of the month, book visits to see places upon arrival.

Short Term Accommodation



canada stays


premier suits

Long Term Accommodation

Popular websites to find places to rent (Always book visits to check the place in person – Attention to scams):

kijiji     padmapper      rent faster

*Extra info: It is possible to find home rental ads on Schools’ boards and Facebook communities.

Cost of Living

The following links give access to simulation of cost of living by city:

numbeo       expatistan       government of canada

Public Transportation

OC Transpo is responsible for the public transportation in the city. Urbanites can use the O-Train, which runs between Greenbro in the south and Bayview in the north. The network is about to be expended with the Confederation Line, which will provide central service running from east to west. Moreover, there are buses, taxis and car sharing services in the city. You can visit OC Transpo website for information regarding fares, schedules and travel planner.

Important Documents and Banks

Following the order below will help you to reduce the time when applying for the documents:

  • SIN (Social Insurance Number) – The link SIN will help you to find the closest Service Canada Office. Required documents: passport and permit (original) + inform your address.
  • The Ontario Photo Card (wallet photo card for those who do not have local driver’s licence. It is easier to open a bank account if you have it). Required documents: passport and permit (original) + inform your address + pay fee.
  • The 5 biggest Banks are TD, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Bank of Montreal (BMO), Scotiabank, and CIBC. They do offer packages for newcomers. (You can check the links below). Just keep in mind that you need to build a credit score in Canada if you want to buy a house or apply for a mortgage in the future, for example. The credit card is one way of building the score and the banks’ representatives will be able to explain it in detail. Scotiabank TD RBC CIBC BMO
  • Driver’s Licence. “New residents to Ontario with a valid driver’s licence from another province, state or country can use it for 60 days after you move to Ontario.” Find out more about it.

Transferring Money Overseas

Tips: Transferwise WesternUnion


Province’s guides to understand the educational system in Ontario:

Settlement – Education Ontario

The Newcomer’s Guide to Elementary School in Ontario

The Newcomer’s Guide to Secondary School in Ontario

Ottawa School Boards:

There are four school boards in Ottawa , besides the private schools. Children can learn in French, French immersion or in English. To decide the best option to your children you can visit the websites below, talk to parents in your neighborhood/ community centres and book a visit to talk to the principal or director of the school.

Ottawa-Carleton District School Board 613-224-2222

French Language Public School Board – 613-742-8960

Ottawa Catholic School Board 613-258-7757

French Language Catholic School Board

613-675-4691 (Eastern)/ 613-744-2555 (Southern and Central)

Private Schools in Ottawa:

Ashbury College

Kanata Academy

Peak Academy

Westboro Academy

Blyth Academy

L’Odyssee College International Inc

St. Laurent Academy

Counterpoint Academy

Lycee Claudel

Turnbull School

Elmwood School

Ottawa Montessori School

Venta Preparatory School


Please, refer to the links below:

Tax Guide Tax Calculator

Other Info

Renting a home in Canada? Who is involved?

The following link explains general terms, how to find a place, moving in and signing a lease, paying the rent, rent increases and moving out. Renting a home in Canada

My partner has work permit. Can he or she study english?

According to the CIC website, she can study without a study permit if the program of study is 6 months or less –

Extra Info: The city of Ottawa provides information regarding “Pursuing Your Education” adult education and recognition of foreign credentials ( meaning = how to validate international diplomas/transcripts in Canada).

Are there places where I can find my country’s food?

Local markets and big franchises (Real Canadian Superstore, Walmart, T&T) offer asian, latin and european products.

The Best 10 International Grocery Stores in Ottawa – Yelp

The Best 10 International Restaurants in OttawaTripAdvisor

A Foodie’s Guide to OttawaKeep Exploring

My partner will look for jobs. Is there any support?

World Skills Centre is one option. There are also employment agencies in the city, events or meetups to build networking, and the option of interacting with local people through volunteering.

Suggestion: Locelle a social network for women to help each other progress in their careers. One pager.

What are the emergency numbers in the city?

    • Emergency: 911
    • Poison Information Centre: 613-737-1100
    • Ottawa Fire Services: 613-580-2860
    • Ontario Provincial Police: 888-310-1122
    • Ottawa Police: 613-236-1222

Emergency Services – City of Ottawa

What are the biggest cell phone and internet providers in Canada?

National Internet Providers – Telus, Bell and Rogers

VOIP Phones & Internet Service Providers

Mobile companies Rogers, Bell, Telus, Fido, Virgin, Mobilicity/Chatr, Wind, Koodo and PC Mobile. The best, cheapest cell phone plans in Canada in Canada in 2018, according to Global News.

What are the Car Sharing Services in Canada?

In many canadian cities it is possible to find an alternative means of transportation, besides public transportation, bikes and taxis. They are the car sharing services, which require subscription fees and offer automobiles of different brands and sizes.

Operating in Ottawa: VRTUCAR, ZipCar

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