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Where to stay in Ottawa, Canada



Where to stay in Ottawa, Canada

Where to stay in Ottawa – A guide to the Capital of Canada
Ottawa is the capital of Canada. Located in southeastern Ontario on the southern bank of the Ottawa River, Ottawa was founded in 1826 as Bytown and in 1867 became the capital of the Dominion of Canada. As such, this important city is famous for being the main political and legislative center of Canada and for hosting some of the most important museums and cultural institutions in the country. In this article, we will explore the best areas to stay in Ottawa, ON.

Ottawa is the fourth most populous urban area in Canada. Originally, the city was divided by the Rideau Canal into Upper Town and Lower Town. The former was located on the west side of the canal and was predominantly English and Protestant. Meanwhile, the latter occupied the eastern part of the canal to the Rideau River and was inhabited mainly by French and Irish Catholics.

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Historic and Tourist attraction

Downtown Ottawa occupies the northern end of the city, between the Rideau Canal and the Ottawa River. This palatial administrative district is home to Ottawa’s top historical and cultural tourist attractions, including Parliament Hill, the Centennial Flame, the National Arts Center, the Bank of Canada Museum, Confederation Park, and Ottawa City Hall.

Directly to the south is Centretown. This tree-lined residential and commercial district still retains Bytown’s Victorian charm. Some of Centretown’s sights include the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Workers’ History Museum, and Ottawa’s bustling Chinatown. See accommodation in Centretown.

East of the Rideau Canal is the ByWard Market area and Lower Town. This popular area is home to landmarks such as the incredible National Gallery of Canada, Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica, and the Ottawa Art Gallery. The Alexandra Bridge connects this area with Hull, on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River. See accommodation at ByWard Market.

But Ottawa is much more than parliaments, museums, and galleries. The Canadian capital is the gateway to exploring incredible parks, natural areas, and reserves. Some of the most popular natural attractions in and around Ottawa include the Dominion Arboretum, Meech Lake, Rideau Falls, and the King Mountain Trail.

SEE ALSO: H1B 2021 visa: how to get it, procedures, and latest news

Weather in Ottawa

Due to its geographic location, Ottawa has a humid continental climate. This translates into four very marked seasons. Summers are hot, with temperatures that usually range between 14 and 26 ºC, and winters are long, snowy, and icy, with temperatures between -14 and -5 ºC. The best time to visit Ottawa is from late May to late September when temperatures are pleasant and outdoor activities can be enjoyed.

Transportation in Ottawa

To get to Ottawa by air, the city has the Ottawa International Airport. Located 10 kilometers south of downtown Ottawa, this airport, the sixth busiest in Canada, offers connections to virtually every corner of the country, as well as some nonstop international flights to some destinations in the US, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Ottawa can also be reached by train. The Ottawa train station is 4 km from the city center, offering connections to Quebec City and Montreal to the east and Toronto, Kingston, and Oshawa to the west.

Additionally, Ottawa is also well connected via a long-distance bus network to other cities in Ontario and Quebec. See long-distance bus routes, schedules, and rates.

To get around the city, Ottawa has a very efficient intermodal public transport system consisting of light rail and bus and is managed by two independent entities: OC Transpo operates on the Ontario side of the Ottawa River and STO on the Quebec side. The city also offers taxis and mobile apps like Uber. You can also choose to rent a vehicle for your trip.

Read on to learn more about the best areas to stay in Ottawa, Canada.

SEE ALSO: Where to stay in Toronto, Canada

The best areas to stay in Ottawa, Ontario

The best area to stay in Ottawa is ByWard Market. This lively district is home to some of the Canadian capital’s top cultural attractions, as well as the best nightlife and best restaurants .. See accommodation at ByWard Market.

If you visit the city for business, Ottawa’s financial district, office towers, and conference venues are mostly located in Downtown Ottawa.

Other great districts to consider when choosing the best area to stay in Ottawa include Hull (Gatineau), the Victorian district of Centretown, and the western neighborhoods of Ottawa Nepean and Kanata.

ByWard Market & Lower Town

ByWard Market is located on the east side of the Rideau Canal, in the Lower Town of Ottawa.

It is considered Ottawa’s number one hipster epicenter and one of the most visited tourist attractions in the city.

This vibrant open-air market filled with artisan food stalls, specialty shops, and boutiques draws up to 50,000 visitors each weekend during the summer.

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The streets surrounding the market are covered in colorful graffiti and offer everything from vintage shops to charming cafes.

The ByWard Market, home to the best restaurants, pubs, bars, and clubs in the city, is considered the best nightlife area in Ottawa and the gay district of the Canadian capital.

Culture lovers will definitely enjoy the many local galleries and craft boutiques in the area.

Lower Town is also home to the National Gallery of Canada, a huge museum that focuses on Canadian art. In addition, the Ottawa Art Gallery displays paintings, sculptures, and photographs by some of the most prominent Canadian artists.

Nearby, the Royal Canadian Mint displays the world’s largest gold coins and bars and offers guided tours. Meanwhile, the 19th-century Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica features a colorful Neo-Gothic interior and tall towers.

A short walk across the Ottawa River in the town of Gatineau, home to the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian Children’s Museum.

Overall, ByWard Market is the best area to stay in Ottawa thanks to its incredible combination of historical attractions, art, great nightlife, and bohemian vibe.

Why is it a recommended area to stay in Ottawa, Canada:

  • Best area for nightlife
  • Ottawa hipster neighborhood
  • LGBT neighborhood
  • Notre Dame Cathedral
  • National Gallery of Canada
  • ByWard Market
  • Historical area
  • Accommodation in this area

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Downtown Ottawa (Ottawa Financial District)

As you might expect, Downtown Ottawa is the heart of the city.

This administrative and financial district located south of the Ottawa River is home to the most recognized monuments of the city.

The impressive Parliament Hill is at the northern end of the district. Its Gothic-style complex houses the Parliament buildings, the legislative branch of the Canadian federal government.

Other important cultural institutions in the area include the Bytown Museum, which showcases the history of Ottawa, the National Center for the Arts, a performing arts theater, and the Bank of Canada Museum, with interactive exhibits on economics.

The main street in the area, Bank Street, has several shops, restaurants, nightlife venues, and cafes.

Downtown Ottawa is the most important financial district in southeastern Ontario and is where many of the major companies in the Canadian capital are based.

Thanks to its central location and its administrative, tourist, and economic importance, downtown Ottawa is the best-connected area of ​​the city. Line 1 of the light rail system has two stations in this district; Lyon and Parliament / Parlement, offering easy access to ByWard Market, the university, and the western and southern suburbs of Ottawa (via Bayview Station).

The accommodation offer in downtown Ottawa is possibly the best in the city. While super-luxurious big-chain hotels seem to be the norm, this district too

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Ottawa:

  • Best area for tourists
  • Best area for business travelers
  • Area well connected by public transport
  • Shops and bars
  • Accommodation in this area

SEE ALSO: Where to stay in Hamilton, Canada

Hull (Gatineau)

Hull is a neighborhood of the city of Gatineau in Quebec.

Located across the river from downtown Ottawa, this district is famous for being home to some top attractions like the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian Children’s Museum.

Other highlights of Gatineau include the Jacques Cartier Park, the Gatineau Mosaiculture, and the Lac Leamy Casino.

Rue Laval, Hull’s main nightlife area, is home to microbreweries, fine restaurants, and bistros. Meanwhile, Eddy Street is the neighborhood’s shopping spot.

Although Hull is not officially part of Ottawa, you can walk from Hull across the Alexandra Bridge to the ByWard Market area in just over 20 minutes.

Staying in Gatineau is also significantly cheaper than in downtown Ottawa or the ByWard district. Also, the value for money tends to be higher north of the river.

Why this is a recommended area to stay in Ottawa, Ontario:

  • Budget hotels
  • Sights
  • Night life
  • 20 minute walk to Downtown Ottawa
  • Accommodation in this area

SEE ALSO: Where to stay in Mont-Tremblant, Canada


Centretown is located in Ottawa’s Upper Town, south of downtown and west of the Rideau Canal.

This beautiful historic part of the city is home to some of the best examples of Victorian-era residential architecture in Ottawa.

Centertown’s main commercial thoroughfares, Bank Street and Elgin Street offer restaurants, nightlife, and neighborhood shops. Meanwhile, most of the other streets are primarily residential, showing a mix of single-family homes and apartment buildings.

Centretown is home to some iconic Ottawa landmarks including the Canadian Museum of Nature, Dundonald Park, Jack Purcell Park, and the Ottawa Central Bus Station.

At the western end of Centretown, along Somerset Street, is Chinatown, Ottawa’s main Asian district, where you can find the best Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Thai restaurants in the city.

Centretown is not directly connected by the city’s light rail network, but the district is very easy to navigate on foot, and other neighborhoods can be reached via the many bus stops scattered around the area.

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Ottawa, Canada:

  • Chinatown
  • Quiet zone
  • Easy to get around on foot
  • Canadian Museum of Nature
  • Accommodation in this area

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Nepean is a district located 9 kilometers southwest of downtown Ottawa.

Until 2001, Nepean was an independent city, but it was absorbed by Ottawa to become one more district of the capital.

This area is especially known for its industrial estates and quiet suburban residential areas.

The main street in Nepean is Merivale Rd, a wide avenue that houses the main commercial and business centers and the industrial districts of the area.

This Ottawa district is a quiet alternative to the hustle and bustle of the aforementioned central neighborhoods and also has an abundance of parks, green areas, and natural areas such as Nepean Creek Park, Merivale Gardens Park, or Centrepointe Park.

Its relatively secluded location, miles from downtown Ottawa, means that Nepean is an excellent place to stay if you are looking for tranquility during your trip, and especially if you have a vehicle.

If you use public transport, getting from Nepean to the city center takes less than half an hour. Several bus lines connect this district directly to downtown Ottawa or to a light rail station.

Why is it a recommended area to sleep in Ottawa:

  • Business and Technology District
  • Area well connected by public transport
  • Stores and shopping centers
  • Accommodation in this area

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Kanata is located 22 kilometers west of downtown Ottawa and is considered one of the largest suburbs in the city.

This planned community is also a major high-tech business hub. Many Canadian and international tech companies are based in their many business centers.

Some area attractions include the Kanata Centrum shopping center and Scotiabank Place, a major venue for hockey games and concerts.

Because Kanata is relatively far from downtown Ottawa, this area is best enjoyed by car.

Driving from Kanata to downtown Ottawa takes about 20 minutes, traveling by public transport (bus + light rail) about 40.

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Ottawa, Canada:

  • Quiet zone
  • Kanata Centrum
  • Technology zone
  • Accommodation in this area


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Canada Immigration

What languages ​​are spoken in Canada



What languages ​​are spoken in Canada

Have you thought about living or traveling to Canada? If so, most likely one of your first questions is what languages ​​are spoken in Canada and how to prepare yourself to face the linguistic challenges that this great destination presents. 

In recent years, the Canadian immigration system has been recognized as one of the friendliest with students, professionals, and expatriates from different parts of the world, who come to Canada to meet their goals, start a new life and even learn a new language. 

However, one of the commonly requested requirements to enter the country successfully, for reasons beyond tourism, is to know at least one of the languages ​​spoken in Canada, so that you can guarantee a smooth social and cultural integration. 

What languages ​​are officially spoken in Canada? Are there minority languages? How do they differ from other languages ​​we already know? Are there other countries where they are useful? All these doubts will be answered below. 

SEE ALSO: Traveling to Canada with a Criminal Record

Official languages ​​spoken in Canada

Canada is known around the world for being an officially bilingual country, made up of two official languages: 


The Anglo-Saxon language is one of the two main languages ​​of the Canadian territory, being the mother tongue of more than 77% of the population and the language that around 86% of the inhabitants speak fluently. 

A very common question is whether the English spoken in Canada is different from English of British or American origin; However, its spelling is sometimes described as a mixture of both, the vocabulary is more similar to that of United States English, and the variations of the single-use lexicon in Canada are very specific depending on the context.


The next official language of Canada is, of course, French, established by statutory decree in July 1969. 

Today, French is the mother tongue of approximately 9 million Canadians, that is, 23% of the population of this country. Most of the Francophones live in the province of Quebec. 

Minority languages ​​of Canada

In addition to the official languages ​​that coexist in the country, there are a series of minority languages ​​that are spoken in the country thanks to the constant migratory movement that the nation has experienced for years. 

The minority languages ​​that are not officially recognized in Canada, but are still spoken daily by thousands of inhabitants of the Canadian territory are Spanish, Italian, German, Cantonese, Punjabi, Arabic, Dutch, and Tagalog. 

SEE ALSO: What is and what is the function of the CBSA?

In what other countries are the official languages ​​of Canada spoken?

Due to the colonizing past of countries such as France and the United Kingdom, those who master the two official languages ​​of Canada can communicate fluently in the official language of many countries on different continents. 

On the one hand, English, in addition to being a language spoken by more than 1.13 billion people in the world, has been called the official language in more than 70 countries around the world. Among these countries, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Singapore, the Philippines, among many others, always stand out (the list is very long!). 

On the French side, things are not far behind. The “language of love”, in addition to being the main language of France and Canada, maintains its official status in more than twenty nations and overseas territories.

Some territories where we can find French as an official language are: Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Monaco, Luxembourg, Republic of the Congo, Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Niger, Togo, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Benin, Gabon, Chad, Haiti, Rwanda, Comoros, Burundi, Republic of Djibouti, Vanuatu, French Polynesia, and French Guyana. 

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Canada Immigration

Traveling to Canada with a Criminal Record



Traveling to Canada with a Criminal Record

The requirements to travel to Canada with Mexican nationality changed in December 2016. All Mexican citizens wishing to visit Canada for a short stay must obtain the eTA before traveling.

The eTA is an electronic travel authorization. This automated system determines the eligibility of people who want to visit Canada. As a Mexican citizen, you can apply for the eTA online by completing a form and answering a series of security questions.

SEE ALSO: What is and what is the function of the CBSA?

Necessary requirements to apply for the eTA with Mexican nationality:

Applying for the Canadian eTA is quick and easy. Among the requirements to obtain the eTA, travelers need:

  • A valid passport
  • A debit or credit card
  • An email address

Once the application has been completed with all the data, the applicant can proceed to answer a series of questions about his criminal record. To finish the process, you have to pay the eTA fee.

Do I need a Criminal Record Certificate to travel to Canada?

The Criminal Record certificate is not required to travel to Canada as a tourist. However, if you want to work in Canada, you may need to obtain a Criminal Record Certificate. In Mexico, you can complete the procedure online by completing a Request for a Certificate or Report of No Criminal History.

On the other hand, if you have a criminal record it is very important that you do not deny it when you apply for the eTA. In the Canadian travel authorization questionnaire, you must answer honestly all questions, including those about your criminal record. No matter how minor the crime, you are required to declare it on the eTA permit form.

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Alternatives if eTA Canada is denied due to brush with the law

It is likely that having a criminal record the eTA will be denied as inadmissible in Canada. In this case, you can still apply for a visa through the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate.

Before the travel authorization system was implemented, travelers from visa-exempt countries did not have to go through any electronic checks. You also didn’t have to answer questions about a criminal record. Migration controls were made upon arrival in Canada. As a result, there are many people who were able to enter Canada with a criminal record and went unnoticed.

It is worth mentioning that not all criminal records are equally serious. Still, the eTA serves as a screening mechanism to weed out people who might be criminally inadmissible in Canada.

If you have had interactions with the criminal justice system, you could benefit from a legal opinion letter to be able to apply for a visa to Canada and travel without problems. The legal opinion letter is a document that explains that the person with a criminal record is a respectable person and that they are an admissible person.

In some cases it may happen that the eTA is denied, this will depend on the severity of the history of each person. In case the eTA is denied due to the applicant’s criminal record, a temporary residence permit can be applied for, which would allow legal entry into the country.

Lying when completing the eTA is not recommended as this could have very serious consequences. Not only would the eTA not be granted but it could damage future possibilities of traveling to the North American country.

SEE ALSO: How to travel by bicycle around the world staying for free

To process a Canadian visa with a criminal record it is important that:

  • Learn all the details of your conviction and the charge.
  • Gather as much information as possible about your conviction, including dates.
  • Complete the application correctly and with all the necessary documents.

Remember that the decision to grant you entry to Canada rests with the Canadian immigration agent who assists you upon arrival in the country. A serious criminal record can be a reason for denial of the Canadian eTA or entry into the country.

If you have a criminal record for crimes committed before the age of 18 you may still have the opportunity to be granted entry into Canada.

To be considered your application, despite having a criminal record, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Provide supporting documents that you comply with the legal terms to be considered rehabilitated :
    • More than 5 years have elapsed since the crime and also since his final sentence
    • Fully served his sentence
    • Not likely to incur new crimes
    • Had he committed the crime in Canada, he would have had a prison term of less than 10 years
  • Your request for rehabilitation was approved
  • You were granted a record suspension
  • You have a temporary residence permit

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If you have a Mexican passport and a criminal record, it is recommended that you apply for criminal rehabilitation before submitting your eTA Canada petition. Once your confirmation of rehabilitation has been approved, you will be able to apply for a Canada eTA.

Contact an embassy or consulate for updated information and requirements. Please note that these requests can take more than a year to process.

The eTA is not a visa, it is a travel authorization to visit Canada for a certain time. The eTA is not designed for people who want to live, study or work in Canada.

Once the eTA is requested, it will be electronically linked to the passport, which is why it is essential to travel with the document with which the application was made.

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Canada Immigration

Things Immigration Lawyers Won’t Tell You About Moving to Canada



Things Immigration Lawyers Won’t Tell You About Moving to Canada

Before I enlighten you about things immigration lawyers won’t tell you, I’d like to give you a hint of the duties of an immigration lawyer. They basically work with corporations and employers to assist with helping clients understand the steps taken before they can be employed in Canada.

Immigration Lawyers are not gods

One thing immigration lawyers won’t tell you is that they are capable of failing when it comes to moving clients to Canada. Some tend to be transparent about it but most immigration lawyers won’t come clean on this.

They appear to their clients as gods and create a great picture of them in their hearts. They actually make mistakes too and sometimes lose cases. Most clients are aware of this fact, but when meeting an immigration lawyer they tend to put all hope on them.

SEE ALSO: Canadian professionals and skilled workers program

Immigration Lawyers Have no Supreme Power Over Immigration Process

I’ve met people who think when meeting an immigration lawyer their problems are totally solved. If you have this mindset, I’ll advise you to unlearn it because immigration lawyers are no supreme body in the affairs of immigration.

They only stand-in for their clients in the process stage and convince corporations about employing their clients. Immigration lawyers won’t tell you they aren’t certain about the outcome but would assure you of total success in immigrating to Canada.

You can Process it Yourself Without the Assistance of an Immigration Lawyer

Most people know that they can actually do their immigration processing themselves. It is a known fact, but they hire immigration lawyers because of their professionalism in their field. They believe they can do more better than they are.

Immigration lawyers won’t tell you that there are some cases with a slim chance of achieving victory. They make their clients feel like they are capable of performing miracles and so encourage them to hit on the process.

Immigration Lawyers Won’t Tell You of Their Past Records

Some immigration lawyers have been disciplined for immoral conduct in the past but they would never tell you because you might want to look elsewhere. A major issue is that act misconduct taken by an immigration lawyer may ruin your case. Most people have gone through this experience because of a bad step taken by their lawyer.

Although some learn from their past mistakes, it is not 100% certain that he would not act in that light again. So, when going for a background check you should determine if you should work with or without the immigration lawyer.

SEE ALSO: Rural and northern communities program, and other ways to achieve permanent residency in Canada

Immigration Lawyers Won’t Tell You of the Case Load They Have on Deck

Some immigration lawyers can be extremely busy with a huge caseload on their hands. And oftentimes they do not reject cases but add more to their piles of work.

Immigration lawyers won’t tell you about this and it can cause a low commitment to your immigration process as they do not pay the necessary attention that ought to be paid to your immigration process. Every case ought to be given much attention in other to produce the best result.

While searching for an immigration lawyer ensure you take note of what to expect and also ask questions on the process in order to avoid getting an unexpected result.

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