Canadian Growth City No. 5: Job Market in Ottawa Appeals to Families

Feb 29, 2016

U-Haul Movers Keep Canada’s Capital a Net Gain City for Migration

Ottawa is the U-Haul No. 5 Canadian Growth City for 2015

The Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa. Credit: City of Ottawa.

With nearly half of its residents under the age of 35, Ottawa continues to boast one of the youngest populations in the country.

“Ottawa is a very safe place to live, and that’s why young families keep moving there,” said Claude Boucher, president of U-Haul Company of Western Quebec who oversees operations in the Ottawa region.

A family-friendly environment is not the only reason that do-it-yourself movers are pulling into Canada’s capital. In addition to this city’s favorable business climate, it has recently seen a spike in construction and a change in government.

“There is a lot of growth happening in Ottawa,” Boucher added. “I see lots of construction of new developments on the outskirts of town.”

Tips from the Moving Experts: Living in & Moving to Ottawa

Ottawa obtained the No. 5 spot among the U-Haul Top 10 Canadian Growth Cities for 2015. Growth rankings are determined by the net gain of incoming one-way U-Haul truck rentals versus outgoing rentals for the past calendar year.

U-Haul locations here saw 50.8 percent of truck rental customers coming into the city as opposed leaving. While the volume of U-Haul traffic remained substantial, activity among do-it-yourself movers in this city actually declined year-over-year with a 3 percent drop in arrivals and a 7 percent drop in departures compared to 2014 figures.

“The No. 1 thing attracting people to Ottawa is the job market,” saidQuote about Ottawa Growth Tamrat Meherete, general manager of U-Haul Moving & Storage of Ottawa. “Our main growth is in real estate. And the cost of real estate – compared to major cities like Toronto – is way less. It is way less than most cities.”

Boucher explained that the city’s improvements and efforts to attract residents have maintained a solid pattern of growth.

“Ottawa has never slowed down,” Boucher said. “I’m not seeing anything I haven’t seen in the last two years. It’s always been extremely busy. We are looking to open up more dealers to serve the needs of Ottawa. Every month we are busy with people moving in and moving around town. It doesn’t surprise me that we are the U-Haul No. 5 Growth City. We’ve never been far from the top.”

This city, which was named the U-Haul No. 7 Canadian Destination City for 2014, is the third of five Ontario cities to make the Top 10 Growth Cities list for 2015. Continue following the countdown on each weekday through March 4 to see the No. 1 city revealed.

Additional Photo Credit: Empress of Ottawa (thumbnail image) and tulips at Ottawa venue (featured image) by City of Ottawa.

Ottawa growth facts

More on Ottawa

  1. In the winter, Downtown is home to the world’s longest skating rink. The Rideau Canal transforms into the Rideau Canal Skateway. This outdoor ice rink is over 7.8 km and stretches from downtown to Dows Lake. This popular attraction has been available to the public since the 1970s. The skating season runs from January until late February and the public can access open sections of the Skateway all day and night.
  2. There are 35 major festivals here each year. The most famous is the Canadian Tulip Festival. The history of this tradition stems from Canada’s harboring of the Dutch Royal Family during World War II. Princess Juliana later thanked Canada with the gift of 100,000 tulip bulbs. In 1953, photographer Malak Karsh suggested the celebration, which signifies the arrival of spring and the serves as a reminder of the tulip’s connection.
  3. Moving and storage customers here have access to two U-Haul-owned, full-service stores and 11 businesses serving the community as part of the U-Haul dealer network.


  • “Ottawa is really a city for a family. When it comes to universities, we have two that are well known (Ottawa University and Carleton University), plus we have colleges. We have a very low crime rate compared to other cities in Canada. Two of the things Ottawa is known for are its good families and good communities.” Tamrat Meherete, GM of U-Haul Moving & Storage of Ottawa
  • “I can’t find one reason not to live in Ottawa. It’s a clean, safe city. It has a good transit system. The job market is good and housing is still affordable. Overall, Ottawa is just a beautiful city.” — Claude Boucher, U-Haul Company of Western Quebec president

What was your favorite thing about visiting or living in this city?  Share in the comments!

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