Spotlight City: Ottawa, Canada

Ottawa is the capital and fourth-largest city of Canada, with a population of about 930,000. Ottawa stands as one of the world’s most multicultural and educated cities, and is notable for its low unemployment rate and high standard of living. Serving as the Canada’s political and technological centre, Ottawa is home to a number of institutions including the Supreme Court of Canada and Parliament Hill. The city is unique for being the only bilingual North American capital. Ottawa is one of the continent’s safest cities, with low general crime rates.

Threats and Risks to Travelers in Ottawa

Ottawa is a very safe city by international standards. Crime rates are among the lowest in North America. Incidents of violent crime are rare, and petty crime is uncommon. Travellers should exercise a regular degree of caution and take general precautions against petty crime, such as pickpocketing. Take extra caution with your belongings in crowded areas such as popular points of interest and on public transit, as petty crime is most likely to occur in these locations.

At night, be careful around the areas of Lowertown, Vanier, Bayshore, Ledbury, Heatherington, Caldwell and South Keys. These neighbourhoods are known to have gang presence and drug problems.

Best Practices for Personal Security in Ottawa

Assume normal precautions in Ottawa. Keep aware of your surroundings when travelling in crowded areas and be aware of personal space. Keep wallets in your front pocket and purses tucked underneath your arm. Don’t leave your belongings unattended in public.

If you plan on going out at night, try to stick to crowded areas. Avoid empty side alleys and walk with purpose at night to minimize your risk of encounter crime. Homelessness in Ottawa has been a fairly prominent issue, especially around Rideau Street. Although homeless people rarely pose a threat, be careful at night.

What to Do in an Emergency

In the event of an emergency, dial 911 to access emergency fire, medical and police services. Contact the embassy of your country in Canada as they may be able to provide further assistance. Most will have representation in Ottawa itself.

Enjoy Your Trip!

Ottawa’s reputation as a comfortable and serene Canadian city makes it the ideal location for a getaway trip. At the same time, the city can be dynamic, gregarious and highly cultured, providing all the variety needed to make each day something memorable. The city offers some of Canada’s most iconic attractions, including a plethora of national museums, the Rideau Canal, and of course Parliament Hill. It is a worthy destination to experience some of the best that Canada has to offer.

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