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Free Webinar: Why I choose Ottawa Thursday August 31 4:00 pm

Small city, safe, quiet, bilingual the capital of Canada

Students from more than 145 countries choose Ottawa for its superior quality of education, lower tuition and its location, in the heart of Canada's capital.

It is also one of Canada's most bilingual communities—nearly half a million people speak both English and French. Ottawa is home to the federal government, but it also hosts a burgeoning high-tech industry, major tourist attractions, international sports venues, and academic institutions.

Ottawa is located in the province of Ontario. Its central location makes it easy to travel to other major centres, like Toronto, Montreal, New York, or Boston. Ottawa is the country’s fourth-largest city with a population of over one million.

Why I choose Ottawa

Small city, safe, quiet and bilingual “I chose Ottawa because I was coming with my children and I wanted a small city, safe and quiet. I also liked the fact that the city was bilingual and my children would have the opportunity to learn English quickly.” - Caroline, Ivory Coast

Green, environment friendly city with lots of parks “Ottawa is a green, environment friendly city with lots of parks. This beautiful city is neither huge nor small. It has lots services available such as LINK, OSICO, Algonquin College and so on for new immigrants to start their new life in Canada.” - Andrei, Republic of Belarus

Local professional opportunities “We decided for Ottawa because of the local professional opportunities, the environment and because it is not a big city as Toronto but offers some of the cultural advantages of a capital city. When arriving in Canada we organized a medium of transport within a few days and took more than a month to visit 6 different (preselected) places in 2 provinces. We visited the surrounding, talked to job centres and immigration services. This time helped us a lot to mentally arrive in Canada and at the end of the journey we were 100% sure where we wanted to settle.” – Anja, Germany Paramedics

Vibrant arts and culture scene - making one feel as if living in a resort “Ottawa is a safe, clean and fairly bike-accessible city. Moreover, it has a vibrant arts and culture scene, offering plenty of financially affordable ways to keep entertained. Also, for the outdoor lovers, it provides a variety of opportunities, making one feel as if living in a resort, once removed from the busy city arteries. Lots of bike trails- turning into ski trails in the winter, the Rideau Canal – for kayaking in the summer and skating in the winter, and much more. Last, friendly people - Ottawa is indeed a ‘big city with a small town feeling’.” – Cristina, Romania

Great & wonderful community “Ottawa is a safe and quiet town with a great & wonderful community.” – Hashm, Iraq

People are friendly to newcomers and support for settlement “I chose Ottawa in the first place because a friend offered her support until we could settle but then I decided that we would stay in Ottawa and not go anywhere else because:

  • Ottawa is safe

  • People are friendly to newcomers

  • There are plenty of recreational options to enjoy all year long

  • The city is very clean and developing really fast

  • Is close enough to the south (to visit my country of origin)

  • There are many immigrant serving organizations to support newcomers in their settlement period

  • Has a lot of potential for personal and professional growth: reputable employers and educational institutions

  • Ottawa has two large rivers and I love a city where I can enjoy landscapes with water

  • It’s not the warmest city in Canada but it’s definitely not the coldest!

  • It’s the capital! I enjoy very much Canada Day celebrations, it’s one of the first things that impressed me the most about Canada and Canadians, heartfelt/free-will patriotism

  • I could go on and on… but I think I’ve said the main reasons for me” – Ledianis, Cuba

Capital city where there is a lot of opportunity

“I chose Ottawa because it is a safe and quiet city. Ottawa is the capital city where there is a lot of opportunity in my career as an interpreter and translator. Being in Ottawa is very convenient both for my family and me.” – Magued, Egypt

“I chose Ottawa because it is a city capital of Canada; my husband’s job is here.” – Mari, Japan Parliament

Thousands of immigrants settle in Ottawa each year. We asked them why they chose Ottawa; here are some of the reasons.

Algonquin College

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