Apartment Hunting in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Are you relocating to Ottawa, Ontario? I understand moving to another country is stressful. Take it from me. This is my third time. First, I move to Singapore in 2011 from my home country The Philippines; then to Austin, TX, USA in 2014; this year to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. You could say, I'm a pro at this now. Haha. Relocating is stressful but exciting at the same time! 

Apartment Hunting in Ottawa, Ontario, Ontario

Okay, let me be clear on this first. I'm no expert on apartments. You could hire an agent for that. Here I'll be recounting our experience apartment hunting on our first month in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Our Situation

We relied heavily on the relocation specialist my husband's company hired for us, but he is a no show on the agreed date. Geez! We should have prepared for this in advance before arriving in Ottawa. We don't have family here. We are on our own. But thank God, my hubby's colleague in Singapore happened to relocate to Ottawa early this year too. So we do have someone to ask for a reference.


What is your budget? For our family, we budgeted around $1800 CAD including bills. Parking cost is another addition. We viewed 3 apartments in total for a 2 bedroom unit. The cheapest is a basement unit with a monthly rent of around $1500++ CAD.

Apartment Hunting in Ottawa, Ontario, Ontario

I personally don't like to live in a basement because I'm at home almost 24/7, looking after our toddler. I'd prefer a bright and airy space with a view of the outside world. Living in a basement is fine if you're out most of the time. Although, it is recommended to get a unit on the lowest level of the apartment complex if you have a toddler in the family. This is to avoid noise complaints from neighbors below (true story base from our current experience).

Houses and townhouses cost around $2000 CAD and up for a 2 Bedroom unit. Of course, you could get cheaper ones too but don't expect it to be newly renovated.

Moving In

We weren't able to find a move-in ready apartment during our first month here in Ottawa. You could imagine our stress, we had to stay in a hotel for a month. We are in a pinch! We came at the end of summer. Most of the units have a waiting time of around 3 weeks to 2 months at that time. The most they did for the apartment unit we've signed in for is refresh the paint, did repairs and clean.


The unit is empty when you first move in. No bedframes, sofa, and a dining set unlike in Singapore. You will need to furnish everything including the lamps because there were no ceiling light fixtures in most apartment units here in Canada. We got cheaps ones from Walmart here. Also from Ikea here.

Apartment Hunting in Ottawa, Ontario, Ontario

Buy floor lamps and table lamps from Walmart below.

What Else?

This is common knowledge, you'll need to pay the last and first month's rent to secure the unit. Also, you will be asked to meet the requirements first before the management could decide to approve your application. Prepare around $10,000 CAD before coming. This is to cover the apartment costs, food, furnishings, commute, and hotel for the first days of stay if you have no family/relatives in the city. Oh, you'll also need to buy warm clothes for winter. It's crazy cold up here north.


That's it, folks! I hope our experience apartment hunting in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada gave you an idea/s of what to expect when you come and live here for the first time. You have a wonderful day then! Talk to you soon.