Cost of Living in Ottawa: A Guide

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Ottawa, Canada’s capital, is located in southeastern Ontario. It is located on the southern bank of the Ottawa River, across from Gatineau, Quebec. It is a cosmopolitan and bilingual city that speaks both English and French. The knowledge sector employs 26.4% of the population, and one out of every seven persons works in technology or science. The cost of living in Ottawa is known to be inexpensive for students. The city is an hour’s drive from the US border, where visitors can pass into New York State via the St. Lawrence River. Keep reading this blog to learn about the Cost of living in Ottawa. 

Why Choose Ottawa to Study Abroad 

Ottawa is the place to be when it comes to Canada. Ottawa, the nation’s capital, is a fantastic student city offering experiences, high-quality education, and much more. 

Here are some of the main reasons why you should choose Ottawa to study abroad:

Education system

Ottawa is known to be the most educated city in the country. The city has a well-developed public education system and high-quality universities.


Being in the center of Canada’s capital allows overseas students to fully immerse themselves in the city. It is a large metropolis with a small-town atmosphere. Students benefit from an appropriate combination of urban city and beautiful green surroundings.

The Culture

Ottawa is a warm and inviting multicultural city. More than a quarter of its population were born outside of Canada. The official languages of Ottawa are French and English. Aside from it, European customs and cultures have had a strong influence on the city.


Ottawa is rated as one of Canada’s safest and most livable cities. According to a Mainstreet and Postmedia survey, Ottawa is the safest city in Canada. When compared to other Canadian cities, it has a reputation for being a friendly, slower-paced city with a more laid-back attitude.

Also Read: Cost of Living in London for Students

Cost of Living in Ottawa

For international students, the cost of living in Ottawa is lower than in many other global study destinations. Let’s have a look at the living expenses in the city below. 

Transportation Costs

The table given below shows the average transportation costs in Ottawa: 

One-way Ticket (Local Transport)C$3.75
Monthly Pass (Regular Cost))C$125.50
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)C$4.50
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)C$2.75 

Restaurant Expenses 

The restaurant costs in Ottava are provided below: 

Meal at an Inexpensive RestaurantC$30
Meal for 2 individuals at a Mid-range Restaurant, Three-courseC$100


The average grocery expenses are listed below: 

Milk (regular), (1 litre)C$2.92
Rice (white), (1kg)C$4.39 
Eggs (regular) (12)C$4.39 
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)C$3.54 

Utility Costs 

Here are the utility expenses that you may have to bear in Ottawa: 

Basic (Electricity, Cooling, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 ApartmentC$255.58 
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)C$86.58
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ DataC$56.67 

Housing Expenses

This is what the average monthly rent looks like in Ottawa:

Monthly Apartment Price for 1 bedroom in the City CentreC$1,911.90 
Monthly Apartment Price for 1 bedroom Outside of CentreC$1,712.22 
Monthly Apartment Price for 3 bedrooms in the City CentreC$3,090
Monthly Apartment Price for 3 bedrooms Outside of CentreC$2,417.83

Also Read: Cost of Living in France: Rent, Food, Expenses and More

Average Tuition Fees in Ottawa

This is what the average tuition fees look like in Ottava:

Program TypeAnnual Tuition Fees
Undergraduate C$36,881 – C$80,622 
Postgraduate C$15,217 – C$30,517
PhDC$8,000 – C$20,000

Also Read: Cost of Studying in Germany

Things to know When Moving to Ottawa

Now that you have learned about the cost of living in Ottawa, it is time to understand some important things about the city before you move there. With these useful hints and advice, you can be prepared for any scenario in the capital city.

Here are some crucial things you need to know before you move to Ottawa: 

The Rideau Canal has a Big Impact on Ottawa

The city of Ottawa is built around the Rideau Canal, a boat and skateway that transforms into a river that leads into Lake Ontario. This multi-purpose municipal feature draws a boatload (no pun intended) of tourists all year and even serves as a source of transportation for Ottawa residents.

Opting for Cycling 

To say Ottawa is bike-friendly would be an understatement. Moving to Ottawa is a cyclist’s dream, with its shortage of parking, dense renter population, and 800 km of recreational routes.

Ottawa is Small

Although online maps may give the impression otherwise, Ottawa is not a large city. In fact, driving from one end (Westboro) to the other (Vanier) takes only 15 minutes. As a result, it is extremely walkable, and the necessity for a vehicle is minimal.

Ton of Activities 

Whether you’re looking for a food festival, an outdoor activity, or a historical landmark, chances are there will be plenty of free options on any given day.

Also Read: Cost of Living in Italy


Ques 1. Is it expensive to live in Ottawa?

Ans. Despite being Canada’s capital, Ottawa has one of the lowest cost of living in the country. 

Ques 2. Is 100k CAD a good salary in Ottawa?

Ans. A C$100,000-a-year earner in Ottawa earns 55% more than the average working person in Ottawa. 

Ques 3. Is Ottawa a good place to settle?

Ans. Aside from having a strong economy and a high income, Ottawa is also known for being pedestrian and transit-friendly.

So, this was all about the cost of living in Ottawa. Many Indian students dream of pursuing education in foreign nations due to the exposure and career growth they offer. Consider joining a free counselling session with Leverage Edu if you plan to study abroad

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