Why Is Ottawa Boring? (9 Reasons Why)

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Morgan Stephens

Morgan Stephens has been to 43 countries and counting, and he's never content to stay in one place for too long. Right now, he's living in South Korea, but he's always on the lookout for his next adventure.

It’s hard to believe anywhere in Canada could be boring, but they’ve done it! Ottawa is labeled by many as one of the most boring places.

Were you planning a trip? Keep reading to see 9 reasons why you might want to change your mind and travel destination.

Why Is Ottawa Boring?

1. It’s A Government Town

If there was interesting work to do and work that was really enjoyable, even the most remote place wouldn’t be so bad.

But when the only apparent work available is a dull government job such as a postal worker, teacher, or health personnel, things get really dull really quick.

Now, a lot of people do really enjoy the challenge, or they honest and truly love the kids that they teach, but for the rest of us, it would be soul sucking.

Government jobs aren’t really known for their excitement. Even as a police officer, if you’re watching over a quiet town where people get along, you’re banging your head in.

2. The City Shuts Down Early

If there had to be one thing that drives every single visitor to Ottawa crazy, it would be the fact that everything closes early, just like in Oregon. 

It would be Friday or even Saturday night and the bars or any clubs that they did have would be closed by 11pm.

It didn’t matter what business you tried either. If one was closed, they were all closed. There was no use trying one place and looking for another.

There was a good reason for that. Most of the locals are empty nesters or people who are more interested in camping in the nearest woods.

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In other words, clubs and bars don’t see much business after 11pm.

3. All Their Food Is The Same

Canada has good food, and it’s a great way to experience the local flavor and recipes, but for goodness sake they need to get variety.

Sandwiches seem to be Ottawa’s specialty, and they look like really good sandwiches, but most of us want something different after about a week.

After a week of beef, potatoes, and asparagus, you might crave something like Italian or Mexican, or Greek food, but have fun hunting.

It looks like Ottawa has been expanding its palette, but for the most part, its sandwiches.

4. Nothing Comes In

Even if the city you live in is the dullest place on earth, you can usually have some fun if talent and entertainment arrives every now and then.

But if nothing actually comes in such as 

  • Bands
  • Shows
  • Magicians
  • Singers
  • Traveling salesmen

That’s not a big deal, you think to yourself. I’ll just drive out to some place that has a show. Well, if you drive, you would be more than 2 hours away from Montreal, but that’s commitment. 

5. There’s No News

There’s No News

You can forget about anything interesting happening in town too. It’s small-town news. It’s gossip that is never true because it’s a game of telephone.

Anything that happens, and especially anything that isn’t the latest obituary or some other place’s news will be exaggerated as it’s passed from person to person.

There were the convoys, but that was a once in a millennium event. You will probably notice that the locals don’t want excitement, but we’ll get to that in the last section.

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This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A lot of people would like to retire in a quiet place that doesn’t have horrifying news in the headlines on a regular basis.

But it would be nice to not experience groundhog day, the movie.

6. There Are Few Clubs

If this is how you define fun, then Ottowa is definitely a boring place for you. Like we mentioned earlier, Ottawa locals aren’t the crowds that enjoy clubs.

We’re talking about retirees, government workers, and kids that are just waiting for the day they are old enough to leave Ottawa. 

Clubs aren’t valued by any means in Ottawa, which is pretty understandable. 

The locals we’ve mentioned wouldn’t be jumping for neon, flashing lights, used needles, and sub-woofer style music.

This does mean it’s still hard to meet new people, which as we’ll talk about, is a great way to avoid boredom. 

7. There’s No Good Transport

If you were hoping to explore the city or, you know… escape, we have bad news for you.

It’s expanding now, but a few years ago if you spent more than 10 minutes driving in any direction, you would be in the middle of nowhere.

Even the locals hate the fact there’s no subway and how the buses are either late or early. 

Which means finding reliable transportation to take you anywhere more interesting will be a challenge.

8. Everyone Knows You

If there was one reliable way to mix things up, it was meeting new people. Not so in Ottawa. 

Meeting people is great for curing boredom because you can hear new stories, listen to different experiences, opinions, and see interesting points of view.

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But in order to meet new people, you need a large enough population that you’re not going to run into the same people every day.

You would also want interesting places so that you can meet people who have similar interests as you and can start a conversation.

That’s harder when you have 3 places to go: a restaurant, a gun range, and the bar before 11pm.

9. It Was Awarded As Boring

I bet you didn’t know anyone would be proud of being boring, but Ottawa definitely is. This is as real as you reading this.

A committee of experts awarded Ottawa a shiny plaque, and the locals celebrated that fact. 

If you ask, the locals won’t say Ottawa is boring, and will be able to actually tell you the secret interesting things to do. Like going to the Museum.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why Canada is so boring, why Oklahoma is so boring, and why Ohio is so boring.


Now, to be fair to poor Ottawa, they have gotten less boring since 2015, according to various locals and visitors who have stopped by since then. 

Nowadays, you’ll find more local shops, street art, more food options, and generally more local flavor. Maybe they’ll get even better with enough time.


  • Morgan Stephens

    Morgan Stephens has been to 43 countries and counting, and he's never content to stay in one place for too long. Right now, he's living in South Korea, but he's always on the lookout for his next adventure.

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