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Old 01-16-2011, 11:03 AM
 
22 posts, read 51,955 times
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My wife and I are planning to move to Ottawa either this year or next. We are going for a visit for a couple days sometime in the next few weeks. We would prefer to live in the suburbs and I have limited it to Orleans, Kanata, Nepean and Barrhaven. I will be able to transfer to an office in the downtown core.

Here's some more details:

late-20's married couple with two young children (under 2)
currently living in the Toronto area
I work in IT and my wife does photography
planning on sending the children to french immersion

Here's my questions:

1. How long are the commutes from each of those cities to the downtown core? Is it better to drive east to west or west to east (traffic wise.. I know the sun works against you when you drive east to west in the morning)

2. I've read that the majority of IT jobs are in the Kanata area, though this information seems to be a bit outdated as it seems more companies are leaving that area than coming in. Is this true?

3. I've also read that Orleans has a heavy population of francophones (though the majority is still anglophones), as a pure anglophone will I fit in okay? The west end seems to be more dominated by anglos whereas the east is franco.

4. When we do visit are there any places in the Ottawa area that are 'must see'?
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
25,663 posts, read 33,627,651 times
Reputation: 10722
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitric View Post
My wife and I are planning to move to Ottawa either this year or next. We are going for a visit for a couple days sometime in the next few weeks. We would prefer to live in the suburbs and I have limited it to Orleans, Kanata, Nepean and Barrhaven. I will be able to transfer to an office in the downtown core.

Here's some more details:

late-20's married couple with two young children (under 2)
currently living in the Toronto area
I work in IT and my wife does photography
planning on sending the children to french immersion

Here's my questions:

1. How long are the commutes from each of those cities to the downtown core? Is it better to drive east to west or west to east (traffic wise.. I know the sun works against you when you drive east to west in the morning)

2. I've read that the majority of IT jobs are in the Kanata area, though this information seems to be a bit outdated as it seems more companies are leaving that area than coming in. Is this true?

3. I've also read that Orleans has a heavy population of francophones (though the majority is still anglophones), as a pure anglophone will I fit in okay? The west end seems to be more dominated by anglos whereas the east is franco.

4. When we do visit are there any places in the Ottawa area that are 'must see'?
French immersion is available in all suburbs in the Ottawa area.

1. All three suburbs mentioned are roughly the same distance from downtown, with Orleans is slightly closer than the other two. Commute times can depend on the mode of transportation you choose: express buses are as fast and sometimes faster than driving into downtown. All three have express bus service to and from downtown Ottawa. You are looking at a 30 to 45 minute commute on average no matter which suburb or mode you choose. Kanata has the best, widest and most direct highway link to downtown however it also has the added traffic volume of Scotiabank Place going home in the evening when there is a Senators game or a concert. This is fairly regular (lots of games and concerts) and has a significant impact on westbound afternoon traffic on the 417 in Ottawa. Orleans has a direct freeway link to downtown but lane capacity is less than coming in from Kanata. Driving into to downtown from Barrhaven on a freeway is more circuitous (416 then 417) than the other two. Buses from all three areas have dedicated lanes or exclusive rights of way for the trip downtown.

2. Kanata is the only one of the three that has a significant local employment base (hi-tech). It took a hit but is now on the rebound. This tends to make Kanata homes slightly more expensive than Barrhaven and Orleans.

3. There is a lot of hype about Orleans being the "French" part of Ottawa but the main impact on an anglo is that you will just overhear more French there than in other areas of the city. Everyday life in Orleans still goes on in English for the most part these days. East end Ottawa (including Orleans) is no more than 25% francophone - if that. But it is true that Barrhaven and Kanata are more wholly English-speaking.

4. Tourism-wise? Parliament Hill, Museum of Civilization (with a good Children's Museum) just across from downtown Ottawa in Gatineau, skating on the Rideau Canal. The Winterlude winter carnival starts up on Feb. 4 and runs for about three weekends. Gatineau Park if you like cross-country skiing. Casino du Lac Leamy in Gatineau if you like gambling. There are several other museums in Ottawa: nature, science and tech, etc.
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:45 AM
 
35,316 posts, read 48,467,072 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitric View Post

1. How long are the commutes from each of those cities to the downtown core? Is it better to drive east to west or west to east (traffic wise.. I know the sun works against you when you drive east to west in the morning)



4. When we do visit are there any places in the Ottawa area that are 'must see'?
Probably 20 minute drive from Orleans to downtown and if you are commuting i dont think the sun will be a problem as it rises in the east and you will be driving west.

Science center is a must see and the new refurbished museum of natural history was a big hit with my family a few weeks ago..Across the river the art museum can be very interesting,,Tour of the parliament buildings is a must do for all Canadians, stroll around Byward market area. either a skate or a boat ride along the Rideau canal..
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
25,663 posts, read 33,627,651 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
Probably 20 minute drive from Orleans to downtown and if you are commuting i dont think the sun will be a problem as it rises in the east and you will be driving west...
20-minute drive from Orleans is true - off-peak only though.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:57 AM
 
22 posts, read 51,955 times
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Thanks for the responses so far.

I'll be commuting in at around 8 and heading home at around 5. I'm assuming from Orleans that means a ~30 minute drive?
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
25,663 posts, read 33,627,651 times
Reputation: 10722
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitric View Post
Thanks for the responses so far.

I'll be commuting in at around 8 and heading home at around 5. I'm assuming from Orleans that means a ~30 minute drive?
I would plan on 35-40 minutes on average. Some days you might make it in just under 30 minutes, others it will take you 45 min. or even an hour on occasion (snowstorm).
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:39 PM
 
536 posts, read 1,371,921 times
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I've never been, but the Diefenbunker in Carp sounds like fun. Basically a Cold War era underground bomb shelter fit for dozens, if not hundreds of politicians and other select VIPs and family. Hybrid of the name of our PM at the time, Diefenbaker, and the word bunker.

While in Carp, the farmers market there is great, weekends in the summer. They have a garlic festival too which is awesome.

The War Museum at Lebreton Flats, just west of the downtown core, following Wellington from Parliament, is one of my favourite destinations. It's the museum made of copper and glass and concrete with a green roof, very space age design.

Jambo, by 'science center' did you mean the Science and Tech museum? I found this museum stuck in the 70s. Although, may be fun for small kids. Right on re the Museum of Natural History (which is haunted, btw). Several years of renovations and it's open for business better than ever.

The National Art Gallery. Walk along Sussex from Rideau in the Market until you see a big glass structure on your left, and a giant spider in front. Great collections.

Skating on the canal is nice in the winter.
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:06 AM
 
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Aviation museum is a must and if you are in the byward market sample a Beaver Tail..
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:20 PM
 
22 posts, read 51,955 times
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After visiting it looks like Kanata is the most likely destination. We're still looking at Barrhaven.

Do the aforementioned bus routes that are express to downtown only leave from the stations?
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
25,663 posts, read 33,627,651 times
Reputation: 10722
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitric View Post
After visiting it looks like Kanata is the most likely destination. We're still looking at Barrhaven.

Do the aforementioned bus routes that are express to downtown only leave from the stations?
The express buses run within the neighbourhoods in the suburbs, usually on the main arterial roads. So it is usually a question of walking out to the corner of your street.

I think it may be a city policy that all addresses in the city and suburbs - but not rural areas of the city - have to be something like 500 m (or so) or less from a bus stop.

If you go to octranspo.com and look at the system map you will see that bus service in Kanata, Barrhaven, etc. is extensive and touches all neighbourhoods. This is especially true of express services.
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