After attending law school in Ottawa, my husband felt it would be a wonderful place to settle and raise a family. In the lead up to our wedding in Toronto, where I was from and where he had been living and working, we decided to move to Ottawa, as it presented some interesting professional opportunities for us both.
While I was initially hesitant to move from a big city to a relatively smaller city, it only took a couple months until I was completely in love with my new home, community and city. More than that, though, Ottawa has been the most wonderful place to raise our family. With its more relaxed pace, less consumer-driven, and more outdoorsy focus, I find that this city has offered my children tremendously stable, grounded, and joyful childhoods.
While we live just a 7-8 minute drive from the downtown core, we can also find ourselves in the midst of Gatineau Park’s deep woods, with all of its natural beauty, in the same amount of time. Green space is accessible here, even for those who live in urban areas. Cost of living, a helpful, kind and inclusive Jewish community, and great professional opportunities are bonuses on top of all that!
- Elana (originally from Toronto) & Adam (originally from Calgary)
We moved to Ottawa from Toronto in 2010, and we absolutely love our life here. We have a wonderful shul community at Machzikei Hadas, our kids are getting an excellent education at Torah Day school, and we love all the outdoor activities that we can enjoy easily after work and after school.
But truly, it is its diversity and inclusivity that makes the Ottawa Jewish community so special. We are so happy that our kids have friends and classmates from different hashkafic backgrounds, and that our children are growing up with such a strong Jewish identity and, most importantly, a lot of Ahavat Yisrael. We’ve heard some people say that they need to live in a larger Jewish centre for the sake of their children’s chinuch (education), but we view it very differently: it is specifically because of our children’s chinuch that we are so happy to live in Ottawa.
- Stacy (originally from Thornhill) & Michael (originally from Ottawa)
Both my husband and I grew up in Ottawa.
We were living in Brooklyn when I was expecting our first child and as we got closer and closer to having our baby, it became clear to us that we would be heading home to Ottawa. While New York was a lot of fun, the day to day living could be difficult. Things like buying groceries, commuting to work, driving a car, buying a house etc were so much more challenging. We were used to a much higher quality of life in Ottawa and we wanted to return to that and raise our children in an affordable city with lots of beautiful green spaces, parks and family friendly activities.
We also love that the school is small and diverse, every staff member knows all of our children and they are cherished and their needs accommodated. We have lived in Ottawa now for over 10 years and could not be happier.
- Sarah and Sender Gordon
We love living in Ottawa because it is a quiet, safe, clean, active and affordable place to raise a Jewish family and where we enjoy many big city amenities but in a smaller town community, feel and environment. We live in Barrhaven and go to Ottawa Torah Centre (OTC), all 4 of our kids attend Torah Day School of Ottawa.
- Evan & Alecia (originally from Montreal)
We moved to Ottawa in 2018 when Jason accepted a job at KBI as the new Cantor. Having been overseas or in the US for the previous 15 years, we weren’t sure what to expect. What we found was a warm welcoming community with so much to offer! Our youngest is currently a student at OJCS, our older two boys are highly involved in NCSY including Torah High, independent learning.
Outside the Jewish community, we love the outdoor activities available. We live in Centrepointe and can connect with the bike trail in the park and bike or walk along the river for miles. As a family we decided to embrace the Ottawa climate and learn to ski. This has become a favourite winter activity and we try to go every Sunday during the season. We love Ottawa’s proximity to so many mountains.
We are thrilled that we have made Ottawa our home!
- Jodi (originally from NY) and Jason (originally from Montreal)
We originally moved to Ottawa from Montreal 13 years ago for school and we chose to stay for the quality of life! Our careers and family life have granted Sasha and I first hand knowledge of many of the wonderful institutions in our city. Sasha is a surgeon at CHEO and I am the director of Ottawa Talmud Torah Afternoon School. Our children attend OJCS where I am head of the PTA. Our family feels blessed to live in a city with access to great health care, wonderful educational institutions, a warm and supportive Jewish community and easy access to incredible outdoor amenities including biking and hiking trials, beaches, ski hills and so much more!
- Eliana (originally from Montreal) and Sasha (originally from Toronto)
Originally from Mazkeret Batia, near Rehovot in Israel, we moved to Ottawa last summer (after a year in Montreal) and we love it. We looked for a community that'll fit us and we found the community of Machzikei Hadas in Alta Vista. It really feels like family. People are warm, welcoming and very positive and active. The atmosphere in Ottawa is relaxed and very family oriented with great parks and beautiful scenery very close by. Our kids learn in Torah Day School of Ottawa and enjoy high quality education with very dedicated staff and PTA. We are very happy we chose Ottawa.
- Chovav & Revital (originally from Israel)
We arrived in Ottawa in August 2019, most recently from Norfolk, Virginia. Ottawa was attractive to us, as we were looking for a small, close knit community that still offered the amenities that a Jewish family needs.
Ottawa boasts multiple shuls and schools, as well as eruvin and a mikva. We also have a nice variety of kosher food, and orders from Montreal are just a few computer clicks away.
We were blessed to become Rabbi and Rebbetzin of Young Israel of Ottawa, where we have been warmly welcomed with open arms. Even during these uncertain times, we have been blessed to feel the love and support of our shul and our community.
- Rabbi Gavriel Rudin (originally from Passaic NJ) & Malka Rudin (originally from Tuscan, AZ)
We moved to Ottawa in 2007, after meeting and getting married in Israel. I am originally from Montreal and came to Ottawa for a job with the Government of Canada. Jeff is from California, and immigrated to Canada, making Ottawa his home. He works as a psychotherapist and community counsellor. We moved here because Ottawa has all the small city benefits without sacrificing big city amenities. From theater and festivals, to outdoor activities and little traffic, the quality of life in Ottawa is among the best in Canada. And I know, as I lived in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver before making Ottawa my long-term home. If you come to Ottawa, you will find us in the Craig Henry neighborhood. Located within a 5-10min drive of the kosher Loblaws, Torah Day School of Ottawa and the Jewish Community Center - and within a few minutes' walk of Congregation Beit Tikvah - the neighborhood was so conveniently located we could not turn it down. Overall, we love Ottawa because it is down to earth, and a wholesome place to raise our three kids.
- Jeff (originally from San Diego, California) and Debbie (originally from Montreal)
Ottawa is truly one of the most warm and welcoming communities we have been part of.
After deciding to move from Chicago in 2015, my husband and I worried that our family would have a hard time fitting into the seemingly close knit Ottawa community. We were shocked and touched at the immense welcome we received. From meal invitations, care packages, playdates, and even offers of babysitting (in order to help us unpack), we truly felt like we hadn't just joined the community, but have been a part of it all along. We have now been here almost six years and it feels as if we were never anywhere else. Ottawa isn't just another community; it's a family.
- Odelia (originally from Paramus, NJ) and Tal (originally from Chicago).