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The Price You’ll Pay To Live In The Capital of Canada

Are you considering moving to our beautiful city of Ottawa? Do you need to be reminded why you have chosen to live here? If so, you may want to know more about the living expenses in this picturesque city of Ontario.

Its somewhat a matter of perspective, but different provinces can vary significantly when it comes to the cost of living. Lifestyle and expectations vary between people and depend so there are a variety of factors such as income and personal preferences that affect an individuals cost of living.

Canada is the 25th most expensive country to live in across the globe. British Columbia and Ontario have the highest costs of all the provinces which is largely driven by rent or housing costs.

Ottawa ranks at #8 for the most expensive cities within Canada. This can still be considered an affordable city to live in. Of course estimates of costs based on data may have some inconsistencies, but they do provide some basic understanding. There are several reasons why it might be more expensive to live in Ottawa, Ontario than in other parts of Canada.

  • High demand for housing as Ottawa is a popular city to live in being the Capital of Canada.
  • High cost of construction. The cost of building new homes and apartments in Ottawa is higher than in some other parts of Canada due to the high cost of labor, materials and permits.
  • Provincial taxes are higher than some other provinces within Canada.
  • Tourism is a major industry in Ottawa and the influx of visitors during peak seasons can drive up the cost of goods and services.

Expenses such as transportation, groceries, entertainment are all similar to other cities in Canada. Take a closer look at what the average costs are for the basic living expenses below.



The average cost for a one bedroom apartment in the city centre of Ottawa is $2,069 per month.

The benchmark price for purchasing a condo apartment is $429,000.

The composite benchmark price for purchasing a home including apartments, townhouses and single family homes is $628,500. The median price often gives a more accurate sense of the market representing the midpoint which is $617,000.

The lowest mortgage rates average 4.54% in a 5 year fixed.


The cost of utilities varies depending on the size of the home, the number of people living in the house and usage.

Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Garbage, Sewer and Water costs for a Single Occupant in an apartment average a monthly cost of $264.

Heating is dependant on what source you are using and personal preferences.  In Ottawa, most homes are heated by natural gas or electricity.

bills vary widely based on factors such as size of home, number of people, appliances used, energy efficient upgrades etc. Hydro Ottawa offers various programs and rebates to help the consumers reduce their electricity bills. They also offer a breakdown of their rate charges on their website. 

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Bell and Rogers are the most common internet providers in Ottawa.  They both have basic plans that start at approximately $80 monthly. 


Ottawa has an excellent public transportation system with multiple options available. Monthly public transport cost using the basic bus service is $129, where as vehicle and gas prices vary dramatically.

The average monthly cost for a driver is $624. 

You can learn more about the current fares for OC Transpo at the link below.

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Monthly Grocery Costs:

There are a wide range of food resources within the city. The cost of groceries in Ottawa is similar to other Canadian cities. The monthly grocery costs vary depending on the size of your family. 

The estimated monthly grocery costs for a single person is $300 per month while a family of four is $1,200 per month. This may seem low to many people currently but these are the statistics available.


Home insurance is another cost to consider whether you are renting and just paying for content coverage or you own and are covering replacement value. The city has one of the highest median insurance premiums in the country.


The average salary is approximately $72K annually. The median household income in Ottawa is $100K annually after tax. Minimum wage in Ontario is currently $16.55 per hour.

Salaries depend on industry and position. Some of the top-paying sectors in Ottawa are; healthcare, technology and professional services.

Costs to Consider when Purchasing A Home in Ottawa:

Moving Expenses:

Moving to Ottawa can be an expensive endeavor. Here is an itemized list of some of the moving expenses you can expect.

Moving Company:  Depending on the distance and size of your move, a moving company can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000.

Rental Truck:  Renting a moving truck can cost around $50-$100 per day, depending on the size of the truck.

Packing Supplies:  Boxes, tape, and other packing supplies can cost anywhere from $50-$200.
Insurance: If you are moving valuable items, you may want to consider purchasing insurance, which can cost around $200-$500.

Lawyer Fees:

The average ballpark figure for a ‘Purchase’ with a mortgage including taxes and disbursements (land title fees, bank fees, courier charges, trust charges, search fees, software user costs) would be approximately $2,000. Title insurance is an additional fee which typically ranges from $200-$600.

For a ‘Sale’ with on mortgage discharge including all disbursements and fees, the cost is approximately $1,500.

Applicable Taxes:

 Land transfer tax applies to all taxable transactions upon closing. It is normally based on the price paid for the property.

Speculation Tax is a 25% tax on the purchase of properties by non citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

You can find out further details by clicking on the Ontario Government logo below. 

Still interested in moving to Ottawa? Here are some handy ‘local’ links to help you with your move…

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The Property Tax Process In Ottawa

The Ontario Government establishes the provinces assessment and taxation laws and from there, determines the education tax rates.
Your property assessment and property taxes are not the same.

MPAC determines the value of properties each year and sends an assessment notice with this info to the property owners in . Tax authorities then apply a tax rate to the value accordingly and send the owners a tax notice in the Spring. An increase/decrease in your assessment doesn’t necessarily mean an increase/decrease in your property taxes.

The valuation of a property is subject to checks and balances in the form of legislated review and appeal procedures. If you should disagree with your assessment, you can visit the link About My Property and if need be, file a Request for Reconsideration.

Property owners will receive two bills each year, an interim bill which represents 50% of the previous year’s tax bill and a final bill which represents the balance of the year’s taxes. Interim property tax bills are mailed out mid February. The bills are available online at ‘My Service Ottawa’. Payment is due mid March. Final property tax bills are mailed out in May with payments due mid June. To make a payment online, you can login to your account at the link below.

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Assessed Values:

MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation) is responsible for assessing and classifying more than five million properties in Ontario. The property assessments they provide are what municipalities use to base the property taxes needed to pay for community services. Municipalities determine revenue requirements, set municipal rates and collect property taxes to pay for municipal services. Property owners pay property taxes that pay for services in the community and pay education taxes that help fund elementary and secondary schools in Ontario.

You can find a wealth of knowledge pertaining to your property assessement by visiting the MPAC website. There is an informative YouTube video at the top of the page explaining How Your Property Tax Is Calculated.

Click on the logo below

Valuation Date:
The Ontario Government sets a new valuation every four years. MPAC then reassesses every property based on the new date. In 2020, the government postponed the 2020 reassessment because of the pandemic, so the last province wide reassessment happened in 2016.

How Does Your Assessment Determine Your Value?

  • location of the home
  • size of the home
  • size of the lot
  • age of the home
  • miscellaneous features
  • comparable sales prices

Information is collected through a comprehensive approach from a variety of sources for accuracy such as: building permits, land titles office, real estate transactions, property owner initiated updates, request sent to property owners, visits to properties, aerial and street front imagery.

The value of your property may have changed if you have:

  • renovated recently
  • added any new out-buildings to your property
  • completed any additions to your home
  • finished the basement and/or a secondary suite

Market Values:

Assessed value should be the same as market value, but it seldom is.  Tax assessors are basing their values on previous years so it may not align with a rapidly changing market.

Market Value is always changing based on supply and demand. Its important to remember that market value isn’t based on what you will pay or what you value but rather what the buying population is willing to pay.

There are a combination of factors that can determine market value

Comparable Sales (Comps): One of the primary methods used to determine market value is by looking at recent sales of similar properties in the same area. These comparable sales help to establish a baseline value for similar properties.
Location: The location of a property plays a significant role in determining its market value. Factors such as proximity to schools, amenities, transportation hubs, and neighborhood desirability can all affect the value of a property.
Property Characteristics: The size, condition, age, and features of a property also influence its market value. Properties with more bedrooms, bathrooms, and upgrades tend to command higher prices.
Current Market Conditions: Supply and demand dynamics, economic conditions, interest rates, and other market factors can impact the market value of real estate. In a seller’s market where demand exceeds supply, prices tend to be higher, while in a buyer’s market, prices may be lower.
Appraisal: Lenders often require an appraisal to determine the market value of a property before approving a mortgage loan. Appraisers consider factors such as comparable sales, property condition, and market conditions to determine the appraised value.
Investor Perception: Market value can also be influenced by investor perception and market sentiment. Investors may be willing to pay more for a property if they believe it has the potential for future appreciation or if they perceive it to be undervalued.
Zoning and Regulations: Zoning laws, building regulations, and other legal restrictions can impact the value of a property by affecting its potential use and development.

Overall, market value in real estate is a fluid concept influenced by a variety of factors and is often determined through a combination of objective analysis and subjective judgment.

As a seasoned Realtor® I combine personal first hand knowledge of properties in your area, with the market analysis data from the MLS® to compare your property with similar properties that have recently sold. I have years of experience and expertise sided with a solid understanding of the current market conditions and trends which I use to establish the current market value of your home.

If you are thinking of selling, please reach out to me directly to determine the market value of your property at the contact info below.

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Selling With Shauna


Strategic Pricing Evaluation:

Every property is unique and setting the correct price is essential for attracting potential buyers and optimizing returns. Numerous factors influence the listing price, including the current condition and age of the property, its location’s topography and access to amenities. Given this diversity, I conduct a comprehensive analysis of the market taking into consideration the comparable properties, recent sales and current market trends. This ensures that your property is competitively and fairly priced for a timely and profitable sale.

Professional Staging and Presentation:

First impressions are crucial! Staging a home to sell is an essential strategy in the real estate industry and offers a myriad of benefits. Staging helps transform a property into an appealing and inviting space by strategically arranging furniture, decor and accessories to showcase the home while emphasizing its best features.

Staged homes photograph beautifully, resulting in eye-catching listing photos and virtual tours. This attracts more attention from prospective buyers browsing online listings and increases the likelihood of scheduling viewings. Staged homes typically sell faster.

As an seasoned Realtor that goes the extra mile in the presentation of my listings, I have a personal storage unit equipped to furnish a four bedroom home. 
This service is included with no additional fees!

Thorough Marketing Approach:

Utilizing a blend of traditional and digital marketing platforms, I develop customized campaigns to amplify the visibility of your property. Each listing is enhanced with a dedicated web page featuring a professional photography & virtual tour, floorplans (if required), digital/printable brochures, strategic online & social media presence and quality signage.Your home will garner the attention it merits reaching a broad spectrum of potential buyers.

Guidance & Negotiation:

Dealing with the intricacies of real estate transactions can be daunting. I offer continuous support and direction throughout the selling process, starting from the initial listing phase to negotiations and eventual closure. My objective is to streamline the experience, ensuring you remain well-informed and empowered throughout.

Negotiation is a skillful endeavor and I bring a wealth of experience to the table. Advocating on your behalf, I strive to secure the most favorable terms and conditions for the sale of your property. Whether it’s negotiating price or contingencies, my focus remains on maximizing your return on investment.

Open House Events:

Today, many buyers independently browse homes and attend Open House events. These occasions serve as a platform to showcase your property, providing potential buyers with an immersive experience to envision themselves within the space. This often translates into faster and more advantageous offers.

The decision to host Open Houses is entirely at the discretion of my sellers.

Efficient Administration:

For a seamless closing process, I harness the power of cutting-edge transaction management tools. This involves orchestrating communication among all stakeholders, managing paperwork, and swiftly resolving any arising issues.

Additionally, I have the backing of a Licensed Assistant with more than two decades of real estate sales experience. Your confidence and piece of mind is my foremost concern.


Selling your property is a substantial endeavor and selecting the appropriate real estate professional can be pivotal. With a dedication to excellence, I provide an extensive range of services crafted to enhance your listing experience and attain the best possible outcomes.

Ready to list your home for sale? Lets embark on this journey together to transform your real estate aspirations into tangible achievements.