Live in downtown or Canadian suburb?

Like many of the mornings, coldarctic style, super typical of the Canadian winter, but especially this year, I found myself thinking how suburban our routine is. We live west of the center of the Canadian capital in the Kanata district and rarely need to get out of here for the usual things of our day-to-day lives.
And to say, ever since we got to Ottawa, we've never lived downtown. We lived in a neighborhood called Britannia for the first few months, then we lived in the suburbs of Gatineau, in the neighboring province of Québec, and then we moved back to Ontario, to kanata neighborhood where we are to this day.
When we visit other cities and by chance, our hotel is in the center, I see how different is the dynamics of living center x suburb and today I wanted to try to pass to you, what I see good and bad of each scenario.


Downtown Ottawa – Rideau Canal
I see some interesting things about living in downtown Ottawa:
– Many bars, restaurants and social activities in a relatively small area;
– You can access/visit almost everything on foot or with a short public transport trip;
– You don't necessarily need to have a car;
– Many sights around (museums mostly are in the center or close);
– Experience the active nightlife (if it is your beach, of course), vibe of cosmopolitan city;
– Traffic can be a problem, depending on the time;
– Not all types of shops and services are located in the center;
– Easy public transport to all sides of the city;
– The two largest universities are in the center, so there are a large number of young people/ university students;
– Parking can be boring, depending on the day/hour;
– Rental and housing prices are higher;


Ottawa Suburb
– Not everything is close, since suburbs tend to be more "scattered";
– Much more chance you need to have a car;
– Attractions/events/nightlife less active;
– Many families live in the suburbs;
– Public transport can be a little more complicated (less frequent), depending on the area of the city you want to go (type go from one suburb to another, on the other side of town, may require more than one bus line and plenty of time);
– Many chains of shops, supermarkets and services with easy access;
– Congested traffic if you work downtown (rush hours);
– There are more houses and fewer apartments, so more space (internal and external);
– Rental and housing prices are lower;
– Fewer sights;
– Less traffic;
Well, points cited above, both for the center and the suburbs are examples of the things I see or experience over the days here. There are probably many other things to mention and consider. Not everything is the rule.
For example, it is not that anyone who lives in the center does not have a car and only uses public transport. Only maybe you'll have a better chance of leaving him at home and going places on foot or by bike. Similarly, in the suburbs, there is the possibility of walking in places like us, we are about 15 minutes from the supermarket. In the summer I went to take a walk there, but in winter, the 3 minutes that distance us by car, always win. Hehe
Now, choosing without parameters is quite different from when you have pre-established questions. For example, when we came in 2007, we didn't have a job yet, we weren't going to university, we didn't have much to base on to choose the place to live. We ended up looking at many options, both in the center, as in the adjascentes neighborhoods and in suburbs.
We ended up learning where potential employers were concentrated, how the public transportation system worked and started to reduce the coverage area.
For other people, factors such as attending a college, university, or having a defined job at the beginning, etc., can be a decisive factor in where to live – it usually makes sense to live nearby.
I usually indicate a very interesting site about the neighborhoods in Ottawa, where there is lots and lots of information/data to get to know one neighborhood x another better. The site calls OTTAWA NEIGHBORHOOD STUDY, and there you can see the entire urban area of Ottawa and its subdivision by neighborhoods and clicking on each neighborhood, you have available various data, referring to the most diverse subjects, type of playgrounds, schools, accessibility to transportation, unemployment rate, income, average housing prices, etc.
Anyway, as a family, I think it's great to live in the suburbs. Here in Kanata there are great schools, we can live at home with patio (for kids and the furry have more private outdoor space), we have easy access to most of the trade we use weekly and Diego drives only 10/15 minutes to work (I work from home right), I have no major complications with traffic in taking Diana to daycare or doing the things I have to do daily.
There are also many parks, trails and playgrounds, community centers and the tranquility that only has in the same suburb (less traffic etc).
As less positive points, I would say, we feel sometimes, half isolated sometimes, from the energy of the big city, from social events, from being able to walk to a restaurant, to take a look at the beautiful sights of the city more regularly, to see the buzz. So yes, it's kind of quiet!
Kisses and even the next!