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Goodbye, Ottawa!

Breakups are always hard, but when your city is no longer working for you it's time to say au revior!

Dear Ottawa,

We’re breaking up. Despite the beautiful weather in the spring and summer, the simplicity of being in a big city with the feel of a smaller town, and local festivals, unfortunately, it’s just not enough. There are just too many reasons why we are no longer a good match including the cold, the real estate and dating scene. So why exactly are we breaking up, Ottawa? Let me explain why.

Boring, isolated and cold

Ottawa is the most boring city, according to Laughology’s Boring Awards. These six simple words seem to sum up our nation’s capital and offer a glimpse into why people are leaving the city by the canal.

The city’s tedious nature is compounded by the isolating nature of how people work and live. While you’re hustling and bustling during the week, you’re dead on the weekends and despite some cool and unique restaurants and shops, it’s not enough. Instead, most people stay in their suburban environments, which gives the city’s downtown core an eerie ghost-like feeling after hours or on the weekends. It’s worse when the winter comes.

As Artsci10, an Ottawa native says, “Ottawa was much colder, rainier, and snowier than any place I had lived before.”

Those few short weeks in the fall of perfect weather just don’t cut it.

“It’s not that people are unfriendly, it’s that people that have been here a while are already busy with their own lives,” explains another Ottawa resident in a Reddit forum.

It’s hard to date in this city

The lack of interaction can make dating a chore. What doesn’t help is the small town attitude. Chances are you’ve probably heard about your date even before you actually go out. Even dating apps won’t help you to find the love of your life. As Courtney points out, “if you’re single and lonely, don’t even bother signing up for Tinder. It will make you way less confident in the opposite sex – trust me.”

Part of the problem is that much of the population is already in a committed relationship.

As a local Ottawa resident explains, “due to the stability of the workforce, people tend to get involved in serious relationships (and I’m talking babies and marriage, etc.) very early on in their lives (like in their mid-20s) compared to other large Canadian cities. So they’ll be busy with that already and they won’t have time for social stuff.”

Unreliable transit routes

For those relying on public transit will soon find that Ottawa isn’t the best for mass transit. Going from downtown to any nearby suburb is a pain. Not only is the public transportation system almost nonexistent but it takes forever to get to your final destination. As Ottawa Citizen columnist, Randall Denley, point out it’s just not worth it. “The slow and unreliable bus transit will still be a second-rate service.”

According to an online forum on TripAdvisor, Filmgal points out: “I really don’t find it that much easier to get around Ottawa, especially during off-peak times where the wait for a bus can be over 30 minutes.”

Think you should skip the bus and drive, instead? That will only lead to frustration. Signage is awful on both highways and bypasses plus there’s always traffic no matter the time or day.

No work required

As the Urban Dictionary explains, Ottawa is home to the federal government “and a great place if you want a job that doesn’t require you to do any work.”

This also means you’ll run into a lot of unsatisfied bureaucrats whose cynical outlook on life can affect your attitude. And good luck if you want to interact with those who aren’t burnt out. Everyone is caught up in their own lives and aren’t looking to expand outside of their current social network.

The good news is that you’ll have more time to do the things you love—outside of the city. While there are plenty of good go-to bars and restaurants in Ottawa there aren’t many musical acts booking gigs in this city. “You’ll soon accept that if you want to attend a concert, you’ll have to make a road trip out of it. Because no good artists ever decide to come to Ottawa,” explains Courtney Lundy.

So, if you’re one of the many ex-Ottawa residents who left for greener pastures, rest assured you’re not the only one who decided it was time to move on.

Jennifer Finney
Jennifer Finney

Jennifer Finney is a passionate, determined, and outgoing writer who hopes that her writing will inspire and help others.