12 Reasons Why Retirement Living in Ottawa Is the Best

The Ottawa Region is Full of Interesting Things to Do Year-Round

The Ottawa area is one of the top places to live in Canada. Compared to other cities, Ottawa is not too big or crowded but still offers so much through it’s diverse culture, lifestyle, and events. Ottawa still has the benefits of living in a big city but with a more laid-back feel of a town. With enough green spaces, attractions, and events, there is always something interesting to do and see in the Ottawa region.

Whether you’re looking for a new place to match your lifestyle, or you’ve heard about the great opportunities for retirement living in Ottawa, consider the many reasons why the National Capital Region is an ideal place to live.

  1. A Great Place to Call Home

    Throughout the years, publications have named Ottawa as one of the top cities to live in Canada, the Americas, and in the world.

    In 2017, MacLean’s rated Ottawa as second-best Canadian city to retire in, based on the average rent ($1,204), property taxes (2.08%), number of doctors per 1,000 (3.3), and number of days above 20˚ Celsius (116.53).

  2. The Arts Scene

    Ottawa has a vibrant arts scene. Dance, theatre, music, visual arts, and literary arts are all largely celebrated in the area. From festivals to galleries, and bumping music venues, the arts are alive in Ottawa.

    Ottawa's art scene.

    The National Arts Centre is a major venue for the arts. TD Place and Canadian Tire Centre also host live events, such as sports and concerts. Ottawa and the surrounding areas are also filled with movie theatres that screen both independent and major motion pictures.

  3. Community

    Whether you live in downtown Ottawa, or on the outskirts, like in Stittsville, there are thriving communities throughout the region. It’s also quite easy to get involved with the community, either through local community centre programs or group-scheduled activities. Ottawa welcomes all!

    Ottawa’s communities are full of enthusiasts from many different backgrounds—such as arts and crafts, cycling, beer tasting, and other adventures.

  4. Close to Major Cities & Getaway Destinations

    Whether you want to visit friends and family, or have a weekend getaway, Ottawa is a short drive, train ride, or bus ride to other major cities and top-rated getaway destinations for active adults.

    Travel over the bridge into Quebec, drive through Gatineau Park, and visit Chelsea, home of the popular Nordik Spa-Nature. Or drive a bit further to Mont-Tremblant, a popular ski destination.

    To visit major cities, Montreal is a two-hour drive from Ottawa, and Toronto is a four-hour drive. And the beloved wine country in Ontario—Prince Edward County—is only a three-hour drive away. Retirement living in Ottawa means adventure is around every corner!

  5. Easy Access to the Airport

    If you love to travel, the Ottawa International Airport is easy to access and close by. No matter where you are in the city and surrounding communities, you can easily get to the airport without having to rush or drive for a long duration. Ottawa buses also go directly to the airport if you prefer taking public transit.

  6. Excellent Public Transit System

    When it comes to public transportation, Ottawa is a leader in Canada. OC Transpo has a giant fleet of buses, many which come often and go along the Transit Way East to West, and North to South. The first stage of Ottawa’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) system is set to open to the public near the end of 2018. The LRT is a major evolution for Ottawa’s transit system, making travel across the city even faster for transit users.

  7. Plenty of Bike Paths & Trails

    Wilderness in Ottawa.Ottawa has many scenic trails and bike paths along waterways—such as the Rideau Canal and the Ottawa River. If you enjoy cycling or walking, you can get almost anywhere in the region with the beautiful and expansive bike-path network.

  8. Easy Access to Wilderness

    Local parks throughout the area, and the famous Gatineau Park, make Ottawa a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. There are many green places to get away from the city’s hustle and bustle for just a moment or the entire day.

  9. Less Traffic

    Since Ottawa’s population is relatively low compared to other major cities, traffic is bearable. Of course, there is still rush-hour traffic, but it won’t last for hours upon hours like in the GTA.

  10. High-Quality Healthcare

    Although new Ottawa residents may not get a family doctor right away, the wait isn’t long. And there are plenty of high-quality walk-in clinics across the city you can use while you wait for your own family physician. To find a doctor in Ottawa, call up your nearest medical centre to get started right away.

  11. One of the Cleanest Cities in the World

    Just by taking a stroll around Ottawa you’ll notice how clean the streets and parks are. The City of Ottawa cleans, sweeps, and plows streets regularly, ranking Ottawa as one of the cleanest cities in the world by several publications.

  12. Plenty of Things to Do All Year-Round

    Whether at a local pub, gallery, park, or a major venue, there are many exciting activities to take part in throughout the year.


  • Winterlude—featuring skating, ice sculptures, and other fun outdoor activities in February, both in Ottawa and across the bridge at Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau;
  • Canadian Tulip Festival—celebrating tulips across the city in May;
  • Ottawa International Jazz Festival—jazz musicians from around the globe perform for this 10-day music festival at venues throughout the downtown core;
  • Fringe Festival—featuring plays and theatre at downtown venues in June;
  • Dragon Boat Festival—a four-day festival of dragon-boat racing in June;
  • Canada Day Festivities—featuring major music events on Parliament Hill, and activities across the city on July 1st;
  • Bluesfest—10 days of music performances from a variety of genres at LeBreton Flats in July; and,
  • City Folk Festival—four days of folk and other music at TD Place, Lansdowne Park, in September.

The National Capital Region is also home to many fascinating museums, including:

  • The Canadian Museum of History;
  • The Canadian War Museum;
  • The Canadian Museum of Nature;
  • The Canadian Science and Technology Museum;
  • The Agriculture Museum; and,
  • The Aviation and Space Museum.

There is something for everyone to enjoy in Ottawa. The combination of culture, activities, events, and vibrant communities, and the benefits of living in a city with a small-town feel makes Ottawa the best place to live, especially for retirement living.

Tulip Festival in Ottawa.