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Old 03-11-2009, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
25,605 posts, read 33,540,726 times
Reputation: 10675

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshineleith View Post
Others will hopefully be able to offer suggestions on the neighbourhoods you should look at, just wanted to send you a link to a site that lists the majority of homes for sale in Canada:

www.mls.ca

You could also check out www.propertyguys.com

Good luck
Other good Ottawa home sites for you:
http://orebweb1.oreb.ca/index.shtml
http://grapevine.ca/

There aren’t really that many "bad areas" (read = dangerous) in Ottawa, but some areas are what could be called "scuzzy". But most of these wouldn’t have 3000 sq. ft. homes in them. Generally speaking, any areas (inner city or suburban) with single-family homes of that size would be totally recommendable.

What this means is that prices generally vary according to location, with inner city properties more expensive than suburban ones. (Quite a bit more expensive in most cases.)

On the whole, you are looking at more than $400,000 Cdn. for a home of that size pretty much anywhere in Ottawa and its suburbs. And as I said - the further in it is, the higher the price will tend to be.
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:22 AM
 
3,681 posts, read 6,030,447 times
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Thanks for all the input so far - very helpful. A couple more questions. Are any areas/neighborhoods better known for the best/very good public schools? Are there websites that rate the schools in Canada? Also, does anyone know if the income from a U.S. pension would be taxed in Canada (assuming we were living in Canada). Thanks.
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Old 03-12-2009, 07:17 PM
 
76,536 posts, read 104,370,350 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umtiki View Post
I am going to jump in on this question, I don't really know if they are harder to get into because it depends on what university you compare,


because in my opinion the Carleton University in my opinion won't be hard to get into. While they are good at basketball I don't know if they have the highest standards.

But, say if you are talking about McGill University that is a different story I know many people who get very high marks and are used to receiving scholarships but, didn't get squat. McGill is a very good uni. in my opinion of course.
Isn't McGill the "Harvard of Canada"?
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, BC
1,049 posts, read 6,246,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Isn't McGill the "Harvard of Canada"?
That's what McGill students like to tell themselves.
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
25,605 posts, read 33,540,726 times
Reputation: 10675
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Isn't McGill the "Harvard of Canada"?
I remember Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario used to have t-shirts that had the word HARVARD in crimson and the usual typeface, with the following tagline under it: “the Queen’s of the south”.
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
25,605 posts, read 33,540,726 times
Reputation: 10675
Quote:
Originally Posted by maja View Post
Thanks for all the input so far - very helpful. A couple more questions. Are any areas/neighborhoods better known for the best/very good public schools? Are there websites that rate the schools in Canada? Also, does anyone know if the income from a U.S. pension would be taxed in Canada (assuming we were living in Canada). Thanks.

As mentioned previously, variations in school funding is not really an issue in Ontario as this is handled at the provincial levels. The system is split up into local school boards, but there is little variation from board to board across the province. The variations would be within boards, which tend to cover fairly large areas, and would be related to demographics and socio-economic factors in a particular school’s drawing area.

As one would expect, the nicer/richer a neighbourhood, generally the better its local school will tend to be because more affluent parents tend to be educated and value learning more, take a greater, active interest in their kids’ education, volunteer more for school events, and even lay out cash for special activities and other "extras" that give value added.

The latest school rankings for Ontario can be found here:
The Fraser Institute - Report Cards - School Performance - Ontario
This is a private study, and the results are roundly dissed by school administrators, but it is nonetheless considered to be a reputable assessment.
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:46 PM
 
13 posts, read 53,617 times
Reputation: 36
Ottawa

is cold in the winter and hot in the summer, if you like winter sports move here soon.
If you like any sports move here now.
If you like summer cottages and trees and rolling hills move here.

Housing prices are cheaper compared to LA. A large 4 bedroom in great neighbourhood will cost between 350K to 600K. Taxes will be from 4K to 6K on property per year. Neighbours will be fussy and tidy. There will be no confrontations but there will be suggestions and stares.

People take care of their homes and kids and cats and dogs and everything.
Most homes have large calanders covered in ink from 7am to 9pm Monday to Sunday.
You would think living in Ottawa that everyone is going to the Olympics. Sports stores make a killing here. I think Clint Eastwood lives near me I see him jogging with his shirt off everyday in the summer at top speeds. Yoga, a peaceful exercise can be a frenzied white knuckled experience when trying to find a spot to fit in.

Food is great and in the summer tons of fresh food.

If your work offers dental/medical you'll be fine. If not you'll pay for dentistry and it's not cheap.
Prescription drugs, ambulances, foot care, back care, eye care. You can have a family doctor covered under OHIP, but there is a shortage of doctors and it's hard to find one but there are many walk in clinics and they will keep your chart and they are very good. No charge for walk in clinics either. Blood tests and special tests are free but not at the dentist or ciro or foot doctor or eye doctor. Waiting for a specialist can take up to 3 months.
Going to emergency will take 3 to 4 hours unless there is alot of blood pouring out of you or other liquids.

If you phone the fire dept they will get there fast, if you phone an ambulance it's very fast. If you phone the cops make coffee.

I saw 2 small boys throw an apple at a cat last week, that's the most crime I've seen in a year.
The cat is fine, the boys ran away when I called after them.

East end people speak french first. South or West people speak english first and french when they're mad.

If you like peacefulness this is your city. It's quiet and the bedroom communities must have a lights out rule at 10pm because I have the roads to myself.

Friday and Saturday nights are alive with clubs and dancing especially downtown in the market area. The market area is a nice night life, walk to all the pubs and diners and it's pretty and not built up, nothing over 3 stories down in the Market, well barely. Plenty of time to party, bars close at 3am. So get out early and dance all night to sober up by 3am.

Driving is easy, 20 minutes to downtown from the outer neighbour hoods. This doesn't include rush hour which can be drag, study french CD's during these times or for myself Mardarin.

Diverse culture, people from everywhere. It's like Star Trek in Canada. That's why I love it. If the Aliens land we probably won't notice but we'll make all their recipies, we're known for our culinary delights and diversity of food genres.

You'll also be 1.5 hours drive to Montreal and that's a real treat if living in Ottawa.

Education is not free in Universities and Colleges but you can apply for OSAP. Grants and Loans.

People here are calm generally unless you are at the check out at Costco or WalMart on Dec 24th.

We love our parks and outdoor concerts in the summer. It's peaceful in Ottawa, conservative but in the best of ways. We probably live here because it's best for the kids. We probably stay here because the kids do. It's not large and it's not small it's just right.

Last edited by virtual; 03-16-2009 at 08:56 PM..
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:10 AM
 
3,681 posts, read 6,030,447 times
Reputation: 1511
Quote:
Originally Posted by virtual View Post
Ottawa

is cold in the winter and hot in the summer, if you like winter sports move here soon.
If you like any sports move here now.
If you like summer cottages and trees and rolling hills move here.

Housing prices are cheaper compared to LA. A large 4 bedroom in great neighbourhood will cost between 350K to 600K. Taxes will be from 4K to 6K on property per year. Neighbours will be fussy and tidy. There will be no confrontations but there will be suggestions and stares.

People take care of their homes and kids and cats and dogs and everything.
Most homes have large calanders covered in ink from 7am to 9pm Monday to Sunday.
You would think living in Ottawa that everyone is going to the Olympics. Sports stores make a killing here. I think Clint Eastwood lives near me I see him jogging with his shirt off everyday in the summer at top speeds. Yoga, a peaceful exercise can be a frenzied white knuckled experience when trying to find a spot to fit in.

Food is great and in the summer tons of fresh food.

If your work offers dental/medical you'll be fine. If not you'll pay for dentistry and it's not cheap.
Prescription drugs, ambulances, foot care, back care, eye care. You can have a family doctor covered under OHIP, but there is a shortage of doctors and it's hard to find one but there are many walk in clinics and they will keep your chart and they are very good. No charge for walk in clinics either. Blood tests and special tests are free but not at the dentist or ciro or foot doctor or eye doctor. Waiting for a specialist can take up to 3 months.
Going to emergency will take 3 to 4 hours unless there is alot of blood pouring out of you or other liquids.

If you phone the fire dept they will get there fast, if you phone an ambulance it's very fast. If you phone the cops make coffee.

I saw 2 small boys throw an apple at a cat last week, that's the most crime I've seen in a year.
The cat is fine, the boys ran away when I called after them.

East end people speak french first. South or West people speak english first and french when they're mad.

If you like peacefulness this is your city. It's quiet and the bedroom communities must have a lights out rule at 10pm because I have the roads to myself.

Friday and Saturday nights are alive with clubs and dancing especially downtown in the market area. The market area is a nice night life, walk to all the pubs and diners and it's pretty and not built up, nothing over 3 stories down in the Market, well barely. Plenty of time to party, bars close at 3am. So get out early and dance all night to sober up by 3am.

Driving is easy, 20 minutes to downtown from the outer neighbour hoods. This doesn't include rush hour which can be drag, study french CD's during these times or for myself Mardarin.

Diverse culture, people from everywhere. It's like Star Trek in Canada. That's why I love it. If the Aliens land we probably won't notice but we'll make all their recipies, we're known for our culinary delights and diversity of food genres.

You'll also be 1.5 hours drive to Montreal and that's a real treat if living in Ottawa.

Education is not free in Universities and Colleges but you can apply for OSAP. Grants and Loans.

People here are calm generally unless you are at the check out at Costco or WalMart on Dec 24th.

We love our parks and outdoor concerts in the summer. It's peaceful in Ottawa, conservative but in the best of ways. We probably live here because it's best for the kids. We probably stay here because the kids do. It's not large and it's not small it's just right.
Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to post this well thought out, very descriptive,informative answer to what "life" is like in Ottawa from the perspective of only someone who lives there can give. Very valuable information! Sounds like you are a native and you are justifiably enamoured with your home!

If possible, could you comment on the following things that I do not like about where I live in the U.S. and tell me if you think things are the same, moreso or less in Canada (Ottawa, specifically.)

1. Driving: Everything is spread out. You pretty much need to drive on a freeway to get anywhere. Traffic is horrible. People drive very fast. Freeway lanes are very narrow.

2. People tend to be quite narcisstic and competitive and well, shallow. Everyone is in a hurry all the time, trying to make more money to buy bigger homes, better cars, go to spas, gyms, etc. Moms are pushing their kids to be the best athlete, student, little actor/model or dancer and often are quite cut-throat. Kids tend to be pushed into growing up too fast. Parents , while trying to do the best for their kids, overextend themselves, working too much, volunteering too much, partying too much resulting in not enough quality relaxing family time. One on one friendships are almost non-existent . Group social activities are plentiful as moms get together for bunco parties, dads get together for poker parties and there are lots of block parties; but its mostly gossip and bragging stories or chances to network for carpool arrangements or home business sales. I can't find people to sit down one on one with to discuss politics, good books or have a heart to heart talk with. Maybe its just the times we live in or is it the place? Are things different in your neck of the woods?

3. You mentioned that Ottawa is very diverse. It is extremely diverse where I live also. In fact, in my neighborhood, in my dd's class, there are at least 8 different nationalities represented out of 20 children. This makes for a rich environment. But at the same time, I often feel rather lonely as so many people speak so many different languages. Even when a mom speaks some English, it usually isn't enough to have any kind of conversation with beyond the pleasantries. How about in Ottawa? Other than in the Eastern region where you said people speak French, do most others speak English? Also, are there opportunities for children to learn French in school?

4. Finally, I know drugs are everywhere nowdays. But, to what extent are drugs and gangs felt in Ottawa?

I understand this is a very long post and you have already been so kind as to give such a detailed response, but if you can further comment on the above, I would really appreciate it. Your information is so down to earth real! TIA
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:32 AM
 
52 posts, read 132,651 times
Reputation: 44
Coming from California, depending on from which region exactly, you may feel little lonely unless you have extended family or friends here. Like people from GTA find it boring and less happening city. This is what I get from my friends visiting from Toronto.

Winters will be very harsh as compared to warm CA. I hear winter never visited CA this year, and we had extremely extremely cold winters this year.

For real estate, apartment rentals, house hunting, you can visit some local classifieds like Craigslist or Khrido Classifieds (http://classifieds.khrido.com/used-ottawa-c1p0/all-ads.aspx - broken link) They have some good sections where you can shop for other household items too.

If you are here in winters, you may need winter tires to go around. Summers are wonderful here. There are some good reputable and hard to get into universities here. Good Luck with everything
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
25,605 posts, read 33,540,726 times
Reputation: 10675
Quote:
Originally Posted by maja View Post
Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to post this well thought out, very descriptive,informative answer to what "life" is like in Ottawa from the perspective of only someone who lives there can give. Very valuable information! Sounds like you are a native and you are justifiably enamoured with your home!

If possible, could you comment on the following things that I do not like about where I live in the U.S. and tell me if you think things are the same, moreso or less in Canada (Ottawa, specifically.)

1. Driving: Everything is spread out. You pretty much need to drive on a freeway to get anywhere. Traffic is horrible. People drive very fast. Freeway lanes are very narrow.

2. People tend to be quite narcisstic and competitive and well, shallow. Everyone is in a hurry all the time, trying to make more money to buy bigger homes, better cars, go to spas, gyms, etc. Moms are pushing their kids to be the best athlete, student, little actor/model or dancer and often are quite cut-throat. Kids tend to be pushed into growing up too fast. Parents , while trying to do the best for their kids, overextend themselves, working too much, volunteering too much, partying too much resulting in not enough quality relaxing family time. One on one friendships are almost non-existent . Group social activities are plentiful as moms get together for bunco parties, dads get together for poker parties and there are lots of block parties; but its mostly gossip and bragging stories or chances to network for carpool arrangements or home business sales. I can't find people to sit down one on one with to discuss politics, good books or have a heart to heart talk with. Maybe its just the times we live in or is it the place? Are things different in your neck of the woods?

3. You mentioned that Ottawa is very diverse. It is extremely diverse where I live also. In fact, in my neighborhood, in my dd's class, there are at least 8 different nationalities represented out of 20 children. This makes for a rich environment. But at the same time, I often feel rather lonely as so many people speak so many different languages. Even when a mom speaks some English, it usually isn't enough to have any kind of conversation with beyond the pleasantries. How about in Ottawa? Other than in the Eastern region where you said people speak French, do most others speak English? Also, are there opportunities for children to learn French in school?

4. Finally, I know drugs are everywhere nowdays. But, to what extent are drugs and gangs felt in Ottawa?

I understand this is a very long post and you have already been so kind as to give such a detailed response, but if you can further comment on the above, I would really appreciate it. Your information is so down to earth real! TIA
1. Driving: Tends to be a tad aggressive by Canadian standards. Note that in Ottawa you are right next to Quebec so there is that influence that tends to push the adrenaline behind the wheel upwards. There is quite a bit of traffic and much of the city and metro area is auto-dependent but probably at a much lesser level than in urban California. There is a decent but imperfect public transit system.

2. People tend to be quite narcisstic and competitive and well, shallow.
You will find some of this in Ottawa as well, however Canadians tend to be less competitive, not as go-go-go and more reserved than Americans (some would say less ambitious even).

3. You mentioned that Ottawa is very diverse.
The population of Ottawa is very diverse for a city of its size. You will find that almost all immigrants you interact with will speak English. Those people you would meet who don’t speak English would usually be native-born French-speaking Canadians, and the odd immigrant from a former French colony like the Congo or Algeria who would know their native language and French. But few of the people who speak only French live in Ottawa, as most are from across the river in Gatineau, Quebec. Regarding French in schools, French as a second language is part of the curriculum in all Ottawa schools, and there are even quite a few of what are called "immersion" schools where anglo kids learn most of their subjects in French all day in order to get their French up to a highly proficient level.

4. Finally, I know drugs are everywhere nowdays. But, to what extent are drugs and gangs felt in Ottawa?
There are drugs and gangs in Ottawa and most of the crime in the city is related to these phenomena. These activities are limited to a few small (often just a few streets in a neighbourhood) and do not affect the average citizen who isn’t looking for trouble.

Consider that the worst of the so-called "bad areas" of Ottawa are considered safe to walk through alone during the daytime hours, and safe to drive through at any time of night.
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