Cost of Living in Ottawa: Updated Prices, Other Cities Comparison

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Cost of Living in Ottawa : Expenses Guide

Ottawa, Canada’s capital, is located in southeastern Ontario. The cost of living per month in Ottawa is approximately CAD 1,522. However, this may vary according to your preferences and location. Moreover, Ottawa is located on the southern bank of the Ottawa River, across from Gatineau, Quebec, which makes it a beautiful place to live. It is a cosmopolitan and bilingual city that speaks both English and French.


The cost of living in Ottawa is known to be inexpensive for students. The city is an hour’s drive from the United States 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. 

Cost of Living in Ottawa

For international students, the living expenses in Ottawa are lower than in many other global study destinations. The average Cost of living in Ottawa City for a single person is CAD 1,522 (without rent) according to numbeo. However, this cost generally depends on your lifestyle and preferences.

Living expenses in Ottawa include food, groceries, transportation, utilities, entertainment, etc. To give you a more detailed analysis of the cost of living in Ottawa, we will cover these categories one by one: Let’s take a look:

Also Read: Cost of Living in Brussels: A Guide on Expected Expenses

Costs of Transportation in Ottawa

Transportation is another part that covers the cost of living in Ottawa. There are various modes of transportation available in Ottawa and the cost of transportation there depends on the mode of transportation, the distance you travel, the frequency of travel, and the time of your travel. The table given below shows the average transportation costs in Ottawa: 

Transportation TypeAverage Cost
One-way Ticket (Local Transport)CAD 3.79
Monthly Pass (Regular Cost))CAD 128.62
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)CAD 4.12
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)CAD 2.77 
Source: numbeo

Restaurant Expenses in Ottawa

Ottawa offers delicious culinary arts and taste culture at an affordable price. Whether you want to enjoy a meal at a restaurant or savour your favourite street food, Ottawa’s food scene has something for everyone. The restaurant costs in Ottava are provided below: 

Types of RestaurantsAverage Cost
Meal at an Inexpensive RestaurantCAD 30
Meal for 2 individuals at a Mid-range Restaurant, Three-courseCAD 120
Source: numbeo

Cost of Groceries in Ottawa

Another significant part of the cost of living in Ottawa is grocery costs. To manage your budget you can choose to cook your meals at your residence. This will save you a lot of money. However, the price of groceries depends on your dietary preferences and habits. Here are some grocery items with average costs listed below:

Grocery ItemsAverage Cost
Milk (regular), (1 litre)CAD 3.06
Rice (white), (1kg)CAD 5.47
Eggs (regular) (12)CAD 4.32
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)CAD 3.82
FruitsCAD 4.50
VegeratblesCAD 4.00
Source: numbeo

Utility Costs in Ottawa

A monthly essential part of the cost of living in Ottawa that you have to pay is the utility bill. This cost includes electricity, heating, cooling, water, trash, internet, phone and other services. It depends on the type, size, location, usage and consumption habits of your residence. Here are the utility expenses that you may have to bear in Ottawa: 

Type of UtilityAverage Monthly Cost
Basic (Electricity, Cooling, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 ApartmentCAD 244 
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)CAD 73
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ DataCAD 56 
Source: numbeo

Also Read: Cost of Living in Hamburg: A Comprehensive Guide

Housing Expenses in Ottawa

One of the major parts of the cost of living in Ottawa is covered by accommodation costs. The cost of accommodation in Ottawa varies according to the type of apartment, location, size, quality, and amenities of your chosen place. This is what the average monthly rent looks like in Ottawa:

Type of Apartment and their LocationAverage Monthly Cost
Monthly Apartment Price for 1 bedroom in the City CentreCAD 1,946
Monthly Apartment Price for 1 bedroom Outside of CentreCAD 1,790 
Monthly Apartment Price for 3 bedrooms in the City CentreCAD 3,108
Monthly Apartment Price for 3 bedrooms Outside of CentreCAD 2,509
Source: numbeo

Cost of Living in Ottawa Compared to Other Cities

Generally, Ottawa offers a relatively affordable cost of living compared to many major cities in Canada, with plenty of opportunities for work, study and entertainment. For your reference, we’ve given the cost of living in Ottawa compared to other cities like Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, and Canada. So that you can understand how affordable it is to live in Ottawa for higher studies compared to other cities in Canada. Please have a look:

Cost of living city-wiseApprox CostsComparison Cost of Living in Ottawa
Cost of living in TorontoCAD 1,532Higher than the Ottawa
Cost of Living in Calgary CAD 1,585Higher than the Ottawa
Cost of Living in Montreal CAD 1,369Lower than Ottawa
Cost of Living in Canada CAD 1,452Lower than Ottawa
Source: numbeo

Average Tuition Fees in Ottawa

One of the primary expenses for a student along with the cost of living in Ottawa is the average tuition fee in Ottawa. However, finding out the average tuition fees at universities in Ottawa is a difficult task. This is what the average tuition fees look like in Ottava:

Program TypeAnnual Tuition Fees
Undergraduate CAD 36,881 – CAD 80,622 
Postgraduate CAD 15,217 – CAD 30,517
PhDCAD 8,000 – CAD 20,000

Also Read: Cost of Studying in Germany

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, and high-quality education, along with an affordable cost of living in Ottawa. Here are some of the main reasons why you should choose Ottawa to study abroad:

Education system in Ottawa

Ottawa is known to be the most educated city in the country. The city has a well-developed public education system and prestigious universities, renowned for their advanced courses and programs.

Atmosphere of Ottawa

Being in the centre 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. Furthermore, it offers an affordable cost of living in Ottawa for students so that they can enjoy life there without any stress.

The Culture in Ottawa

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.

Safety in Ottawa

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.

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 skate way 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.

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FAQs on The Cost of Living In Ottawa

Ques 1: What is The Cost Of Living In Ottawa?

Ans: The average cost of living in Ottawa is around CAD 1,522 excluding rent for a person. However, rent for a one-bedroom apartment can range from CAD 1,700 to CAD 2,000 and this may vary according to area and preferences.

Ques 2. 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. The average cost of living in Ottawa per month is around CAD 1,522 excluding rent for an individual.

Ques 3. Is 100k CAD a good salary in Ottawa?

Ans. A CAD 100,000-a-year earner in Ottawa earns 55% more than the average working person in Ottawa. However, the average net salary per month in Ottawa after tax is around CAD 4,162.77. This amount is more than the average cost of living in Ottawa and you can live your life leisurely there.

Ques 4. 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. Furthermore, the cost of living in Ottawa is around CAD 1,522 excluding rent which is affordable for a single person.

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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