Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec are border cities. They exist on either sides of the Ottawa River. And yet, 2017 data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation revealed that there’s about a $450 per month rent spread on the average two-bedroom apartment in these two cities. The average rent on the Ontario side was $1,232 per month; whereas the average rent on the Quebec side was $782 per month.
Now, Ottawa is bigger. The city has a population of about 934,243 (2016); whereas Gatineau is about 276,245 (2016). Ottawa is also the nation’s capital, and so the center of gravity is firmly toward the former. But the border is also very porous. Google Maps is telling me that you can walk from downtown Ottawa to downtown Hull (Gatineau) in 30 minutes. So why then is there such a rent disparity?
Is there a language barrier? Is it because income taxes are higher in Quebec? Or is it something else? Interesting.