Rent in Ottawa | Where to start?

Arriving in a new city and still staying or studying is a difficult task. To complicate matters further, it is often necessary to research a new home without knowing the city and where it will work/study. I can say that fortunately, few areas of Ottawa are bad enough to be crossed off the map of possibilities, but it's always good to have some references of places before you settle for an apartment, expenses and legal issues.  

In addition to being able to use tools like the Navut site (which I talked about here on the blog already), many local reports can give a good view of what to expect in each area of the city.

Ottawa Magazine published a report last year that I thought was interesting and decided to tell here on the blog. Basically speaks of the most popular neighborhoods in terms of rent in apartment buildings (high-rise), counting accessibility to public transport and other services.   *I believe that the amounts quoted do not include "utilities" (i.e. water, light, gas etc).** values in Canadian dollars

1. Downtown

Despite having fewer options than the other areas, the center houses about 15% of the city's rental apartments. Many companies have offices out there, proximity to public transport, numerous restaurants and some shops are great advantages. Negative factor is that it doesn't come cheap.

Total number of apartments: 8,805 

Available: 1.7% 

Average rental price per month: $1,082


Options range from student house to luxurious apartments. The area is known for having one of the most expensive rentals in the city. Simple and small apartments were listed for about $900/month, with buildings without a doorman, elevator or swimm
ing pool. Many UOttawa students prefer or choose this area because of their proximity to most university buildings.

Total number of apartments: 5,911 

Available: 4.3%

Average rental price per month: $1,121


These areas mix a little better of everything. Close to the center, quieter streets, suburban climate and river views. 
For a 1 bedroom apartment (the most sought after type in town) you will pay around $965/month.

Total number of apartments: 3,199

Available: 2.4%

Average rental price per month: $1,087


Going east to Ottawa, you will find better prices. In June 2015, one-bedroom apartments were easily found for about $899 in Blackburn Hamlet, including swimming pool, while $950 could afford a two-bedroom Beacon Hill South. These neighborhoods are huge and extend to the south of Ottawa, so values, sizes and advantages are varied.

Total number of apartments: 2,679

Available: 1.2%

Average rental price per month: $964

5. Nepean

Numerous options in Nepean, including apartments for those who need larger apartments such as three bedrooms. It's one of the regions with the most offers too, so it's not hard to find one that wil
l please. This area is also home to many students, especially around Algonquin College in this neighborhood.

Total number of apartments: 4,854 

Available: 3.6%

Average rental price per month: $1,037

How about Condo?

Condos around here are apartments in low buildings, 3 floors on average. Prices are around $1,421 for a condo and $1,021 for a conventional apartment (in a taller building). The difference is basically because most condos are younger and sometimes offer gyms, indoor pool and ballroom.

Prices from year to year…

Don't worry that your rent won't double the following year. Around here, unless the apartment owner's cost figure rises substantially, the government regulates how much rents can rise. In 2016 the rate will be 2%.

How about crossing the bridge?

If it's hard to find rent that fits in your pocket and your taste, Gatineau might be an option. There, there is enough option (about 6.5% of rental properties are available) and the average values are considerably lower: $726 in Gatineau versus $1021 in Ottawa.