Rural vs. urban living in Ottawa / June 2023

The Ottawa area offers diverse living options, from the bustling urban downtown core to the serene countryside beyond the suburbs.


Whether you’re considering settling down in a rural or urban setting, explore these five key differences of each lifestyle to learn which way of living may be right for you and your family.


Rural living:


  • 1. A slower pace: Away from the noise and congestion, rural Ottawa living includes picturesque landscapes, farmlands and green spaces all in the palm of your hand. Residents living outside the city can enjoy a quieter and generally more relaxed, less stressful atmosphere. 


  • 2. Community feel: Although urban living means close quarters and homes that are within feet of one another, rural areas tend to offer a more close-knit community spirit. Living rurally, expect to see your neighbours more frequently and you can develop a support system right in your neighbourhood. Involvement in festivals, farmers’ markets and community events for socializing and connecting can also help make the area feel more inclusive. 


  • 3. Cost of living: Compared to the downtown core, rural living generally offers a lower cost of living, depending on the community. On top of more affordable property prices and housing, amenities and services offered may be less expensive, leading to more saving opportunities. 


  • 4. Commute time: While you won’t have to deal with traffic congestion in the country if you’re commuting into the core for work, that commute will be much longer. Mind you, the driving you do around the home will be less stressful, and if you work from home or in your community, you can spend less time in your car and more personal time with family and friends.


  • 5. Connection outdoors: Nature abounds in the communities surrounding Ottawa. If your family loves to explore the outdoors and get active, proximity to nature can help make that lifestyle easier. 


Urban living:


  • 1. Vibrant city life: Ottawa has diverse dining options, trendy shopping districts, cultural events, a busy nightlife, and a range of entertainment options, all of which cater to a variety of lifestyle preferences. Urban residents can quickly head outside and immerse themselves in fast-paced city life.


  • 2. Convenient amenities: Urban Ottawa living provides convenient access to a range of popular amenities and services. Residing in the core can give you quicker access to health-care, educational institutions, shopping centres and recreational and cultural facilities. Public transportation networks across the city help to make commuting easier and more accessible.


  • 3. Career opportunities: The core can provide more job opportunities with a wider range of industries and employers. Ottawa is popular for government, technology, education, health care and finance businesses and living closer to where you work offers convenience. 


  • 4. Cultural diversity: Ottawa embraces diversity and a multicultural atmosphere across the city. Helping you connect with people from different backgrounds, and hosting numerous cultural celebrations, social gatherings, community events and more, you can engage quickly in new and unique experiences without having to travel far to get to them. 


  • 5. Nightlife and events: If you like a night on the town, urban living provides a thriving social nightlife. Bars, clubs, cafés and entertainment venues fill the core, providing you with opportunities to view live music, eat at unique restaurants and watch big sports events. When you’re ready to head home, public transportation can get you home safely. 


The decision between rural and urban living in Ottawa ultimately comes down to personal preference and your family’s priorities. Whether you’re ready for the hustle and bustle of the core or happy settling in a quiet neighbourhood, the City of Ottawa has something to offer for everyone to enjoy. 

Background Image

Agent Image
Serge Guénette
Bilingual Realtor

Contact Information

E-mail Address:

Office Phone:

Cell Phone: