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As inflation continues to kick the cost of living up, it makes sense to look for cheap apartments for rent in Ottawa. Especially, to help offset all the bills you have to cover every month.

Ottawa is one of the most expensive cities in Canada in terms of cost of living. Housing including renting, is, well, worrisome.

Every rent payment you make feels like you’re just helping someone else pay their mortgage and build their equity. And covering rent is no easy feat, especially with soaring rent prices these days. Right now, housing affordability is a crisis largely as a result of low supply not meeting the high demand.

Luckily, there are still some ways to find rent below the current average to help keep your costs low and leave more money in your wallet.

Where Are The Cheap Apartments For Rent In Ottawa? 

If you’re on the hunt for cheap apartments for rent in Ottawa, the following areas are some of the cheapest neighbourhoods. 

NeighbourhoodLocation Description Average Rent Price For A 1-Bedroom
VanierEast of downtown Ottawa, east of the Rideau River$1,450
RiverviewSoutheast of downtown Ottawa, next to the Rideau River$1,639
Sandy HillEast of downtown Ottawa, west of the Rideau River $1,725
WestboroWest of downtown Ottawa, south of the Ottawa River$1,725
Alta VistaSoutheast of downtown Ottawa$1,875
The GlebeSouth of downtown Ottawa, bordered on the east and south by the Rideau Canal$1,825
Average rent prices are based on and may vary.

How To Find Cheap Apartments For Rent In Ottawa

There are tons of websites that are designed to help prospective renters find their next home. Just choose a few filters to narrow your search, and these virtual platforms will quickly populate a list of affordable rentals that match your criteria:



Kijiji helps people across Canada make the jump from traditional paper classified ads to digital. You can use Kijiji to find just about everything you’re looking for, including cheap apartments for rent in Ottawa. 

Simply enter your city of choice in the search bar, and Kijiji will generate a list of units in the area. You can also choose from a variety of filters to narrow down the results and turn on notifications to get notified when new listings that match your criteria come up. Kijiji also posts how old listings are, and the number of people that visited the listings so you can gauge the competition. 



Padmapper pools all available rentals across a myriad of cities in Canada, including Ottawa. You can use various search tools to select the price range you can afford, along with several other filters to help you find the perfect rental. Padmapper will even provide you with a list of the top neighbourhoods in Ottawa and how many rentals in each area are listed right now, all plotted on a map. 

There are also clickable links that take you right to specific rental types, such as low-budget apartments, rentals with utilities included, and pet-friendly apartments. You can also search for a place on the fly with the Padmapper mobile app, and sign up to be notified when apartments similar to those you’ve already shown interest in become available.



Zumper is an end-to-end rental marketplace that connects tenants with landlords. Simply type in the city you’re looking in, and narrow down the rentals by choosing from a list of filters. You can also use the interactive map to choose the specific areas you’re most interested in. If you find a place you love, you can apply directly from the Zumper website. is an apartment rental website that covers cities across Canada. The online platform offers search tools that help you tailor your search for cheap apartments for rent in Ottawa by price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, property type, and other filters.

You can use the map-based interface to find available rentals in and around Ottawa and hone in on the specific areas that appeal to you most. also offers a mobile app you can use to search for affordable Ottawa rentals on your phone.

What’s The Average Rent In Ottawa?

According to, there are just under 1,000 apartments for rent available in Ottawa, as of early 2023. The most common rentals in Ottawa are 1-bedroom apartments, while 4-bedroom units are not as popular. 

Right now, the average rent price apartments in Ottawa are as follows:

Average RentYear-Over-Year ChangeNumber of Listings

What If You Can’t Pay Your Rent In Ottawa?

It can be tough to come up with $1,705 per month for rent, which is currently the average rent price for a 1-bedroom apartment in Ottawa. With all the other expenses you have to cover each month, you might find yourself coming up short on rent.  

If you can’t pay your rent on time, your landlord may send you a notice of eviction. If you think you’re at risk of being unable to cover your next rent payment, consider one of the following options:

Speak To Your Landlord

The first thing you should do before you miss a rent payment is talk to your landlord. If you’ve been a good tenant, your landlord may be more obliged to help you. Depending on how generous your landlord is, they may defer your rent payment by a couple of months or they may reduce your rent payments. 

In general, the earlier you speak with your landlord before the rent due date, the better. If your financial woes will likely carry on for a long time, you’ll need to come up with another solution, as your landlord probably won’t accept late rent payments every month.

Spread Costs With A Personal Loan

If you need financial help for a longer period of time, consider applying for a personal loan. While it may add more debt to the books, it can help spread your cost and prevent a possible eviction. 

A personal loan can give you quick access to funds, which can be used to cover your rent and even consolidate your debts.

How To Get A Personal Loan For Rent?

The fastest and easiest personal loans to apply for are from online lenders. Their loan application and approval process is relatively easy compared to traditional lenders, and you can get your hands on the money within a day or two. This can come in really handy if your rent payment is due soon. 

While online lenders generally have higher rates than banks, you can get an affordable rate if your credit score is good. 

Pay With A Credit Card

Landlords typically accept rent payments in the form of a written cheque, direct deposit, or even cash. It’s not often that landlords accept credit card payments from tenants.

But paying with a credit card can help you cover your rent by paying on credit, without having to come up with the money by the due date. This can buy you some time to collect the funds needed to pay your credit card bill. In the meantime, your rent is paid. 

While landlords might not accept credit card payments as a form of payment, there are third-party services and rent pay platforms, such as Plastiq and RentMoola. These platforms will collect your credit card payments and then deposit the funds into your landlord’s account. 

Should You Use A Credit Card To Pay Rent? 

A credit card can be a good option if your financial troubles are temporary. Moreover, you can benefit from earning cash back rewards and building good credit with on-time credit card bill payments. 

To avoid any rent dilemma, you may want to start looking for cheap apartments for rent in Ottawa to keep your rent within a comfortable range and avoid these financial issues in the future. 

How To End A Lease In Ottawa

If you want to terminate your lease in Ottawa, you must provide your landlord with at least 60 days written notice of your intention to end your tenancy. This applies to 12-month and month-to-month leases. Otherwise, your tenancy will continue, which means you’ll be required to continue paying rent.

If you’re on a daily or weekly tenancy, you need to notify your landlord at least 28 days in advance of moving out. 

Find Cheap Apartments For Rent Across Canada

How To Qualify For Cheap Apartments For Rent In Ottawa

Regardless of the going rent price for apartments in Ottawa, there are things you can do to qualify for the best prices on rentals in the city.

Boost Your Credit Score 

Having a good credit score will show the landlord that you’re a responsible tenant and will likely pay your rent on time every month. Landlords typically put prospective renters through a screening process to find people who will make timely rent payments. And part of the vetting process is checking credit scores.

To improve your chances of getting a great apartment at a decent price, make sure you apply with a good credit score. If you have poor credit, take some time to improve it before applying. 

How To Check Your Credit Score For Free In Canada 

It’s always a good idea to know what your credit score is before you apply for a lease. You can check your credit score for free at Loans Canada’s CompareHub. If you sign up, CompareHub can also help you find loans that can help you cover rent with the best interest rates, based on your financial and credit profile.

Negotiate Your Rent Price

While there are several areas where you can find cheap apartments for rent in Ottawa, you might still have some trouble finding a place that’s within your price range. In this case, you might want to wheel and deal with the landlord to see if you can bring down the price a little. 

If your financial profile and credit score are strong, you may be in a good position to negotiate a better price. You can also try enticing the landlord by offering to pay for the full year’s worth of rent upfront if you can swing it. 

Search During Off Times

Warmer weather tends to draw people outdoors. During the spring and summer months, you’ll typically see more people pounding the pavement in search of a new home. But with more prospective renters on the prowl, you’ll be up against more competition. 

Instead, consider waiting until the fall and winter when there tend to be fewer renters out and about looking for a new home. With less competition, there may be better deals available. 

Consider A University Residence

If you’re a student looking for a place to rent, consider looking for a place in your college or university residence. While you may have to share common areas, you’ll be more likely to snag a lower rent price. 

If you’re not a student, you may still be able to find a place to rent in a school residence, particularly from May to August when school is out. This option might be available only for short-term stays, but it could be something worth checking out, especially if you’re looking for cheap rent and a month-to-month tenancy.

Consider A Shared Accommodation

If you’re OK with sharing a kitchen, living room, and bathroom, then shared accommodation may be an excellent way to find cheap rent. You’ll have your own private bedroom, but other common areas will need to be shared with other tenants. 

Final Thoughts

Rent is on the rise, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find cheap apartments for rent in Ottawa. By boosting your credit score and using handy online platforms, you should be able to find an apartment you can comfortably afford.

Cheap Apartments For Rent Ottawa Faqs

What happens if I can’t afford my rent in Ottawa?

If you fail to pay your rent, your landlord could start the process of eviction, though they must give you ample notice of their intention to evict you. You can either pay your outstanding rent, or the landlord may apply to the Landlord-Tenant Board to obtain an order of eviction. 

What is the average price of rent in Ottawa?

The average price for a 1-bedroom apartment in Ottawa is $1,705, though this may vary based on the area you go to in Ottawa. 

How much can my landlord increase my rent in Ottawa?

Landlords must comply with the rental increase guidelines established by the Ontario government. For 2023, rent increases are capped at 2.5%. That means your landlord cannot increase your rent by more than 2.5% in one year. For instance, if your rent was $1,800 on January 1st, 2023, your landlord can only increase your rent up to $1,845 (2.5% of $1,800) by January 1st, 2024.
Lisa Rennie avatar on Loans Canada
Lisa Rennie

Lisa has been working as a personal finance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same.

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