Ottawa is not only a beautiful, world-class capital city but widely recognized as one of the best places to live, not just in Canada but internationally.
Ottawa was recently ranked sixth in the world for its quality of life in a ranking based on a number of factors, including economic and social conditions, environmental cleanliness, public services, political stability and low crime rates.
Photos courtesy of Ottawa Tourism.ca
In 2009 the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto also ranked Ottawa as the best overall of 145 Canadian cities in terms of livability for singles, mid-career professionals, empty nesters and retirees.
Over one million people from all over the world call Ottawa home and live in a charming city teeming with metropolitan panache, abundant cultural influences and magnificent natural beauty. Ottawa is the most educated city in the country with the highest per capita concentration of post-secondary graduates including over 9,000 PhDs. Each year hundreds of thousands of business and leisure visitors arrive by car, train and through the newly renovated and expanded McDonald-Cartier International airport.
With vibrant business, technology, research and government sectors, world-renowned health care facilities and a never-ending calendar of cultural and recreational choices, Ottawa is a great place call home for many reasons and in every season.
During the summer Ottawa weather is hot and humid and the citizens love to get outside and get active with recreational choices that are bountiful. Along the Ottawa, Rideau and Gatineau Rivers as well hundreds of nearby lakes, beaches dot the shorelines and attract sunbathers, swimmers, volleyball players and sailors. Hikers, cyclists and runners enjoy thousands of kilometers of trails and golfers can choose from over 100 nearby courses. Culture also comes alive with a non-stop calendar of warm weather festivals including one of the largest blues festivals in the world. Summer nights find people strolling, dining and dancing in the historic Byward Market and Elgin Street entertainment areas, taking in the sound and light show on Parliament Hill and so much more.
Fall brings the magnificent colours of the changing leaves and the hills and forests come alive with a glorious palette of reds and oranges. Hiking in the nearby Gatineau National Park is at its most picturesque during the autumn and charming villages like Chelsea, Merrickville and Perth are the perfect destinations for inspiring weekend drives. While busy throughout the year, the Ottawa culinary scene really picks up after Labour Day and award-winning, innovative restaurants offer something for every taste.
When the snow starts to fall in winter, Ottawa is transformed into a white-frosted wonderland that is welcomed by all. The Rideau Canal, a UNESCO world-heritage site in the middle of Ottawa becomes the worldâ€™s longest skating rink where thousands put on the blades and skate past twinkling lights, sip on hot chocolate and snack on hot pastries known as Beaver Tails. In February hundreds of thousands of people come out to Winterlude and enjoy free concerts, ice carving displays and games for the kids.
In the spring gardens all over the city start to bloom and baseball diamonds and soccer pitches come alive with players of all ages joining hundreds of leagues. Along the Rideau Canal, in front of Parliament Hill and at Majors Hill Park over a million Tulip bulbs open up in a rainbow of colours and mark the beginning of the Tulip Festival a celebration of friendship between Canada and the Netherlands. In late spring, Canadaâ€™s largest marathon takes place along a scenic route and welcomes over 30,000 participants from all over the world.
Whether you come to Ottawa for school, work, fun, family or a combination of all of those things youâ€™ll find that life in Ottawa is very good indeed.