For content relevant to your community in Ontario, Please select your region

An inviting picnic table in a park next to the Rideau Canal with Canada’s Parliament in the background

Why choose Ottawa?

Main Content

Ottawa consistently ranks at the top of "best place to live" lists for its quality of life. With a vibrant arts and culture scene, many historic sites, and a clean, green atmosphere, it attracts people from all over the world. 

A crowd of people skating the length of the Rideau Canal.As the country’s capital, you can imagine the Canada Day celebration is unmatched, but the only way to understand is to see for yourself! There’s no shortage of festivals, concerts and theatre in Ottawa.

No matter what time of year it is, there’s always something to enjoy. Take a stroll through the many museums, galleries and shops – or one of Ottawa’s 1,000 parks. During the winter months, grab a friend and skate along the Rideau Canal – the world’s largest skating rink – while enjoying a Beavertail (a deep-fried pancake topped with cinnamon), or ski down one of the city’s breathtaking trails. 

Ottawa’s excellent transportation system makes getting to and from one of the many shops, cafes, restaurants, parks or beaches so easy. The city is also incredibly pedestrian friendly. No matter what method of transportation you use, you’ll have no problem traveling around the city, taking in everything it has to offer.

Ottawa is a place where there truly is something for everyone. CNIB’s Canine Campus is a short 30-minute drive from the city. Choose Ottawa, and come find out why it’s one of the greatest places to live.

Living in the nation’s capital

“Although I have moved around a lot in my life, I will always consider the National Capital Region as my home. Ottawa is a very beautiful, clean city with all the amenities of a big city, but with the feel of a smaller town. There is tremendous cultural diversity here. Andrew Hanlon and Karen Hanlon holding black lab puppies, with their daughter holding a golden retriever puppy.Ottawa is surrounded by the beautiful Gatineau hills and the scenic Ottawa Valley. There is never a shortage of things to do – museums, restaurants, nightlife, theatre and so much more. The longest skating rink in the world is even found right in the city. For those who like outdoor activities, there are so many places nearby to ski, skate, swim, hike and camp.” 

-Karen Hanlon
Manager, Apprenticeships and Staff Training 
CNIB Guide Dogs

“In the winter I can snowshoe, cross-country ski, and skate all in my own back garden. I could never have done that in the UK! I have access to the most beautiful parks just a short drive away with stunning pristine wilderness. I’m talking about areas that cover tens of thousands of acres and great shopping both locally and in downtown Ottawa, which has shops to rival anything in Europe. I have friends in the UK who always seem impressed that we work in subzero temperatures, which makes me smile. The simple fact is we dress for the conditions!”

-Andrew Hanlon
Manager, Guide Dog Training 
CNIB Guide Dogs



Carl holding eight-week old future guide dog Sherman“One of the things I love most about living in Ottawa is all of the festivals throughout the year. There’s always something to do! Some of my favourites are the Winterlude Festival, which draws hundreds of thousands of tourists every winter, and the Tulip Festival in the spring is always beautiful. It’s a great opportunity to take guide dogs in training to expose them to different environments.”

-Carl McIntosh
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor 
CNIB Guide Dogs



A headshot Shona smiling.“Ottawa is a great place to live year-round – especially in the winters. -Running in the winter is one of my favourite things to do. From downtown to trails in the greenbelt, we have so many beautiful areas in Ottawa to run.”

-Shona Kemp
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor 
CNIB Guide Dogs



: Rob walking down the road on a sunny day, holding onto the harness of Cody, a CNIB Guide Dog.“I do enjoy the abundance of space in the Ottawa area for outdoor recreational activities. There are plenty of lakes/rivers to fish in the summer and skate on in the winter.”

-Rob Cramer
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor 
CNIB Guide Dogs



For more information about living in Ottawa, visit