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woodscommaelle

Morning Commute Times

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Hello,

Was wondering if someone could help me with some info re: commute times. I’m currently looking for housing and one of my considerations is getting to campus on time. I feel pretty familiar with the city’s different neighborhoods—I spent a week exploring and driving around specifically to get a handle on the vibe different areas; however, I did not have an opportunity to drive around during morning rush hour to test out commute times. I will be purchasing a home and I drive. I don’t mind a 20-25 min commute (from my door to foot in FTX). I like having space, so I’m not really looking at the newer 400 sqft jr bedroom style units closer to downtown proper nor having roommates.

1.       What is the typical start time for classes? 9AM? Was having trouble finding a sample 1L timetable from previous years.

2.       How accurate would you say the Google Maps estimated commute times are for both car and bus at it relates to Ottawa?

3.       Does anyone have any experience with parking on campus? I know they have lots and am prepared to pay the fees, but has anyone run into issues finding parking? It would be annoying to have a reasonable commute time only to be ruined by driving around for another 10-15 mins looking for a spot.

4.       I’ve done my research re: home ownership considerations and the market for QC (Hull/Gat) vs Ottawa. Based on my interest and lifestyle, I have no issue with living on the QC side provided I can find a middle to upper mid class area. But I am concerned about commuting in the morning over the bridges. If you’ve done the Hull or Gat to Ottawa commute, how long did it take you to get to class door-to-door in the morning? Any significant differences between snow months vs non-snow months? Same commute questions for anyone who has experience with living in Orleans.

5.       Does anyone commute from Westboro area?

I’m still considering housing in the Sandy Hill and West Overbrook area since those are walkable, but want to make sure I consider all options, including commuter and public transit areas.

Thanks!

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I can't answer all your questions, but I can certainly throw in my $0.02 if it helps. Experience: I live west of downtown and work on the east end, so I'm fairly familiar with the Queensway during rush hour.

Quote

2. How accurate would you say the Google Maps estimated commute times are for both car and bus at it relates to Ottawa?

TL;DR: In general, GM is fairly accurate.

I don't use it very often in the morning, as the Queensway is always my best option and never takes more than 20 minutes. However, in the afternoon I always check it before I leave work as the Queensway can get messy (sometimes a 45 minute drive home) and other routes become more efficient. I would say Google is good at realizing when the Queensway is bad, but underestimates my actual ETA to home by about 5 minutes or so when the traffic is really bad.

1 hour ago, woodscommaelle said:

3.       Does anyone have any experience with parking on campus?

I do not. However, I'm interested in the answer to this as well. I'm thinking about buying a bike for getting to class, but that's going to get old around the end of October.

1 hour ago, woodscommaelle said:

4. If you’ve done the Hull or Gat to Ottawa commute, how long did it take you to get to class door-to-door in the morning? Any significant differences between snow months vs non-snow months? Same commute questions for anyone who has experience with living in Orleans.

I lived in the Market for a couple years while working in Hull, so I've done the reverse. I always found my commute (across the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge) was great, since I was going against flow. Traffic always looked like junk going into Ottawa in the morning and back to Quebec in the evening. If you plan on living on the Quebec side, you might want to give this article a read: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ottawa-gatineau-bridge-construction-closed-1.5044685

As for Orleans, I've never lived there, but in my current job I drive east in the morning and see how packed the Queensways is with all the commuters heading west from Orleans. Most mornings it looks like a complete nightmare, especially where the 174 merges with the 417.

Not sure if I have any pro-tips about winter vs non-winter driving. I'm not sure where you're moving here from, but Ottawa gets a pretty serious winter. Once the snow hits the ground in Oct/Nov, it just accumulates until the snowbanks are six feet high by the middle of March. Major arteries are well-cleared, but side streets get kind of ridiculous. You definitely will want to budget and extra 10 minutes or so for the winter commute, depending on the weather.

1 hour ago, woodscommaelle said:

5.       Does anyone commute from Westboro area?

Pretty close. OC Transpo is the way to go, but you'll want to use their app every morning to track your bus in real-time, as the buses don't really stick to the schedule that well (at least on the route I used to take...) You also might want to catch the bus *before* the one you think you need to take, as they can get pretty behind schedule. It's pretty rare, but on a couple occasions my bus was a complete no-show, which is a great way to start your morning.

Does anyone know if uOttawa includes a bus pass as part of tuition/fees? That'll probably be my main way of getting to class.

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2 hours ago, woodscommaelle said:

Hello,

Was wondering if someone could help me with some info re: commute times. I’m currently looking for housing and one of my considerations is getting to campus on time. I feel pretty familiar with the city’s different neighborhoods—I spent a week exploring and driving around specifically to get a handle on the vibe different areas; however, I did not have an opportunity to drive around during morning rush hour to test out commute times. I will be purchasing a home and I drive. I don’t mind a 20-25 min commute (from my door to foot in FTX). I like having space, so I’m not really looking at the newer 400 sqft jr bedroom style units closer to downtown proper nor having roommates.

1.       What is the typical start time for classes? 9AM? Was having trouble finding a sample 1L timetable from previous years.

earliest start time for 1L classes is 8:30, and I personally had 8:30 classes 4 days out of the week!

2 hours ago, woodscommaelle said:

2.       How accurate would you say the Google Maps estimated commute times are for both car and bus at it relates to Ottawa?

google maps is usually inaccurate i found. i drive into school everyday, and i would usually have to add at least an extra 10-15 minutes to what the GPS said, and even more when there was more traffic.

3.       Does anyone have any experience with parking on campus? I know they have lots and am prepared to pay the fees, but has anyone run into issues finding parking? It would be annoying to have a reasonable commute time only to be ruined by driving around for another 10-15 mins looking for a spot.

I park on campus! never had any issues parking other than that it’s busy near the university and is sometimes congested with people walking and OC transpo.

4.       I’ve done my research re: home ownership considerations and the market for QC (Hull/Gat) vs Ottawa. Based on my interest and lifestyle, I have no issue with living on the QC side provided I can find a middle to upper mid class area. But I am concerned about commuting in the morning over the bridges. If you’ve done the Hull or Gat to Ottawa commute, how long did it take you to get to class door-to-door in the morning? Any significant differences between snow months vs non-snow months? Same commute questions for anyone who has experience with living in Orleans.

commute to and from QC is insane and would not recommend unless you can go on foot/bike across the bridge or can fully avoid rush hour times (which wouldn’t happen with 8:30 classes) 

5.       Does anyone commute from Westboro area?

I’m still considering housing in the Sandy Hill and West Overbrook area since those are walkable, but want to make sure I consider all options, including commuter and public transit areas.

Thanks!

westboro commute is about 20-25 minutes, but depending on where you are bus stops may be quite a 10-15 min walk plus the 20-25 min commute time! 

hope this helps 

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10 hours ago, CaptainHolt said:

I can't answer all your questions, but I can certainly throw in my $0.02 if it helps. Experience: I live west of downtown and work on the east end, so I'm fairly familiar with the Queensway during rush hour.

TL;DR: In general, GM is fairly accurate.

I don't use it very often in the morning, as the Queensway is always my best option and never takes more than 20 minutes. However, in the afternoon I always check it before I leave work as the Queensway can get messy (sometimes a 45 minute drive home) and other routes become more efficient. I would say Google is good at realizing when the Queensway is bad, but underestimates my actual ETA to home by about 5 minutes or so when the traffic is really bad.

I do not. However, I'm interested in the answer to this as well. I'm thinking about buying a bike for getting to class, but that's going to get old around the end of October.

I lived in the Market for a couple years while working in Hull, so I've done the reverse. I always found my commute (across the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge) was great, since I was going against flow. Traffic always looked like junk going into Ottawa in the morning and back to Quebec in the evening. If you plan on living on the Quebec side, you might want to give this article a read: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ottawa-gatineau-bridge-construction-closed-1.5044685

As for Orleans, I've never lived there, but in my current job I drive east in the morning and see how packed the Queensways is with all the commuters heading west from Orleans. Most mornings it looks like a complete nightmare, especially where the 174 merges with the 417.

Not sure if I have any pro-tips about winter vs non-winter driving. I'm not sure where you're moving here from, but Ottawa gets a pretty serious winter. Once the snow hits the ground in Oct/Nov, it just accumulates until the snowbanks are six feet high by the middle of March. Major arteries are well-cleared, but side streets get kind of ridiculous. You definitely will want to budget and extra 10 minutes or so for the winter commute, depending on the weather.

Pretty close. OC Transpo is the way to go, but you'll want to use their app every morning to track your bus in real-time, as the buses don't really stick to the schedule that well (at least on the route I used to take...) You also might want to catch the bus *before* the one you think you need to take, as they can get pretty behind schedule. It's pretty rare, but on a couple occasions my bus was a complete no-show, which is a great way to start your morning.

Does anyone know if uOttawa includes a bus pass as part of tuition/fees? That'll probably be my main way of getting to class.

Thanks pal. When I was driving around, I was thinking to myself, "how can these bridges and Nicholas St areas NOT be a cluster fudge in the mornings?"... Those spots seem ripe for bumper to bumper traffic during the morning commute. I was thinking that the Google Maps drive times might be underestimating as it says I can get to FTX Hall by 8:15am from places like Orleans and South Hull/Gat in like 25 mins-- it just doesn't seem like that'd be the norm with the way the city is set up.

 CaptainHolt, the U-Pass is included in our student fees (https://www.uottawa.ca/uottawacard/upass).

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Being someone who has spent ~4 years commuting from the west end to downtown by both car and bus, I can offer some insights.

1.       What is the typical start time for classes? 9AM? -- Unsure, as I'm not a student.

2.       How accurate would you say the Google Maps estimated commute times are for both car and bus at it relates to Ottawa? -- Incredibly accurate for both driving and bus. Note that there are times where OC Transpo will have issues (e.g., bus having problems, double decker crashing in to a bus station, etc.) and that can throw off your arrival time. Presumably this happens in any city so I wouldn't worry. If you bus, I'd like to reiterate the above-mentioned point about using the OC Transpo app to know exactly when your bus will arrive, especially when it means you spend less time outside during our winters.

3.       Does anyone have any experience with parking on campus? -- I find it over-priced. The better option, in my opinion, is to scan through Kijiji or the various relevant Facebook groups and find somewhere in Sandy Hill where you can rent a parking spot. It'll mean walking a bit more but I think it's worth it.

4.        If you’ve done the Hull or Gat to Ottawa commute, how long did it take you to get to class door-to-door in the morning? Any significant differences between snow months vs non-snow months? Same commute questions for anyone who has experience with living in Orleans. -- The bridges are a nightmare at the moment, leading to backups well in to the city during rush hour. While this is supposed to be temporary, your faith in this should depend on your faith in government construction projects hitting their estimated deadlines (see: this link). 

5.       Does anyone commute from Westboro area? -- No, but I've commuted from somewhere a bit past there. Both the Queensway and the parkway are good options. If you leave before 7:15 you should be able to avoid rush hour on the parkway and depending on your schedule, this shouldn't be an issue. I'd also like to add that this is a fantastic part of the city.

Hope this helps! Feel free to PM me with any questions. 

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On 5/31/2019 at 9:16 PM, woodscommaelle said:

 

2.       How accurate would you say the Google Maps estimated commute times are for both car and bus at it relates to Ottawa?

I believe based on this link: https://www.uottawa.ca/parking/parking-services/purchase-permit/students-location that UOttawa sells a pre-set amount of passes per parking location and so parking could be hard to find each day, but it also depends on your previous parking experience. My undergrad school had no parking pass limit on what they would sell, and anyone that was not faculty could park in the same lots as everyone else so parking was an absolute nightmare. I'm talking I once got there over an hour early, circled 5 different lots, and still couldn't find a spot I could park in so I had to use a metered spot so I could go to class. So you might have to circle for a couple of minutes to find a spot when you get there in the morning (but I am a 0L so I've never personally had to park on campus) but depending on your previous experience with parking it could be much better or much worse than it was at any previous location.

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Posted (edited)

GM estimates are pretty good. OCTranspo, is generally fairly unreliable and it is common to hear of buses never coming/arriving late. I have experience parking on campus (I am assuming you are talking about payed parking and not just parking in Sandy Hill which is limited to 3h so you have to constantly move your vehicle). Parking on campus is great and is guaranteed if you purchase a pass. I would recommend Brooks for the proximity to Fauteaux. Bridges are known areas of congestion, especially around rush hour (particularly now since one of the bridges is closed and so inter-provincial commutes are a nightmare) - Its the price to pay for cheaper rent. Westboro, while hip and trendy will likely have pretty high rents and has decent bus service (it might end up being a combination of bus and train). 

I hope this helps :)

Edited by throwaway1001
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26 minutes ago, throwaway1001 said:

GM estimates are pretty good. OCTranspo, is generally fairly unreliable and it is common to hear of buses never coming/arriving late. I have experience parking on campus (I am assuming you are talking about payed parking and not just parking in Sandy Hill which is limited to 3h so you have to constantly move your vehicle). Parking on campus is great and is guaranteed if you purchase a pass. I would recommend Brooks for the proximity to Fauteaux. Bridges are known areas of congestion, especially around rush hour (particularly now since one of the bridges is closed and so inter-provincial commutes are a nightmare) - Its the price to pay for cheaper rent. Westboro, while hip and trendy will likely have pretty high rents and has decent bus service (it might end up being a combination of bus and train). 

I hope this helps :)

Hey yeah I was referring to the paid parking. Moving my car ever 3 hours in Sandy Hill would be too much of a hassle. Thanks for the recommendation re: Brooks. It'd be nice to live w/in walking distance condo prices near campus are mostly out of my price range so I think I've accepted the fact I'll have to commute in from somewhere in the East.

Anyone have any experience with Blackburn Hamlet?

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On 4/20/2019 at 4:02 PM, thedraper said:

Where is this financial questionnaire form? And once it's done, where do I submit it?

 

Where is the option to submit this mini essay?

The whole bursary system at Ottawa seems upside down to me.

My ex used to live there when she went to law school. I can imagine traffic being a bummer but its certainly doable :)

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On 6/2/2019 at 11:29 AM, woodscommaelle said:

Hey yeah I was referring to the paid parking. Moving my car ever 3 hours in Sandy Hill would be too much of a hassle.

Sandy Hill is only 1-hour parking.

I have lived in Hull my entire stint (3L now). My commute by bus is max 25 min door-to-door. 

I would highly recommend not parking on campus. The passes are exorbitant and you will probably not find a spot during rush hours. Parking in Ottawa in general is ridiculous for the kind of city it is.

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Posted (edited)

 

3 hours ago, MustangSally said:

Sandy Hill is only 1-hour parking.

I have lived in Hull my entire stint (3L now). My commute by bus is max 25 min door-to-door. 

I would highly recommend not parking on campus. The passes are exorbitant and you will probably not find a spot during rush hours. Parking in Ottawa in general is ridiculous for the kind of city it is.

If you go deeper into sandy hill, you can find unmarked areas which are 3 hours - you still need to move your car which is annoying. Hoping the bridge issues are fixed by September. I've parked on campus (SCS) for a couple years now (employee) and I've never had any issues. I bought a parking at Brooks for this year. I hope its the same experience I've come to know. 

OP, Bus is honestly a crap shot. OC Transpo is notorious for being unreliable and its not uncommon for buses to be extremely late, double-up or simply not show-up. If you live on Transitway, this can be greatly mitigated.

In regards to finding a spot in Sandy Hill, parking spots are a rare commodity. I've seen a few ads for spots, generally going for 100/month which comes out a bit cheaper then getting one at uOttawa (minus the convenience of a 10-15 walk depending on the distance). Keep an eye out for those as they will likely get snagged early!

Best of luck!

Edited by throwaway1001
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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, throwaway1001 said:

 

If you go deeper into sandy hill, you can find unmarked areas which are 3 hours - you still need to move your car which is annoying. Hoping the bridge issues are fixed by September. I've parked on campus (SCS) for a couple years now (employee) and I've never had any issues. I bought a parking at Brooks for this year. I hope its the same experience I've come to know. 

OP, Bus is honestly a crap shot. OC Transpo is notorious for being unreliable and its not uncommon for buses to be extremely late, double-up or simply not show-up. If you live on Transitway, this can be greatly mitigated.

In regards to finding a spot in Sandy Hill, parking spots are a rare commodity. I've seen a few ads for spots, generally going for 100/month which comes out a bit cheaper then getting one at uOttawa (minus the convenience of a 10-15 walk depending on the distance). Keep an eye out for those as they will likely get snagged early!

Best of luck!

Haven't seen these, so they must be pretty far out and thus too inconvenient to commute every day. Another option is going down to the end of King Eddy and parking in the residential area just past the highway overpass. There are a few areas there that are uncharacteristically unlimited. 10 min walk to FTX if you book it a bit, but again spaces are limited.

Forgive me, but isn't Perez lot designated for employees? I would hate to learn that staff are eating into the already limited Brooks lot. 

OC Transpo has been hit or miss for me as well, although I find STO to be generally reliable, if annoyingly spaced out sometimes (i.e. buses following each other down the route and then a big gap before the next bus). 

Edited by MustangSally

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, MustangSally said:

Haven't seen these, so they must be pretty far out and thus too inconvenient to commute every day. Another option is going down to the end of King Eddy and parking in the residential area just past the highway overpass. There are a few areas there that are uncharacteristically unlimited. 10 min walk to FTX if you book it a bit, but again spaces are limited.

Forgive me, but isn't Perez lot designated for employees? I would hate to learn that staff are eating into the already limited Brooks lot. 

OC Transpo has been hit or miss for me as well, although I find STO to be generally reliable, if annoyingly spaced out sometimes (i.e. buses following each other down the route and then a big gap before the next bus). 

They are generally people who don't own cars and so I imagine they rent their driveways for extra cash. Its not a common occurrence by any means, but I've seen it happen.

I just checked for you and all the student spots in Brooks and Perez are sold out! Student spots go very quickly but they keep additional spots open for employees. The only ones left are Soloway and Mann. 

Edited by throwaway1001

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On 7/12/2019 at 8:46 PM, throwaway1001 said:

They are generally people who don't own cars and so I imagine they rent their driveways for extra cash. Its not a common occurrence by any means, but I've seen it happen.

I just checked for you and all the student spots in Brooks and Perez are sold out! Student spots go very quickly but they keep additional spots open for employees. The only ones left are Soloway and Mann. 

Yeah, this is my basic point: parking at the school is almost not even worth the effort. The permits are gone before you can even start thinking about it and it is just too expensive, especially when we get subsidized U-passes. 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, MustangSally said:

Yeah, this is my basic point: parking at the school is almost not even worth the effort. The permits are gone before you can even start thinking about it and it is just too expensive, especially when we get subsidized U-passes

There is a high demand! That is why those who are interested should inform themselves at the earliest. I asked them well before and they told me when the passes would come online during the end of May and I had no problem purchasing one when it become available for those first couple weeks (that was back in May) :)

Edited by throwaway1001

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