Canadian Destination No. 7: There’s More to Ottawa Than Politics

National capitals tend to be revolving doors with all of the government jobs, so it’s only natural that Ottawa welcomes a large number of U-Haul trucks every year.

But there is more to Ottawa than tourist-friendly Parliament Hill where the Senate, House of Commons and Library of Parliament can be found.

Ottawa is affordable, bilingual, rich in culture, a magnet for the science and engineering sector, easily accessible for residents on the outskirts of the city, and almost always in pretty good economic shape. Property values continue to go up in the city, so there isn’t much for sale – and yet construction and expansion are always occurring.

“Ottawa is a great city in which to live, work, and play and for many, that makes us a very desirable place to consider moving to,” Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said. “The steady stream of people wanting to come to Ottawa is a good indication that we are on the right track as a city and I look forward to working hard in the coming years to keep it that way.”

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Tulips across from Parliament Hill (Credit: Ottawa Tourism)

Ottawa holds the No. 7 spot on the U-Haul Top 10 Canadian Destination Cities for 2014. These rankings reflect the top destinations of one-way U-Haul truck rentals for the past calendar year.

While migration trends do not correlate directly to a city’s population or economic growth, they are a strong gauge as to how well cities are attracting new residents.

Insider Tips: Moving to Ottawa

Ottawa ranked fifth among Canadian cities for incoming U-Haul traffic in nine of the previous 10 years – it was sixth in 2011. Despite a slight slip, Ottawa continues to be a very attractive destination for movers.

“Certainly there is a big push on right now to present Ottawa as a great city to live, work and play, and it really is,” said Tom Pechloff, online content editor for Ottawa Business Journal. “It can offer a small-town feel within the fourth largest city in the country. That’s appealing from the live perspective. The tech community is burgeoning, with plenty of employment opportunities making it a great place to work.

“Ottawa has been known as the city that fun forgot, but if you know where to look, you can find great local music, theatre, and all sorts of nightlife. And of course, if your definition of ‘play’ is more of the outdoor variety, you have the two rivers, the Gatineau Hills and a myriad of biking, walking and hiking opportunities.”

Ottawa photo
Click here for more #Uhaulfamous photos from Ottawa

“The whole ‘Live, work, play’ tagline is all about attracting talent. Probably the biggest issue in the city right now is the competition for top talent. Everyone is hiring right now, it seems, so it’s not surprising to see Ottawa on this list. Companies are looking far beyond the city’s borders to get the best people they can.”

U-Haul marketing company president Claude Boucher noted that most of the residential growth remains on the outskirts of Ottawa, where U-Haul is looking to expand and offer more convenience to people with moving needs.

“A lot of people live in Quebec and work in Ottawa across the Ontario border,” Boucher said. “It’s one of the most transit cities in Canada because it’s a government town. It’s like Washington D.C., only on a much smaller scale. And it’s a very, very clean city.

“There are a lot of museums there, and, of course, the Parliament buildings. The city has the Tulip Festival every year, and in the winter it has the world’s largest ice skating rink. A lot of people from other cities go to Ottawa to skate on the Rideau Canal.”

With all it has to offer, and the diplomatic business it hosts, many more people are certain to use U-Haul, the industry leader in do-it-yourself moving and self-storage, to help make Ottawa their new home.

Ottawa is the third of five Ontario cities in the U-Haul Top 10 Canadian Destinations. Continue to visit myuhaulstory.com as U-Haul counts down to the No. 1 destination.

Ottawa residents are invited to become U-Haul Famous. Take your picture in front of a U-Haul product, send it in and your face could land on the side of a U-Haul truck. Upload your photo through Instagram using #uhaulfamous, or go to uhaulfamous.com to submit photos and learn more.

Additional photo credits: Ottawa skyline at Parliament Hill (featured image) and Parliament building (thumbnail) by Ottawa Tourism.

Canadian Destination Cities

10. Kitchener

9. Victoria

8. Hamilton

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