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Insider’s Guide to 2024: What’s Getting Pricier in Ottawa?

Ottawa, the capital of Canada, is a unique blend of cultural richness, green lung spaces, and an excellent place to put down roots. The city’s lifestyle is marked by its vibrant neighbourhoods, high-paying job opportunities with good work-life balance, outstanding healthcare facilities, and robust public transportation system.

However, Ottawa residents pay a slightly higher premium to call this charming city home. Though not as expensive as its other Ontarian neighbouring cities, Toronto or Mississauga, living expenses in Ottawa are a consideration for residents and potential movers.

Monthly Living Expenses for Residents

Let’s consider the average cost of living in Ottawa for a family of four. Excluding rent, monthly costs amount to approximately C$4,115, while for a single person, they are around C$1,151.

Housing expenses vary, but according to CREA, the average price of homes sold in March 2024 was $682,078. Additional monthly costs include utilities, groceries, Transportation expenses and leisure activities.

Now, let us see what is getting pricier in Ottawa this year.

OC Transpo Fares

Starting January 1, 2024, OC Transpo riders will see a 2.5% fare increase across most ticket types.

The city council approved this adjustment as part of its 2024 Budget, aiming to support the transit system’s operational costs, including buses, fuel, employee wages, and infrastructure improvements.

This fare adjustment aligns with the city’s broader financial strategies, including a 2.5% cap on property tax increases. It ensures that OC Transpo continues to provide reliable and efficient service while addressing its economic challenges.

City of Ottawa Services

Ottawa’s growth and development require a comprehensive approach, ensuring that the infrastructure and municipal services keep pace with the demands of a growing population.

Property taxes, water rates, and garbage collection fees are up by 2.5%, with an additional $105 on average for property tax bills and a $15 increase for garbage and recycling collection.

Meanwhile, recreation fees for city facilities will see a 2.5% increase, affecting memberships and program registrations.

Parking rates will also surge, with annual residential parking permits jumping to $750 and the maximum on-street parking rate increasing to $4.50.

Various permits, including municipal addressing, pool enclosures, and sign permits, incur construction and demolition fees. In Ottawa, the development charge rates will be adjusted by 7.3 to 7.8 percent on October 1, 2024.

It’s crucial to note that all fees are non-refundable and subject to change without notice. A 50% surcharge applies if construction begins before permit issuance, capped at $10,000.

Hydro Rates

Among the several cost hikes Ottawa residents will face in 2024 is the increase in Hydro Ottawa’s monthly distribution rate, amounting to $4.92 for residential customers consuming 750 kWh per hour.

Rental Rates

Renters in Ottawa are facing a maximum rent increase of 2.5% this year. However, this guideline doesn’t apply to new buildings or most new basement apartments occupied for residential purposes after November 15, 2018.

Despite the introduction of new rental housing in 2023, demand continues to outstrip supply. This imbalance has resulted in a general increase in rental costs, with the average rent in Ottawa rising by 5.2% to C$2,198.

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