Cost of Living in Ottawa

How Much Does It Cost to Live in Ottawa in 2024?

What is the average monthly cost of living in Ottawa?

The average cost of living in Ottawa is $2,707.62 per month.

The city of Ottawa, often referred to as the “Maple Capital” or simply “O-Town”, serves as the capital city of Canada. Nestled along the banks of the Ottawa River, this picturesque metropolis boasts natural beauty and a vibrant cultural scene, making it a great place to live.

If you’re contemplating a move to the province of Ontario, it’s important to understand the dynamics of life in Ottawa. Like many thriving cities, Ottawa does come with a significant cost of living, including high rental and housing prices that can vary significantly depending on the neighborhood, although they are not as high as those in Toronto.

However, with good financial planning and budgeting, one can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in Ottawa. If you’re considering a move to Ottawa, continue reading to learn about the cost of living.


The main data collection source for this article is Numbeo and trusted city-related websites, including OC Transport, and the Government of Canada. The costs presented are estimates and pertain to an individual living alone on a monthly basis.

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Housing costs in Ottawa

Ottawa’s housing market remains relatively stable and there are a lot of affordable neighborhoods to move to. Renting a 1-bedroom apartment in the city is an affordable option at $1,712.22, and the cost of purchasing a house has seen only minor fluctuations compared to other years. When compared to Toronto, Ottawa typically offers lower and more consistent housing costs, making it an attractive destination for those looking to rent or buy a home.

Cost of rent in Ottawa, CA

Area/Neighborhood 1-bed apartment 3-bed apartment
Ottawa (Outside of Center) $1,712.22 $2,417.83

Numbeo (Sept 2023)

Cost of buying a property in Ottawa

Area/Neighborhood Average home price 
Ottawa $643,600

CREA (Aug 2023)

Utility costs in Ottawa: Internet, electricity and water

Whether you own a house or rent in Ottawa, budgeting for utility costs is important. Ottawa’s varied climate, featuring cold winters and hot summers, significantly affects electricity consumption. Due to its rough winters, the average cost of basic utilities in Ottawa can even be slightly higher than in Toronto, as reported by Numbeo.

The monthly average cost of a basic utility package in Ottawa, which covers electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage, and Internet services, is described below:

Utilities Cost

(Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment


(60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)

Total $342.16

Numbeo (Sept 2023) & OEB (2023)

What is the average monthly cost of utilities in Ottawa?
The average monthly cost of utilities in Ottawa is $342.16.

Grocery costs in Ottawa

In Ottawa, groceries are affordable. Plus, there are no taxes on basics like dairy, eggs, cereals, vegetables, meat, and fish when you shop at grocery or convenience stores. This makes it easy for residents to stick to their dietary preferences without overspending.

Grocery items in Ottawa Cost
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) $11.04
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) $3.21
Rice (white) (1 lb) $1.99
Eggs (regular) (12) $4.39
Local Cheese (1 lb) $8.07
Chicken Fillets (1 lb) $7.18
Beef Round (1 lb) $9.28
Apples (1 lb) $2.18
Banana (1 lb) $0.75
Oranges (1 lb) $1.73
Tomato (1 lb) $2.09
Potato (1 lb) $1.18
Onion (1 lb) $1.17
Lettuce (1 head) $2.97
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) $17.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) $3.52
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) $3.32

Numbeo (Sept 2023)

What is the average monthly cost of groceries in Ottawa?
The average monthly cost of groceries in Ottawa is $324.28.

Public transit in Ottawa

Public transit in Ottawa is provided by OC Transpo, which operates a combination of buses and the O-Train, Ottawa’s light rail train system. Tickets and day passes for the bus service can be obtained directly on the bus using cash as a payment method. Alternatively, for the O-Train, passes can be purchased at train stations, select pharmacies, and grocery stores, with both cash and credit card payment options available.

Type of fare Rate
Per ride

(Adult & Young)

Per 1 day $11.25
Per 3 days $27.75
Per 5 days $44.50
Per 7 days $52.75
Monthly pass $125.50

OC Transport (July 2023)

What is the TTC monthly pass price?
The TTC monthly pass price is $125.50.

Entertainment costs in Ottawa

Entertainment costs in Ottawa can vary widely, offering something for every budget. You can explore Parliament Hill and its iconic buildings for free. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the Rideau Canal and Ottawa River for outdoor activities. The Byward Market offers culinary delights, while Gatineau Park is a natural haven. Downtown Ottawa boasts diverse dining and shopping options. The city has entertainment for all.

Here are some insights into the average entertainment costs in Ottawa:

Entertainment in Ottawa Cost
Mid-range restaurant meal $53.75
Taxi 1h $50.00
1 cinema ticket $16.50
Total $120.25

Numbeo (Sept 2023)

Sales tax in Ottawa

In Canada, there are three types of sales taxes: the federal GST (5%), the provincial sales taxes PST (varies depending on the province), and the HST, which is a combination of the two. In Ontario, the HST is used, which is equivalent to 13% and applies to purchases of goods and services.

While some items, like basic groceries and sometimes feminine hygiene products, are exempt from sales taxes, the rate for other products depends on the specific province.

Government of Canada (Sept 2023)

Healthcare costs in Ottawa

When moving to Ontario, you should be aware of Ontario’s public health insurance, OHIP. This covers basic medical expenses through payroll taxes and federal support. However, for more comprehensive coverage, you have two options, you can choose to purchase private health insurance or use the one sponsored by your employer.

The cost and coverage of private health insurance depend on several factors, such as your age, gender, lifestyle, pre-existing conditions, specific coverages, and the chosen provider.

Type of healthcare Cost
Employer-sponsored health insurance $63.00
Non-employer-sponsored health insurance $61.32-$196.20
Gym $83.21

Numbeo (Sept 2023), Hellosafe (2023) & Insurance Business (Apr 2023)

What is the average monthly cost of employee-sponsored health insurance in Ottawa?
The monthly cost of employee-sponsored health insurance in Ottawa is $63.00.


Moving to Ottawa presents its unique challenges, including those related to the cost of living. However, with careful financial planning, you can fully embrace the experience of living in Canada’s capital city, known for its blend of cultural diversity and a rich history.

If you need assistance with your move, consider researching and hiring the best movers in Ottawa to make your transition smoother.

Check out this table for the average monthly expenses of living in Ottawa in 2024:

Category Monthly cost
1 bed apt rent outside city center $1,712.22

Numbeo’s grocery list Numbeo’s grocery list ($81.07 multiplied by 4)


Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage

Internet with 60 Mbps $86.58
Transit pass $125.50

Meal, taxi, movie

Gym membership $83.21
Total $2,707.62


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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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