Ottawa Transport

Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?

You have the option of driving your own vehicle—as long as you have a valid driver's license, accompanied by vehicle insurance. Driving in Ottawa is relatively user-friendly but keep in mind that there is limited parking in the downtown core, and there is usually a parking fee. The public transit system in Ottawa is excellent and efficient.
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How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?

In Ontario there are 12 different kinds of licenses. Each one qualifies you to drive a different type of vehicle. The class of license you have must match your vehicle type, from delivery truck to car. An Ontario driver’s licence is your proof of your privilege to drive. You must carry it with you whenever you drive. You can obtain this at the local Ministry of Transportation.

As a new resident of Ontario with a valid driver’s licence from another province or country, you are allowed to use your licence for 60 days in Ontario. If you wish to continue to drive after 60 days, you must obtain an Ontario driver’s licence.
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What side of the road do people drive on?

People drive on the right-hand side of the road.
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Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city.

Public transportation in Ottawa is serviced by OC Transpo. Almost 1000 buses service the Ottawa region including the surrounding rural areas, and even to Gatineau which is the neighboring city in the province of Quebec. The buses are very efficient and have special lanes on the highway that only they can use.
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Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.

Visit the OC Transpo website to view a travel plan guide from Ottawa to over 2000 Landmarks.
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In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of?

While transit is very safe in Ottawa it is always best to be aware of your surroundings, and to keep an eye on your valuables. If ever you feel threatened, ill or lost, speak to the operator who will radio for help. After 9 p.m. you may ask the driver to stop along the route at a place other than your stop.
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Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?

If you pay cash to ride OC Transpo, have the exact fare ready; drivers will not provide change. It is cheaper and more convenient to buy tickets or a pass than to pay for every trip. You can buy these at any bus station or a store displaying the Ticket Agent sign.
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