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Old 10-10-2011, 10:08 AM
 
6 posts, read 44,166 times
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Looks like I may be moving from Nova Scotia to work in Ottawa, but am torn between living on the outskirts of Ottawa or in QC!

I know taxes are higher in QC, but housing is lower - you definitely get more house for your buck! ..and looking in places like Embrun, you still don't get what you'd get in Aylmer/Gatineau.

Daycare is subsidized, though I don't know how that works, exactly (my kids are 8 and 10) - how does it work for after school care? Both my kids are in french immersion (have been since they started school) while my wife and I don't speak french (I could fight my way through a conversation - I know enough to get into trouble) but really would love to learn the language. I think that Gatineau has more of a European flair, too, than Ottawa?

I've only been to Ottawa, never to Gatineau - what is life like there? Is it a little more relaxed than in Ottawa? Lots of cafes and bistros? European bakeries and butcher shops?

What about power costs? ..and over cost of living in Gatineau vs Ottawa? Internet and telephone costs? Property taxes are insanely high in both places, so no clear winner there.. and of course health care?

Thanks for any and all info and tips :-)
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
25,720 posts, read 33,758,876 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoseMan View Post
Daycare is subsidized, though I don't know how that works, exactly (my kids are 8 and 10) - how does it work for after school care? :-)
After school daycare is also seven dollars a day. You are guaranteed a spot in the daycare of the school your kis attend.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
25,720 posts, read 33,758,876 times
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Originally Posted by BoseMan View Post
. I think that Gatineau has more of a European flair, too, than Ottawa?

I've only been to Ottawa, never to Gatineau - what is life like there? Is it a little more relaxed than in Ottawa? Lots of cafes and bistros? European bakeries and butcher shops?
Unfortunately, as far as the look of the city, Gatineau doesn't really have areas with European flair like central parts of Montreal and Quebec City, and the closest thing to European flair in Ottawa-Gatineau is in the Byward Market in Ottawa.

Gatineau's downtown has a few interesting places to go out but for the most part it is not the most attractive area. Slowly improving, but still a long way to go. The Market in Ottawa is far nicer, though it doesn't in my opinion feel as cool and chic as similar areas in Montreal and Quebec City.

I currently live in Gatineau, and lived many years in Ottawa, and in my opinion the upper middle and upper class in Gatineau is somewhat more European in its fashion style and cultural likes and behaviours (something which is typical of Quebec in general, even in the smaller cities) than their counterparts in Ottawa. But they don't live in urban surroundings that in any way reflect these tastes. Most of Gatineau is very ordinary, sprawly (sometimes ugly) average North America as far as urban aesthistics are concerned.

And tapping into the Gatineau élite for an outsider who does not speak French is probably a pretty elusive goal.

Gatineau does have pretty good bakeries, butcher shops and specialty grocery stores and such (possibly in greater proportions relative to population than Ottawa does), although most of them are located along ugly boulevards and strip malls.

Last edited by Acajack; 10-10-2011 at 08:28 PM..
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Old 10-19-2011, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
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If you will be working in Ottawa then you might find commuting to Gatineau a bit of a problem since the bridges between Ottawa and Gatineau are a bottleneck for traffic. While it’s true that housing is more expensive in Ottawa and the suburbs, there is a great deal of choice in Ottawa and the suburbs for housing. You may be surprised at all the new housing developments available, at least in the West end, with which I’m most familiar

You may also want to consider the fact that as a non-francophone you may feel more comfortable in Ottawa. Note also that the East end of Ottawa tends to have a larger French-speaking population than the West end.

However, if you want to jump in and immerse yourself and your family in a francophone milieu, then go for Gatineau. If I were to purchase a home in Quebec, I would buy one as close to Gatineau Park as possible so as to take advantage of the ski trails in the park in the winter.

(I’ve lived in Ottawa for 27 years and my wife formerly made the daily commute from the West end of Ottawa to Gatineau.)
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
25,720 posts, read 33,758,876 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmo-san View Post
If you will be working in Ottawa then you might find commuting to Gatineau a bit of a problem since the bridges between Ottawa and Gatineau are a bottleneck for traffic.

This is very true if you are working anywhere in Ottawa outside of the downtown core, because you have to drive on very, very busy approach roads to even get to the bridges.

As for downtown Ottawa, commuting there (by bus) from anywhere in Gatineau that is 10-15 km from downtown is just as easy if not easier than from the main Ottawa suburbs of Orleans, Kanata and Barrhaven, which tend to be 10-15 km further out than similar areas of Gatineau.
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