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For home buyers looking to transition away from life in the urban core, there’s no better place than Ottawa. 

Canada’s capital boasts a wide selection of charming communities that range in size, atmosphere, and distance to the city centre. No matter what kind of home or way of life you’re looking for, you’ll find it in Ottawa. 

Depending on your personal needs and lifestyle, it’s totally possible that both rural and suburban communities could work for you! But if you’re thinking about moving in the near future and are considering a significant change of scenery, it helps to have an idea of how well each type of community may suit you before heading to the market. 

This post will look at the unique draws and advantages of Ottawa’s rural and suburban neighbourhoods,  along with any special considerations that may come with living there. 

Considering a move? If you want to make the most out of your home purchase, you’ll need to work with an experienced local real estate agent. Click here to learn how we help buyers achieve their real estate goals. 

Rural vs Suburban – What’s the Difference? 

While definitions of “rural” and “suburban” can vary, there are a few universal differences that set these types of communities apart from one another. 

In Ottawa, two communities can share a similar distance to the city centre but differ drastically in atmosphere and way of life. Generally speaking, the distinction between rural and suburban neighbourhoods comes down to population, local services, and the volume of nearby amenities. 

Want to learn more about rural living in Greater Ottawa? Explore these insightful blog posts.

The Advantages of Rural Life

Home to only a few thousand residents or less, rural communities offer a relaxed, laid-back lifestyle and tight-knit community dynamic. You’ll find charming homes, both old and new sitting on secluded and spacious lots. 

Landscape is also a major factor of rural living. As many of Ottawa’s rural neighbourhoods sit along the scenic Rideau River, residents feel connected to their community’s natural beauty and appreciate spending time outdoors. While there are some local amenities like shops, restaurants, and specialty services, the main draw of rural living lies in its level of simplicity. 

One thing to consider before moving to this type of community is how rural homes work. Most notably, homes in rural Ottawa typically receive their water supply from a well. This can add extra maintenance costs as wells require varying degrees of filtration, cleaning, and general upkeep.  

Communities We Love

Manotick. Boasting a unique heritage and endless natural beauty, Manotick is a historic village nestled along the Rideau River. A short commute from downtown Ottawa, Manotick is home to just shy of 5,000 permanent residents. Along with its quaint, down-to-earth atmosphere, the village is best known for its distinctive business and artisan community.

Greely. Just east of Manotick is the fast-growing community of Greely. Best described as a spacious, up-and-coming community, Greely has become popular thanks to its unique level of convenience and abundance of affordable homes. With great schools, a strong community association, and a diverse array of local amenities, it’s easy to see why buyers love Greely.

Osgoode. About 30 minutes south of downtown Ottawa is the quaint community of Osgoode. While one of Ottawa’s larger rural communities, with a population of roughly 2,500, Osgoode retains its charming small-town atmosphere. With easy access to the city, and a selection of suburban-style amenities, such as a local shopping mall, the neighbourhood is uniquely suited to residents that are looking to embrace rural living without sacrificing total access to urban life.

Kars. Located on the longest uninterrupted stretch of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal, Kars is a small yet vibrant community. Home to just a few hundred residents, the village is most known for its unique waterfront and close-knit community atmosphere. Roughly 40 minutes south of the city centre, Kars is uniquely suited to residents that are looking to embrace rural living without sacrificing total access to urban life. 

Burritt’s Rapids.
Burritt’s Rapids is a small village just northeast of Merrickville. Nestled along the Rideau River, the community is known for its distinctive history and incredible scenery. In fact, Burritt’s Rapids is so beautiful that the community attracts hundreds of visitors every year who stop by to take in the stunning landscape and explore local landmarks.  

Looking for more in-depth information about Ottawa’s suburban and rural neighbourhoods? These blog posts may interest you. 

What Makes the Suburbs Great

Suburbs offer the best of both worlds, providing certain perks of urban living, without the noise or fast pace of downtown. Compared to the inner city, suburban neighbourhoods are generally quieter, and more affordable. These factors, combined with easy access to schools make them popular with young families. 

While relaxed and residential, Ottawa’s suburbs are big enough to offer a strong range of amenities. You’ll find shopping centres, healthcare, restaurants, and sports facilities all within a short distance, plus reliable access to OC Transpo.  

Suburbs also work well for buyers who are looking to move away from the city centre but require a smaller living space, such as a townhome or condo. 

Communities We Love

Barrhaven. Located southwest of the downtown core, Barrhaven is a thriving suburb that attracts residents of all demographics and lifestyles. Quiet and community-oriented, Barrhaven is well-suited for buyers who are looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life, while retaining most big city conveniences. As a readily expanding area, Barrhaven is also home to some of Ottawa’s most exciting new build communities. 

Kanata. One of Ottawa’s fastest-growing suburbs, there’s a lot to love about living in Kanata. With many great schools, a variety of local amenities, diverse housing options, and excellent public transit service, it’s a versatile yet down-to-earth community. As a bonus, hockey fans will love that Kanata is the home of the Ottawa Senators. Kanata is also the heart of Ottawa’s rapidly-expanding tech industry, with a growing number of businesses flocking to the area every year. 

Riverside South. A short drive south of the downtown core, Riverside South is a fast-growing, family-oriented community home to an expansive set of local amenities and natural attractions. With some of the best schools in the city, as well as endless opportunities for recreation, Riverside South is a perfect fit for those with growing families.

Ready to find your dream home in Ottawa? We’d be happy to help! Click here to send us an email.