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ASU Ottawa AOR

Tibbson

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After many years of active resistance it looks like I will finely be assimilated into the Borg.  They want to post me to Ottawa next summer.  I'm at the point in my career where I am fine with that but I'm not too familiar with the Ottawa area.  Does anyone know, even roughly, the geographic boundaries for for those posted to Ottawa?  We are trying to do some initial snooping around for homes and areas to live. 
 

Ostrozac

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Canadian Forces Support Unit (Ottawa) has HUGE geographical boundaries. They go all the way to the border with the US.

"The boundaries of the NCR extend roughly from Brockville in the South to Kazabazua in the North and from Plantagenet in the East to Renfrew in the West."
http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/caf-community-bases-wings-cfsu-ottawa/index.page

If you need more detail (like a map) -- it's available on the DWAN. PM me with an email address and I'll fire you the details on Monday.
 

dapaterson

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Do you know where you will be posted within NDHQ - the Ottawa area is quite large, and buying at the wrong end of town can add an hour to your commute.

As well, with the planned move of much of the HQ out to the west end (the Nortel Campus), it's possible that your initial workplace may move.

Maybe the better question is: what sorts of things are you looking for in a house and what sort of amenities are important to you & your wife?  Some of us have been here for a while and may be able to give you a few hints / pointers.
 

Tibbson

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dapaterson said:
Do you know where you will be posted within NDHQ - the Ottawa area is quite large, and buying at the wrong end of town can add an hour to your commute.

As well, with the planned move of much of the HQ out to the west end (the Nortel Campus), it's possible that your initial workplace may move.

Maybe the better question is: what sorts of things are you looking for in a house and what sort of amenities are important to you & your wife?  Some of us have been here for a while and may be able to give you a few hints / pointers.

My unit actually has me working at a non-DND building downtown, in the Bank and Somerset area.  As it stands now I know we will most likely have to be outside of town proper.  We've got a large family and there is no way I can afford to buy a 4-5 bedroom house unless we are out a bit.  We've been poking around the Russell/Embrun area to the south and even the Clarence Rockland area to the east but I'm not inclined to look further afield then that unless someone recommends that its not too far out.  There just doesn't seem to be anything west in our price range ( < $350 k). 

If anyone has any other ideas on communities to watch for I'd appreciate it.  Distances and driving times are deceiving on Google Maps.  lol
 

my72jeep

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Tibbson said:
After many years of active resistance it looks like I will finely be assimilated into the Borg.  They want to post me to Ottawa next summer.  I'm at the point in my career where I am fine with that but I'm not too familiar with the Ottawa area.  Does anyone know, even roughly, the geographic boundaries for for those posted to Ottawa?  We are trying to do some initial snooping around for homes and areas to live.
Resistance is futile....... We are Borg prepare  to be assimilated.
 

AmmoTech90

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I would say West End.  For 350K you can get a nice place in the older part of Barrhaven, or Stittsville.  Richmond and Osgoode are also options.  You really have to look at the commute in stages if you're driving.  Downtown to Pinecrest/416 and on from there.

In the morning it takes me around 25 to 35 minutes to get right downtown at 0700, this is from exit 66 on the 416.  In the afternoon it takes me 35 to 45 minutes to get to the 416/417 split and 10 minutes from there to home.  If I take the Parkway it takes me around the same but less stop and go traffic once I'm on the Parkway.

You're looking at 45 to 55 minutes on the bus either way, maybe down to 35 to 40.

Bicycling from the west end of Barrhaven is around an hour, dropping as the summer progresses.

Embrum is a long drive.
 

dapaterson

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Traffic in from the east can be a real pain, and the 417 / 174 intersection is usually tied up badly.  I've know people living in Casselman, Kemptville, and even one foolish person living in Smiths Falls.  The latter is not recommended.

Would you consider Park n Ride?  For example, drop your car in Carp, then hop on an express bus for about half an hour?  Bus pass is probably about the same as parking, but a lot less wear & tear on your car (and much less gas).

For example, for $329K in Stittsville there's this 4 Bdr bungalow on a 150x100 lot:  Address: 29 BASSWOOD AVENUE, STITTSVILLE, MLS®: 890394  Basement is set up as a granny flat, but the kitchen could probably be re-purposed as a bar ;)





 

Occam

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I think those who are saying Russell and Embrun are a long drive might want to reconsider their opinion.

Back in August, we bought a 6 year old 2400 sq ft 4 BR house (plus an unfinished basement that screams "man cave") on a 65' x 125' lot in Limoges for $396,000.  It's one of the largest style of homes in the area, there are lots of homes that are smaller.  I drive to the Mat Campus (LStL II) in Gatineau, and it takes me 40 minutes; 50 minutes if I leave a little late.  That's straight up the 417, onto Aviation Pkwy, onto Rockcliffe Pkwy, and across the Cartier Bridge.  Same route home, same time.  If you're working downtown, there's a coach bus which meanders through multiple locations in Limoges, through downtown Ottawa and terminates at the Portage complex in Gatineau - cost is $245/month.  There's a similar service that runs between Russell/Embrun and Ottawa/Gatineau.

Russell/Embrun/Limoges are pretty nice little communities.  There's not much in Limoges (gas station, corner store, 2 pizza shops and a Chinese food joint), but Embrun is only 10 minutes away with a couple of grocery stores, drug stores, a couple of home improvement stores, and assorted smaller shops.  Crappy Tire is in Casselman, about 10-15 minutes towards Montreal on the 417.  If you plan your shopping trips wisely, Orleans is only 15 minutes away to the north taking the back roads, and there's everything you need there.

Moving from Orleans, the first thing that struck us was how quiet it is out this way.  No traffic noise, just the few passenger trains that travel Ottawa/Montreal.  We're 5 minutes from Calypso water park, and our six year old can't wait to get into it this summer.  My wife is a city girl and never thought she'd like it out here, but she's fallen in love with the neighbourhood.  The area is very French speaking but everyone seems happy to switch over to English for me, the anglophone.  The public elementary school (JK-6) serves Limoges and Embrun, and has only 245 students - and 100 odd of them are JK or SK.  Very small classes.

Let me know if you have any questions about the area.

Edit: rewording
 

RADOPSIGOPACCISOP

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If you are downtown now, then definitely bias towards the west end. Besides being better than the east end as far as amenities and places of employment for your wife, you'll also be better positioned when the downtown offices are absorbed into the Nortel Workplace. Barhaven, Neapen, Kanata Stitsville.

Also consider Aylmer on the Quebec side, it's very quick to travel to downtown, less traffic (bridges can still get bad) and the cost of housing is much less. Just be sure to have some hedges against the higher tax rates (having plenty of kids means you might avail of the super cheap childcare, and have plenty of deductions)
 

George Wallace

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RADOPSIGOPACISSOP said:
If you are downtown now, then definitely bias towards the west end. Besides being better than the east end as far as amenities and places of employment for your wife, you'll also be better positioned when the downtown offices are absorbed into the Nortel Workplace. Barhaven, Neapen, Kanata Stitsville.

The East end has just as many amenities and places of employment for Dependents as any other part of the city.  It also is better served than the majority of the city by OC Transpo (Which when looking at OC Transpo may be a mote point.)  Houses for the most part are $40K less in Orleans than a similar house in expensive Kanata and Barhaven. 



RADOPSIGOPACISSOP said:
Also consider Aylmer on the Quebec side, it's very quick to travel to downtown, less traffic (bridges can still get bad) and the cost of housing is much less. Just be sure to have some hedges against the higher tax rates (having plenty of kids means you might avail of the super cheap childcare, and have plenty of deductions)

Living on the Quebec side will allow you to buy a home very cheap, compared to Ontario prices.  You will have all your services and billing in French only.  Your Taxes will also be higher.  It is a balancing act as to which you will find to be cheaper to live; Quebec or Ontario sides.  Gatineau buses run to downtown Ottawa, but if you have to work outside of the downtown core, (which you don't at the moment) you will have to transfer onto OC Transpo.

Parking in downtown is expensive and sometimes hard to find.  Some people with downtown condos earn extra cash by renting out their parking spaces if they don't have vehicles.

Occam has pointed out some locations in the South East. 

If you are anticipating a move to the Moodie Drive 'Nortel Complex' in the future, and are looking for a place South of the city, a point to consider is that the 416 exit to Moodie Drive does not exist.  You will have to go all the way to Eagleson/March Road Exit and backtrack on Carling to get to work.  After work you will then get into gridlock at the Moodie entrance ramp to the 417 in order to get to the 416. 

Ottawa is building houses at a fast rate, creating sub-divisions that are sprawling in all directions.  Unfortunately, the city planners can not plan past yesterday and build the roads and transportation systems to move people to and from work and entertainment/sporting events.  You will find that transportation gridlock is going to be found in all parts of the city for the next half decade or more.
 

Tibbson

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RADOPSIGOPACISSOP said:
If you are downtown now, then definitely bias towards the west end. Besides being better than the east end as far as amenities and places of employment for your wife, you'll also be better positioned when the downtown offices are absorbed into the Nortel Workplace. Barhaven, Neapen, Kanata Stitsville.

Also consider Aylmer on the Quebec side, it's very quick to travel to downtown, less traffic (bridges can still get bad) and the cost of housing is much less. Just be sure to have some hedges against the higher tax rates (having plenty of kids means you might avail of the super cheap childcare, and have plenty of deductions)

Noted however my job will never be absorbed into the Nortel Workplace as it depends upon a partnership with a non-DND agency.  By the time they would want to post me from that position again I'll be long looking at retirement.  The Quebec side is not an option for us either.  Too many schooling issues for the kids not to mention language issues for us all. 
 

Old Sweat

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South of the city across the Rideau River is another option. The Municipality of North Grenville (Kemptville area) allows easy access via 416, has a wide variety of shopping from big box to Mom and Pop, lower taxes and housing prices, good schools and an excellent hospital with an ER that draws patients from Ottawa because of the low wait times. A quick look around the Remembrance Day ceremony reveals just how many military families live in the area, and you will probably see more Veteran plates in the parking lot at one of the four supermarkets then on a drive between Kingston and Toronto on 401. There also is a wide variety of family recreation things to do.
 

RADOPSIGOPACCISOP

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Tibbson said:
Noted however my job will never be absorbed into the Nortel Workplace as it depends upon a partnership with a non-DND agency.  By the time they would want to post me from that position again I'll be long looking at retirement.  The Quebec side is not an option for us either.  Too many schooling issues for the kids not to mention language issues for us all.

In that case probably consider the neighbourhoods more. West end is still newer, however keep in mind south end doesn't have the same end to end highways (as ineffective as they are) that east and west ends have. Unless you want to live close to the O Train, which will connect to the new LRT, which would be a quick way of getting back and forth to work.

Definitely consider proximity to transit as a major factor. Using the OC Transpo website to gauge time from potential home to work as parking in downtown Ottawa is punishingly expensive (~$220-250 a month)
 

Occam

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Schindler's lift said:
Noted however my job will never be absorbed into the Nortel Workplace as it depends upon a partnership with a non-DND agency.  By the time they would want to post me from that position again I'll be long looking at retirement.  The Quebec side is not an option for us either.  Too many schooling issues for the kids not to mention language issues for us all.

Just to expand on what I said earlier - you've mentioned language issues.  In the Limoges/Russell/Embrun area, there is a lot of French spoken - but as I mentioned, I've never had a problem yet with anyone switching to English for me.  It's a non-issue.  Even all our neighbours (many of whom grew up in this area) speak both languages fluently - and it's interesting to hear them switch back and forth as effortlessly as they do.  French immersion is available at the public elementary school here, as well as an English only program.  If you have teens, they're going to need a car (or access to yours) because most of the things they'll be interested in will only be found in the city.  For example, there are no theatres out this way.

We ruled out moving to Rockland and surrounding areas because of the current traffic congestion on Hwy 174, as well as what's yet to come.  There is a plan for a new 3000 home subdivision east of Trim Rd. in Orleans.  Despite this, the City of Ottawa seems to have no interest in widening Hwy 174 to accommodate the increase in traffic resulting from the housing boom in Rockland as well as the proposed development in Orleans.
 

RADOPSIGOPACCISOP

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Occam said:
Just to expand on what I said earlier - you've mentioned language issues.  In the Limoges/Russell/Embrun area, there is a lot of French spoken - but as I mentioned, I've never had a problem yet with anyone switching to English for me.  It's a non-issue.  Even all our neighbours (many of whom grew up in this area) speak both languages fluently - and it's interesting to hear them switch back and forth as effortlessly as they do.  French immersion is available at the public elementary school here, as well as an English only program.  If you have teens, they're going to need a car (or access to yours) because most of the things they'll be interested in will only be found in the city.  For example, there are no theatres out this way.

We ruled out moving to Rockland and surrounding areas because of the current traffic congestion on Hwy 174, as well as what's yet to come.  There is a plan for a new 3000 home subdivision east of Trim Rd. in Orleans.  Despite this, the City of Ottawa seems to have no interest in widening Hwy 174 to accommodate the increase in traffic resulting from the housing boom in Rockland as well as the proposed development in Orleans.

True, and it seems that the LRT isn't planned for much of a eastern expansion in the short/medium term. I would recommend being as close to the LRT line, or the current O Train line as possible. Property values near these lines are most likely to improve once it's up and running.
 
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