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Is Ottawa a good city to drive around in?

Vancouver, Canada
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Is Ottawa a good city to drive around in?

Hi everyone!

I was wondering if Ottawa is a good city to drive in. For someone staying downtown or in the area, would a car be unnecessary? Would walking or transit be sufficient? Also, is street parking or parking downtown available? Are there any free parking spots?

Do people usually drive to work or transit (if they worked downtown, like the Tunney Pasture area)?

For example, in Vancouver and Toronto, I find most people transit or walk to work and very few drive and park because it is not only congested traffic-wise but parking is very expensive, if at all available.

Thanks in advance!

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Ottawa
Ottawa
Ontario, Canada
Vancouver
Vancouver
British Columbia, Canada
Toronto
Toronto
Ontario, Canada
12 replies to this topic
Ottawa, ON
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1. Re: Is Ottawa a good city to drive around in?

I am finding your question confusing. You are talking about living (or staying) downtown, then about driving downtown and mentioning Tunney`s pasture as being downtown, which it is not.

Anyway, monthly passes for a downtown parking spot in a garage will set you back over $200, A monthly transit pass is currently $116.50.

On street daytime parking in the downtown area is $3.00 per hour, maximum 2 hours. Generally, driving around to find such parking is time-consuming and frustrating. Weekends and evenings are free,

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Is Ottawa a good city to drive around in?

Hi Ronw, sorry about the confusion. I'm not very familiar with Ottawa and assumed Tunney's pasture was close enough to be considered downtown, so never mind about that. Now that I'm looking closer on the map, it's not exactly downtown but only a ~10 min drive there. Transit seems doable, too.

How do people park at work if they drive to commute, then? They will have to rent a spot, I guess, or park in a parkade. I like hearing that weekends and evenings are free.

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Ottawa
Ottawa
Ontario, Canada
Ottawa
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3. Re: Is Ottawa a good city to drive around in?

The transit to Tunneys from downtown is excellent, as Tunneys is on the bus transitway. And soon (November?) it will be on the new light rail line and will be even faster than driving. If you drive to work you need to have a guaranteed spot. Or play "dodge the by-law officer" by sneaking out of work and constantly moving your car. If you are staying or living downtown there is no need for a car.

Gaspesie Region...
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4. Re: Is Ottawa a good city to drive around in?

Bike. Ottawa is a great place for bike commuters.

Buses are mass transit, not public transit. The buses carry suburbanites to work in the core, but aren't really functional for very much else. The new LRT may change that, or not, depending on how it's managed.

I never owned a car until I moved to Ottawa. Then I needed one for such simple things as food shopping.

Parking downtown is expensive.

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Ottawa
Ottawa
Ontario, Canada
Gaspesie Region...
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5. Re: Is Ottawa a good city to drive around in?

Bike. Ottawa is a great place for bike commuters.

Buses are mass transit, not public transit. The buses carry suburbanites to work in the core, but aren't really functional for very much else. The new LRT may change that, or not, depending on how it's managed.

I never owned a car until I moved to Ottawa. Then I needed one for such simple things as food shopping.

Parking downtown is expensive.

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Ottawa
Ottawa
Ontario, Canada
Ottawa
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6. Re: Is Ottawa a good city to drive around in?

Actually it is Public Transit and works very well for moving around the city. Have lived here forever and never owned a car. There are grocery stores etc. everywhere. Unless you move out to the country.

Ottawa, Canada
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7. Re: Is Ottawa a good city to drive around in?

You did not answer the question posed: Are you going to be living here or be a tourist for a few days?

It would make a difference in the recommendation.as it sounded like you were moving to Ottawa.

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Ottawa
Ottawa
Ontario, Canada
Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Is Ottawa a good city to drive around in?

Hi everyone, thanks for all the responses. Okay, you guessed right, I wrote this post with the intention of finding out if I should bring my car or not if I were to move to Ottawa for work. I don’t even know where the office is yet but it would likely be tunneys pasture.

It sounds like the bus is very convenient to get to tunneys and I won’t need a car to drive to work. Sounds like a hassle to secure a reserved parking, although it would be more convenient possibly. But if it’s faster just to bus, then that’s the obvious choice. I tend to dislike public transit but I’ll take it if it makes sense. I normally drive everywhere in Vancouver including downtown, because I’m familiar with the parking and streets. Biking is not going to be an option for me (I am scared of biking haha).

I was also thinking it would be nice to have a car for the evenings and weekends (free parking downtown?) and to do grocery shopping and such. I’d likely visit Toronto a lot and could drive there or take the via rail, not sure which option would be better as it seems to take around the same amount of time.

On another note, I have no idea where I will be living or which areas to look at and that would be another post although I understand this is a travel forum.

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Ottawa
Ottawa
Ontario, Canada
Vancouver
Vancouver
British Columbia, Canada
Toronto
Toronto
Ontario, Canada
Vancouver, BC
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9. Re: Is Ottawa a good city to drive around in?

If you are going to work for the government, you are well on the way to learning how to be evasive.....

SE Ontario
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10. Re: Is Ottawa a good city to drive around in?

If you have a car, and find a place to live with parking, then you should bring it ... it's unnecessary for travel around the city, but good to have for trips outside the region. Otherwise, using public transit is the best way to get around the city. Transit in eastern cities is much better developed and more utilized than in the west.

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