Written by Satheeka Hettigama, Outreach Worker, Newcomer Information Centre
Globally known, Ottawa is the capital of Canada in the province of Ontario. It is a government town. You can’t miss Parliament Hill and many other government institutions situated here. Ottawa is a bilingual city, both English and French; the city is close to the province of Quebec. French is Canada’s second official language. Learn more >
Weather & Activities
In Ottawa, the summers are long, warm, and partly cloudy, and the winters are freezing, snowy, and mostly cloudy. Over the year, the temperature typically varies from -14°C to 27°C and is rarely below -25°C or above 31°C. Many newcomers are concerned about Winter as it is one of the coldest capitals in the world. The snow depths of greater than 1 cm are seen on about 120 days each year compared to 65 days in Toronto. Much greater snowfall depths are found in Ottawa than in Toronto, which is more south of the country. Like other cities in Ontario, Ottawa enjoys a sunny climate as well. Learn more >
- Winter – There are so many fun and exciting things to do in Ottawa during the Winter! In December, Canada’s capital lights up with Christmas lights, hot chocolate inexplicably tastes better, and absolutely everyone is looking forward to the Rideau Canal to freeze over for skating. The range of things to do in Ottawa inside the iciness makes it the perfect weekend getaway or stopover to experience a wonderful winter getaway. Here are 26 things to do in Ottawa in Winter: A Local’s Guide. Learn More>
- Spring – Spring in the capital means fresh air, colourful gardens, festivals, and the start of hotter days before the hottest times of the year of summer. Get your loved ones and prepare for sweet undertakings in the city’s springtime gleam and the rich greenery. Here are 30 Things to do During Spring in Ottawa. Learn More>
- Summer – Summer is a fascinating time to be in Ottawa. From amazing dusks, evenings on porches, appreciating nature, and that’s just the beginning, there are many exciting outdoor activities to engage in Ottawa. Want to make the end of summer the best? Here’s an Ottawa Summer Bucket list: Learn More>
- Autumn – In fall, Ottawans pull on their sweaters and head outside to savor the crisp air and spot the extraordinary fall leaves converting colours. It’s an excellent time to walk, cycle, visit museums, or go to food festivals! The season is made better with a steaming mug of hot apple cider afterward. Join the locals and take full advantage of what the season offers. Here are the Top Things to See and Do in Autumn: Learn More>
There are countless things you can do in the city! Check out the Top things, in General, to do in Ottawa Learn More>
Support & Resources
Are you planning to move to Ottawa? Being a newcomer in a completely new environment can be challenging, and that is precisely why we are here to help you. The YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region has a long history of serving newcomers through its Employment and Newcomer Services and other departments and services. At the Y, we aim to improve the quality of life for people of all ages. We offer our services in both official languages, and we have staff from diverse backgrounds that speak a variety of other languages spoken in the community. Our center has a comprehensive library of resources, computers with ready access to Immigration Refugees and Citizens Canada (IRCC) resources, and on-site settlement workers. The Newcomer Information Center (NIC) also offers monthly workshops, individualized information, and referral services that help with the everyday needs of newcomers, such as; settlement, immigration, employment, education, languages, legal matters, health, community, and finances.
To assist you upon landing, we can create and implement a settlement plan specific to you on your first visit to our centre. Generally, the first thing you will need as a newcomer is a place to live; after that is secured, we will look for means of financial stability obtained by employment. You will need a SIN number, an address, and contact information to be employed. If you do not possess any of these, we can help. Learn more >
Stay in Touch
Visit us when you get to Ottawa! Our office is open, and we are thrilled to be serving clients in person again! We are also still serving clients over the phone and/or online. Please make sure to bring your immigration documents with you. Clients do not need to present proof of vaccination to be served.