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Can You Live for Less Than $1000 in Ottawa?

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Can You Live for Less Than $1000 in Ottawa?

Many people believe that living in a big city like Ottawa is expensive, and they may be right. However, that does not mean that it is impossible to live in Ottawa for less than $1000 a month. While it may be challenging, it is definitely doable if you are willing to make some sacrifices and be smart with your money. In this post, we will explore the different factors that will determine your monthly expenses and provide you with some tips on how to save money while living in Ottawa.

Your Monthly Expenses

The first step in figuring out whether you can live for less than $1000 a month in Ottawa is to understand your monthly expenses. Some of the typical expenses you will encounter include rent, utilities, transportation, groceries, and entertainment.


Your largest expense will likely be rent. According to RentBoard, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Ottawa is $1412. However, you can find more affordable options if you are willing to live further from downtown or share an apartment with roommates. For example, on Kijiji, we found a room for rent in Gatineau, just across the river from Ottawa, for $400 a month. You can also search for apartments on websites such as PadMapper or Craigslist to find affordable options.


Utilities such as hydro, electricity, internet, and water can add up quickly. You can expect to pay around $100 a month for these services, depending on your usage. One way to save money on utilities is to reduce your energy consumption. For example, you can switch to energy-efficient light bulbs, take shorter showers, and unplug devices when they are not in use.


Another significant expense is transportation. If you own a car, you will have to account for gas, insurance, and maintenance costs. Public transportation in Ottawa is affordable, with a monthly pass for adults costing $119.50. Another option is to bike or walk, especially during the warmer months. You can also join a carpool with coworkers or friends to save on gas.


Groceries can be expensive, but there are ways to keep costs down. For example, you can buy generic brands instead of name brands, use coupons, and shop at discount stores. You can also plan your meals in advance and buy in bulk to save money.


Finally, entertainment is an expense that varies depending on your lifestyle. Ottawa offers many free events and activities throughout the year, including festivals, museums, and parks. You can also take advantage of student discounts, happy hours, and other promotions to save money on dining out and other leisure activities.

Ways to Save Money

There are several ways to save money while living in Ottawa:

  1. Find a roommate: Living with a roommate can help you split the rent and utility costs.
  2. Buy used: You can save money by buying second-hand items, such as furniture or clothing.
  3. Cook at home: Eating out can be expensive, so cooking at home can save you money.
  4. Use public transportation: Taking public transportation instead of owning a car can save you thousands of dollars a year.
  5. Shop around for deals: Compare prices before making a purchase, and look for sales and coupons.


In conclusion, while it may be challenging to live in Ottawa for less than $1000 a month, it is doable. By understanding your monthly expenses and finding ways to save money, you can live comfortably in Ottawa without breaking the bank. With some effort and planning, you can make your dream of living in Ottawa a reality.

An Insider’s Guide to Ottawa: Living on a Budget

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada and has a lot to offer for tourists, including a rich history, beautiful architecture, and scenic outdoors. Despite being a relatively expensive city in terms of cost of living, it is possible to enjoy the city while living on a budget. With some careful planning and by taking advantage of free amenities, you can have an enjoyable trip to Ottawa with a budget of less than $1000. Here’s an insider’s guide to Ottawa that will help you make the most of your trip without breaking the bank.

Local Attractions

Fortunately, many of the top attractions in Ottawa are free or reasonably priced. Here are some must-visit places in Ottawa to add to your itinerary:

– Parliament Hill: Parliament Hill is the seat of Canada’s government and the country’s most iconic landmark. Visitors can take a free guided tour of the Parliament buildings or watch the changing of the guard ceremony during the summer months.

– National Gallery of Canada: The National Gallery of Canada offers free admission on Thursdays from 5 PM to 8 PM. You can enjoy the impressive collection of Canadian and international art, including the famous Canadian Group of Seven.

– Rideau Canal: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Rideau Canal was constructed in 1832 to provide a safe shipping route between Kingston and Ottawa. In the winter, you can enjoy ice-skating on the frozen canal, while during the summer, you can take a boat ride for a small fee.

Dining Spots

Dining out in Ottawa can be pricey, but there are plenty of options for those looking to save money. Here are some affordable dining spots that offer great food and excellent value for money:

– Zak’s Diner: Zak’s Diner is a popular spot serving up classic diner food with a retro twist. With generous portions and affordable prices, it’s a top spot for a hearty breakfast or lunch.

– The Hintonburg Public House: If you’re looking for a good pub-style meal, head to The Hintonburg Public House. They have a fantastic selection of beer and a menu featuring comfort classics like burgers, poutine, and fish and chips.

– Pure Kitchen: For a healthy and creative meal, check out Pure Kitchen. They offer vegetarian and vegan dishes that are both tasty and affordable.

Cultural Experiences

Ottawa is a city with a rich cultural history, and there are many ways to learn about it without spending a lot of money. Some cultural experiences you can enjoy in Ottawa on a budget include:

– Canadian Museum of History: Located just across the river in Gatineau, the Canadian Museum of History tells the story of Canada’s First Peoples and the country’s development. Admission to the museum is $20 for adults, but entry is free on Thursdays after 5 PM.

– ByWard Market: ByWard Market is Ottawa’s oldest market and is an excellent place to find souvenirs and local crafts at reasonable prices. The market also has a lively atmosphere, with live music and street performances.

– Ottawa International Writers Festival: If you’re a literature lover, the Ottawa International Writers Festival is an event you won’t want to miss. The festival features author readings, panel discussions, and literary workshops and is held twice a year.

Local History

Ottawa has a long and fascinating history, much of which can be explored for free. Here are some historical sites and landmarks to check out during your visit:

– The Canadian War Museum: The Canadian War Museum is a fascinating museum that tells the story of Canada’s military history. Admission is free on Thursday evenings after 5 PM.

– The Rideau Hall: The Rideau Hall is the residence of the Governor General of Canada and is open for public tours. The tours are free, and you can learn about the history of the building and its important role in Canada’s government.

– The Canadian Aviation and Space Museum: The Canadian Aviation and Space Museum has an impressive collection of aircraft and tells the story of Canada’s contributions to aviation and space exploration. Admission is $15 for adults, but free on Thursdays after 4 PM.

Off the Beaten Path

Finally, if you’re looking for unique experiences that are off the beaten path, there are a few hidden gems around Ottawa that are worth checking out. Here are some suggestions:

– The Diefenbunker: The Diefenbunker is a former Cold War bomb shelter that has been turned into a museum. It’s a fun and unusual way to learn more about Canadian history, and admission is $14 for adults.

– Gatineau Park: Just a short drive from Ottawa, Gatineau Park is a beautiful spot for hiking, cycling, and cross-country skiing. It’s a great way to escape the city and enjoy some fresh air.

– Peace Tower: Located on Parliament Hill, the Peace Tower is easily overlooked by the crowds. The Tower offers a great view of the city, and you can climb to the top for free.

In conclusion, you can definitely live for less than $1000 in Ottawa, and this insider’s guide has given you a starting point for your budget-friendly adventure. With so many free and affordable activities, you can enjoy the city and all that it has to offer without breaking the bank.

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Can You Live for Less Than $1000 in Ottawa?

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!