Ottawa: A Green City



Ottawa – the nation’s capital, a place where you can feel like an urbanite while enjoying all the benefits of the cottage life: crystal clear air, endless green lawns, mature trees with Sakura-like blooms every spring, bird songs, and friendly neighbours. At the same time, all the city’s amenities and cultural attractions are at your disposal. A compact and comfortable city, located on the banks of the Ottawa River, Ottawa is ranked sixth in the world for its high quality of life and elevated standard of living. The city’s population has already exceeded 1 million and 200 thousand, and yet the city continues to set a clam pace and does not feel overcrowded.

If it is culture you are looking for, then Ottawa has it all. With the highest concentration of museums in Canada, Ottawa offers the National Gallery, the Canadian War Museum, the Museum of Nature, and the Canada Science and Technology Museum, just to name a few. Ottawa also has a large number of art galleries and performance spaces including the National Arts Centre, La maison du Citoyen, Le Salon des Arts, and Arts Court among others.

In practically every neighbourhood, and often quite close by, you will find tennis courts, and for soccer enthusiasts – numerous soccer fields, where one can either play spectator, or take part in the game, often put on by members of the Ottawa Soccer Club. For those who enjoy swimming, Ottawa offers many open-air and in-door swimming pools, with the latter being open the whole year round. However, many of the residents prefer to simply have a pool of their own right in their back yard.

There are many beautiful sand beaches on the banks of the Ottawa River within the city area. As such, you need not drive a long distance to go for a swim - instead you can just walk there with your towel over your shoulder. On a hot summer day you and your family can spend some quality time in one of the city’s numerous parks, most of which have ample parking for your convenience. Ottawa’s parks often resemble a small forest, with plenty of wild life such as groundhogs, squirrels, rabbits as well as countless kinds of wild birds. Among the city’s many natural attractions is the Hog’s Back waterfall – a sight to behold, and an excellent place to wind down after a busy day.

No more than a 20 minute drive from the city is the majestic Gatineau provincial park. Enjoy a hike through the wooded hills, or take your bike for a ride along the many paths that wind through the park, and can be accessed through a system of such paths right from the city. Drive a bit further and you will come to the picturesque crystal clear waters of Phillip and Meech Lakes, where you can relax and bask in the sun, or rent a paddle boat – an excellent way to spend a hot summer day.

In winter time you can enjoy downhill skiing at the numerous ski resorts in Gatineau, such as Mont Cascade or Camp Fortune. Or if you prefer cross-country skiing, the Gatineau Park offers numerous trails that are maintained throughout the winter season.

In the summer time Ottawa hosts a number of music festivals, such as the Bluesfest and the Jazz Festival. Famous musicians and performance artists come to Ottawa from all over North America. For those of you who enjoy classical music – every summer, the famous Ottawa Symphony Orchestra gives free open air concerts in different places around the city.

Every year, in the end of May, Ottawa also hosts the Tulip Festival, a unique event celebrating the bloom of the one million of tulip bulbs sent to Ottawa by the Queen of Holland as a token of gratitude to the residents of Ottawa - the city, where she took refuge from Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

On the first of July Ottawa transforms itself into one big party as the nation’s capital celebrates Canada Day. On this day the center of Ottawa is truly a sight to behold as throngs of people dressed in red and white, the colours of the Canadian flag, celebrate and enjoy the many spectacles organized by the National Capital Commission and put on by street artists who flock to the city for the occasion. For the end of the day everyone heads for the Parliament Hill to watch the fireworks, said to be some of the best this side of the Atlantic.

There are other benefits to living in Ottawa, such as the city’s public transportation system. Comfortable modern buses run on a very precise schedule, with additional vehicles added during the rush hour so that the ride home from work is as fast and as convenient as possible.

The city is also home to two universities - Ottawa University and Carleton University. Graduates of the fine institution have many great opportunities to find a job in both the private and the public sector. The latter is especially true as headquarters of most federal Government departments are located in Ottawa, and present numerous employment opportunities to young and aspiring specialists. Ottawa is also known as the Silicon Valley North, due to the high concentration of the information technology companies in the area.

It should be said that due to a large number of public sector employees, the Ottawa real estate remains stable, with property values continuing to appreciate despite the current global financial crisis. Ottawa is constantly growing, with many new residential neighbourhoods being developed every year. Even a picky buyer will find here a great variety of home designs and is sure to find one that meets their demands. Moreover, you can be secure in knowing that no matter where you choose to buy your home you will have at your disposal the many shopping malls, sport facilities and all the other necessary amenities for a comfortable and active life style.