Moving From Toronto to Ottawa

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So, you have decided to undertake one of the biggest steps you ever will and move to Ottawa? Well, there is a lot of planning and many tasks ahead of you before you have successfully completed moving from Toronto to Ottawa. You will have to plan the entire moving schedule. There is the packing process, then doing the paperwork for transferring your children to their new schools, and many more. You can definitely expect to get stressed out and tired during this process if you try to do it all by yourself. However, the good news is that you do not have to do it yourself. We at Professional Movers Canada are well-versed in the craft of relocation, and we are here to help you with our skills but also with our tips.

What do you have to do when moving from Toronto to Ottawa?

Whenever you decide to move, apart from the preparation process that is strictly related to moving tasks, there are some other things that can help you prepare and make the whole event easier. Before you contact residential movers in Toronto to help you relocate to Ottawa, you have to do some research and prepare for all the differences that await you. So, you have to learn more about:

  • Housing market comparison
  • Career opportunities
  • Cost of living
  • Climate and weather
  • Lifestyle and culture
  • Education
  • Transportation
A person making a list
Prepare well for your move to Ottawa

The housing market in Toronto and Ottawa

Toronto has a vibrant and diverse real estate market. There’s a mix of modern high-rise condos, Victorian-era homes, and suburban detached properties. As of 2023, the average price for a detached house in Toronto is approximately $1.3 million, reflecting the city’s high demand and the relative scarcity of available properties. Toronto’s real estate market is competitive, with properties often selling quickly and above the listing price. The rental market in Toronto is equally robust, with an average rent for a one-bedroom apartment around $2,200 per month. While there are certainly less expensive rental options found in suburban neighborhoods and in some of the best neighborhoods in Toronto for young professionals, for instance, central areas command high prices due to the proximity to employment hubs and city amenities.

On the other hand, Ottawa presents a more affordable housing market. The average price for a detached house in Ottawa is around $600,000. The rental market in Ottawa also offers a reprieve to those priced out of Toronto. On average, you can expect to pay around $1,300 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, nearly half of what you might pay in Toronto. This affordability extends across the city, from downtown to the suburbs. In Ottawa, you also find a wider range of housing types available, including townhomes, duplexes, and single-family homes, often in close proximity to nature. Proximity to parks, rivers, and green spaces is much more common in Ottawa, adding a unique selling point to its housing market.

Ultimately, while both cities offer a range of housing options, the affordability of Ottawa’s market is one of the reasons people move from Toronto to Ottawa. If the cost of living is a factor in your decision-making process, Ottawa’s housing market offers an attractive alternative to Toronto’s more expensive real estate landscape.

Career opportunities

Toronto and Ottawa both offer an array of employment opportunities across various sectors, but there are distinct differences to note. If you want to move for a new job, start a new business, or you need commercial movers Toronto to help you relocate and expand your business, read more to get familiar with the job market in Ottawa and its differences compared to Toronto.

People having a meeting in an office after moving from Toronto to Ottawa
Consider the job market before moving from Toronto to Ottawa

Employment in Toronto

Toronto, Canada’s financial capital and largest city, is renowned for its ample career opportunities across multiple industries. It’s the heart of Canada’s banking and financial sectors, housing the headquarters of major banks such as Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank. For professionals in the finance sector, Toronto is the place to be. The city also boasts a thriving tech sector, with giants like Shopify and Google maintaining a significant presence. There’s also a burgeoning startup scene, with many tech startups calling Toronto home. Media and entertainment is another strong industry in Toronto. It’s a major hub for television and film production, sometimes referred to as “Hollywood North.” Companies such as Bell Media, Rogers Media, and Corus Entertainment are headquartered here. According to Statistics Canada, as of 2023, the average salary in Toronto is approximately $60,000, and the unemployment rate stands at 7.2%.

Employment in Ottawa

Ottawa, the national capital, is predominantly recognized for its vast government sector. Many residents are employed by the federal government, making it a stable employment market. These positions range from entry-level jobs to high-ranking official roles. Apart from government jobs, Ottawa’s tech sector has been witnessing significant growth, with multinational companies like Nokia, IBM, and Cisco setting up offices. Additionally, there’s an emerging startup scene supported by organizations like Invest Ottawa, which fosters innovation and entrepreneurial growth. The city is also home to a number of world-class healthcare facilities and educational institutions, making it an ideal place for professionals in healthcare and academia. According to the same sources, as of 2023, the average salary in Ottawa is slightly lower at about $57,000, but the unemployment rate is also lower at 6.5%.

Planning your career move

Moving cities can be a significant career decision. It is always advisable to secure a job before the move, as this will not only ensure a smoother transition but also provide a better understanding of your financial situation in the new city. For job seekers, both cities offer a wealth of opportunities but in different areas. While Toronto could be a better choice for those seeking jobs in finance, technology, and media, Ottawa might be a perfect fit for individuals looking to work in government, tech, healthcare, or education sectors. In conclusion, when it comes to career opportunities, your individual preferences and career goals would play a vital role in deciding which city is a better fit for you.

A person signing a contract
Both places offer great job opportunities

The cost of living differences

Apart from the housing costs that we have already mentioned, before contacting condo movers in Toronto and moving from Toronto to Ottawa, consider other factors that affect the overall cost of living. For example, public transportation in Ottawa is cheaper than in Toronto. A monthly transit pass in Ottawa with OC Transpo is around $120, whereas the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) charges approximately $156. If you own a car, you’ll find that Ottawa also tends to have lower parking fees, and with less traffic congestion, you might even save a bit on fuel. Grocery costs are also lower in Ottawa.

Based on a comparison of average grocery prices, you can expect to spend about 10% less on groceries in Ottawa than in Toronto. For instance, a liter of milk in Ottawa costs around $2.00, compared to $2.25 in Toronto. A dozen eggs in Ottawa would cost you about $3.00, whereas, in Toronto, it would be closer to $3.50.

For basic utilities, which include electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage, you would spend approximately $150-$200 per month for an 85m2 apartment in Ottawa. In Toronto, the same would cost you around $175-$225. This might not seem like a significant difference, but over time, these savings can add up. Eating out and entertainment costs are lower in Ottawa as well. For instance, a basic dinner out for two in a neighborhood pub will be about $50 in Ottawa compared to $65 in Toronto. A movie ticket in Ottawa costs around $13, whereas in Toronto, it’s around $15.

A closer look at climate and weather

Moving from Toronto to Ottawa involves adjusting to a new climate as well. The most striking difference between the two cities lies in their winter weather. Ottawa experiences a colder, more severe winter, with temperatures often dipping as low as -20 degrees Celsius, and it also receives more snowfall than Toronto. Ottawa’s winter can be a spectacle to behold, with snow-capped buildings and scenic landscapes, especially along the Rideau Canal Skateway – the world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink. Toronto, on the other hand, boasts milder winters, with temperatures rarely going below -10 degrees Celsius, making it more tolerable for those who prefer less severe cold.

However, Ottawa more than compensates for its intense winters with its beautiful summers, spring tulip festivals, and vibrant colors in autumn. Summer temperatures in Ottawa are similar to those in Toronto, hovering around a comfortable 20-30 degrees Celsius. When you move from Toronto to Ottawa, you’ll find the summer climate to be quite familiar, with ample sunshine and warm weather.

Blue sky and sunrays through small clouds
Be ready for the climate change

Lifestyle and culture

The contrast between the fast-paced lifestyle of Toronto and Ottawa’s more relaxed vibe is one of the key cultural differences to consider. Toronto, with its multicultural diversity, offers an endless array of dining, entertainment, and nightlife options. As home to a multitude of diverse communities, Toronto is truly a melting pot of cultures, bringing in a wide range of cuisines, music, and art.

However, if you’re contemplating moving from Toronto to Ottawa, you’ll find that Ottawa isn’t far behind. Ottawa is rich in culture and heritage, with numerous historical sites, museums, and art galleries. You can explore the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of History or attend performances at the National Arts Centre. Ottawa’s lifestyle is more laid back compared to Toronto’s. It offers a blend of urban sophistication and natural beauty. There’s an abundance of green spaces like Gatineau Park and access to outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and canoeing. Recently, Ottawa has been upping its game with a burgeoning food scene, craft breweries, and a host of annual events and festivals that keep the city vibrant and lively.

Education opportunities

When moving with children, education is a significant consideration. Ottawa’s education system ranks among the best in the country. It offers excellent public, private, and French immersion schools. If you’re looking for post-secondary options, the University of Ottawa and Carleton University are renowned institutions that offer a wide range of programs. The smaller size of Ottawa means less competition for school placements, which potentially translates to better opportunities for your children.

Children in a school
Toronto and Ottawa have great education

In comparison, Toronto boasts reputed universities like the University of Toronto and York University. Toronto’s size and diversity also mean a wide range of public and private schools catering to various educational philosophies and needs. It’s always advisable to explore school districts and educational opportunities before hiring Toronto movers, as this can influence where in the city you decide to settle.

A comprehensive comparison of transportation

When it comes to transportation, both cities offer robust public transit systems. However, one perk of moving from Toronto to Ottawa is the potential for quicker commute times due to Ottawa’s smaller size and fewer traffic jams. Ottawa’s OC Transpo offers comprehensive bus and light rail transit (LRT) services that cover the city and surrounding areas. Biking is also popular in Ottawa, thanks to its extensive network of cycling paths that make getting around the city convenient and eco-friendly.

Toronto, despite its crowded subways and busy streets, has a more extensive public transport system. Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) operates buses, streetcars, and subway lines, covering the entire city. As a result, it’s possible to live in Toronto without owning a vehicle. However, when you factor in commute times, Toronto’s larger size can mean spending more time in transit. This is why, before you move to Ottawa, you need to find professionals,  especially those familiar with specific neighborhoods like Midtown Toronto movers, because they can navigate the traffic and help you relocate without any obstacles or delays.

A notebook, phone and a cup of coffee next to a laptop
Good organization is half of a stress-free move

Good organization is the key

In order to move with as little stress and complications as possible, you need to plan the move as best as you can. That means that you must not cut corners and that there is no room for slacking off. Moving your life from one city to another is a big deal. There is so much work to be done there, and the process as a whole can be quite sensitive to outer factors. The best way to go about this is to put all the things you need to do on a piece of paper. So, basically, what you are going to do is make a couple of lists. Through these lists, you will lay down the foundations for a simple, efficient, stress-free move.

The agenda, schedule, to-do list

There are many synonyms for it, but the most effective name is the “to do list”. This is where the whole moving operation begins. As you start planning the move, you need to sit down with your spouse and other family members and start writing down all the ideas and thoughts you have about the whole moving process. Unless you are the only one moving, then the life schedules of all the people involved will require planning. Everyone will need to contribute in some way to the move, so creating a joining schedule is a necessity. Writing down a list of joint and individual tasks can all be different lists, but they need to be in sync with the rest of the overarching plan.

Canada dollars
Ottawa is generally more affordable

Inventory list

One of the most important tools you will have as you plan your move is the inventory list. Some people think that it is overestimated. However, based on our experience, having it can be a true lifesaver, especially when you need to organize a long distance move and hire long distance movers Toronto. Having complete control and being able to oversee where all of your things are is really important.

Furthermore, having an inventory list will enable you to see which of your belongings you can get rid of. Whether you are going to donate them, sell them, or throw them away, this will make your packing process significantly easier. Another thing you can and should do is to track carefully in which box you pack which item. Then mark it down on the inventory list. That way, if you have a lot of belongings, you will be able to prioritize which boxes you will unpack first.

Prepare yourself for moving from Toronto to Ottawa, not just your belongings

It would surprise you how often people simply forget to pay proper attention to themselves when going through a move. While it is understandable, it is something you must avoid. Prepare yourself for the moving day and the days after that one. Firstly, check out the weather forecast. This is an important thing to do. If you are moving during the summer, you will a bottle of water and something sweet, just in case. Elderly folk and kids will also need this type of preventive care, as well as potentially some medicine.

A person pouring water into a bottle to stay healthy while moving from Toronto to Ottawa
On your moving day, make sure that you stay hydrated and that your stomach is full

The best way to cover this is to make an essential kit for every member of the household. Basically, what you need to do is to pack a special box of all the things each member will need on a moving day. You can also include the things you will need in the first few days. Pack medicine, extra clothes, and first-aid food such as power bars, water, and chargers for your telephones. Of course, this will vary from person to person, but the principle behind it is the same.

Call the movers as soon as you can

Moving companies are there for one simple purpose – to help you move. There is thus a clear necessity for our services. And our services are not just about loading and unloading your belongings from our trucks. Overall, the moving industry has gone a long way in recent decades. So, we have a wide variety of moving services in Toronto to offer. We can help you with your move, no matter whether it is a residential move or a commercial one.

Moving costs

Moving costs can vary greatly based on numerous factors. Those are the size of your home, distance, time of year, and whether you hire professional movers or move. On average, moving from Toronto to Ottawa could cost between $1,000 – $3,000 for a two-bedroom home using a professional moving company. For a more budget-friendly move, consider a DIY move or a moving truck rental, which could range from $500 – $1,000. However, it is always advisable to hire professionals. In the long run, it actually saves you money. Not to mention that it gives you peace of mind. Also, you can opt for different services you might need, such as packing services in Toronto, or some specialty items moving services.

A person holding a phone over a laptop
The sooner you call your moves, the more options we will have for you

Embrace the change

Moving from Toronto to Ottawa can be a big change. However, it’s one that comes with its own set of advantages. Whether it’s the lower cost of living, slower pace of life, or the opportunities to be closer to nature, Ottawa holds its own against the big city buzz of Toronto. It’s a move that should be considered carefully, but one that could potentially offer a great deal of benefit. We will help you move your office as well and as effectively as if we were moving your home. Furthermore, we are a company of trained professionals that can help you pack your belongings. We are hardworking and flexible, and we are there to make your life easier. So, think about when you would like to move and then call us to set up a moving date.

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Love and Harsharan were Amazing. They showed up when they said, got right to work and didn't go over the time allotted. They were gentle with everything and very well mannered. 100% recommend. Thank you guys for making this move easy for us

- Marsha Widmeyer

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