Moving to Ottawa
Welcome to the Nation’s Capital, Canada’s 4th largest city; a region rich with history and the perfect place to call “Home”!
Ottawa was first named “Bytown” after Lt. Col. John By who was a military engineer brought in to oversee the construction of the Rideau Canal. The name was officially changed to “Ottawa” in 1855. In 1857, Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as the capital of what was then the Province of Canada; ten years later, in 1867, with the new British North America Act, Ottawa became the permanent capital of the Dominion of Canada. Population at that time: 18,000!
Ottawa is built along the Ottawa River which runs East-West and separates Ontario and Quebec. The Rideau Canal, which has the distinction of being the world’s longest naturally frozen skating rink and a world UNESCO site, was completed in 1832. It was built as a secure supply route from Montreal to Kingston in order to avoid the St. Lawrence River route, which during the war of 1812 had been a very vulnerable transit corridor.
The Parliament buildings were completed in 1866. East and West Blocks were completed first followed by the Centre Block. They were severely damaged by fire in 1916 and subsequently rebuilt. The only existing section of the original parliament to survive was the Library, thanks to its impressive, fire-proof iron doors. It is a beautiful example of Gothic Revival architecture. Be sure to take a tour of Parliament and explore its beautiful grounds – you’ll spend a fascinating couple of hours.
The city of Ottawa stretches along the Ottawa River and encompasses an area of2800 sq. kilometers and is 80% rural in nature. For those who like the outdoors, it’s a great place to live and visit as the city boasts over 1300 parks measuring approximately 4300 hectares not including the Greenbelt that surrounds the city proper.
In 2001, the city amalgamated with 11 different towns to make up what we now know as the City of Ottawa. Ottawa’s city limits now stretch from the eastern border of Arnprior to past Cumberland to as far south as Burritts Rapids and includes Rockcliffe, Vanier, Gloucester, Blackburn Hamlet, Orleans, Cumberland, Nepean, Barrhaven, Riverside South, Kanata, Stittsville, Bells Corners, Greely and more. In 2019 Ottawa population passed the milestone of 1,000,000 residents and sees an extra 100,000 more people daily who are commuting in for business or sightseeing.
Here are a few more interesting facts about Ottawa and a few places that you have to visit!
- Ottawa offers 4 distinct seasons, and many locations and venues to enjoy each one. Although winter may seem to go on forever, luckily, there are so many things to do to pass the time.
- Ottawa sits along a major, though mostly dormant fault line. There have been several earthquakes since 2000 with readings measured 4.5 or greater on the Richter scale including the most recent “Big one” in 2010 that measured a magnitude of 5.0.
- The official flower of Ottawa is the Tulip and Ottawa celebrates the Tulip Festival every year in May. There are thousands of tulips that are planted throughout the capital each year in remembrance of the liberation of the Dutch people in WW2, and in gratitude from the Dutch Royal Family for offering safe haven here.
- The Byward Market encompasses a 12 block area of wonderful shops, restaurants, cafes and farmer’s market.Take a stroll, enjoy the sites and be sure to get a Beaver Tail, an Ottawa original delicacy and always a favourite.
- The Sparks Street Mall between Elgin and Bank Street was Canada’s first pedestrian mall.
- The Glebe is a stately neighbourhood close to downtown with a vibrant community. Be sure to visit Landsdowne Park for great food, the Farmer’s Market on every Sunday or catch the RedBlacks, 67’s or Atletico play. Each May on the last Saturday of the month, pedestrian traffic explodes as thousands take part in the Great Glebe Garage Sale…bring your wagon to haul away your treasure but watch where you park or you will be towed.
- Parliament Hill always has something to going on: Watch the Changing of the Guards on Parliament Hill during the summer at noon, be a part of Canada Day ceremonies in July, watch the Lights and Sound Display, Fortissimo in August, Police and Peace Officers National Memorial (last Sunday in September), the lighting of the Trees in December to name a few.
- The National Remembrance Day service takes place each November 11th at the National War Memorial. Although you can watch it live on TV, it is an important event I encourage all to take part in.
- Take a drive to the RCMP stables on The Rockcillfe Parkway, where many times you can see the Musical Ride horses and tour the stables. Ask for a worn horseshoe as a souvenir!
- There are over 980 Kms of trails and pathways to enjoy! As a bonus, on Sunday mornings during the Summer the Parkways close to vehicular traffic for “Sunday Bike Days” so get on your bike, grab your rollerblades or put on your running shoes and take advantage of uninterrupted scenic views.
- Rideau Hall, the Governor General’s Residence, is open for tours daily. You can stroll the beautiful gardens until 8pm, skate in the winter or attend the New Years day open house.
- There are many Museums and Galleries throughout Ottawa, including the Museum of Nature, the Canadian War Museum and the National Art Gallery, to name but a few. Helpful tip: Most are free after 5pm on Thursdays as well as specific holidays such as New Year's Day. Be sure to check their websites for admission info.
- Ottawa is host to a number of Festivals and Events throughout the year including Winterlude, Bluesfest, Dragon Boat Festival, Tulip Fest and many more!
Ottawa: The big city with a small town feel! You’ll love it here!
The Federal Government is one of Ottawa’s biggest employers, and as such, Ottawa is a very transient town. I have helped countless families and individuals move to and away from Ottawa through the years and I know the transfer process well. I come from an RCMP family and we were transferred many times through Royal LePage relocation and then Brookfield, so I am personally acquainted with the ins and outs of a transfer and the stressors a HHT and move can entail. Let me use my personal and professional experience to help you have a successful move to Ottawa.
Moving to Ottawa
Have you been to Ottawa before or do you know what you want to live in? What is your budget? And what kind of home are you considering: Detached or Townhome, Condo Apartment, or perhaps a rural property?
I know Ottawa and all of the surrounding areas and towns, so no matter what you are looking for I can help you find it. Send your “wish list” and we’ll get started, and if you end up changing your mind, don’t worry, many people do! I’ll be able to help you through it all. My goal is to help you find a suitable place, in a neighbourhood you will be happy in and where we will be able to help you re-sell quickly when you get transferred again.
I will set aside the time you are here to be available for your HHT and will be with you pretty much every day, starting on day one! Because schedules are sometimes hectic, I always appreciate it if you keep in touch and update me with regards to your sale at home and give a few days notice (if possible) so we can adjust schedules and prepare for your arrival. I make every effort to help you have a firm sale before the end of your HHT. I am familiar with suppliers on the relocation suppliers list (ie. Home inspectors, Lawyers) and can recommend the best to use to get your conditions and closing needs met. If you have not yet contacted a lender, I have several excellent ones I can recommend to you. Once we have found your home, I will ensure that the offer and paperwork is sent to you lawyer and lender and will provide you a copy of all documents so you can forward it on to your relocation advisor.
Make sure you bring or have available:
- Your Deposit. Purchase deposits in Ottawa can vary depending on the market and type of home, but you can expect to provide a minimum of roughly 1% of the purchase price. In most cases, as per the agreement of sale, the deposit is provided within 24hrs of the acceptance of an offer. Deposits can be made by personal cheque, bank draft or certified cheque or Electronic Funds transfer.
- Relocation File number- you will need to provide that to the lawyer, home inspector for payment
- Lender contact info if you have already made those arrangements
Your HHT will involve some long days but I am here to help you as best as I can. I appreciate the confidence you have in me and I will do my utmost to ensure you have a successful house hunting trip.
Moving out of Ottawa
Once you have received your transfer/posting notice, or even before if you know a move is imminent, give me a call; I’ll come out to assess your home and give you some suggestions as to what you can do to facilitate a speedy sale. We’ll also discuss the current market conditions, listing price ranges, days on market and our next steps. Be sure to have a look at this website’s Sellers page for additional tips on how to prepare and what documents you will need for listing.
I work within your relocation supplier guidelines be it Brookfield Relocation, RCMP or other, so you are not out of pocket. I will be with you from start to finish offering the same full service and attention to detail. I’ll ensure that your lawyer and lender get all of the necessary documents to facilitate closing arrangements and provide you with copies to pass along to your relocation advisor for their files.
Where are you being transferred to? Over the years, I have met and developed working relationships with many real estate representatives across the country; there’s a very good chance that wherever you are being transferred to, I know of a good Realtor® there who can help you start the process of finding a home in your new city.
I appreciate the confidence you have in me and I will do my utmost to ensure you have a successful and less stressful sale. I look forward to working with you!
Almost all of my business comes from referrals so it is important to me that you feel confident in referring my services to your friends, colleagues and family members in the future. You probably know someone right now who is being transferred to or from Ottawa. Why not have them give me a call; I’d love to help them too! I am never too busy for your referrals.