Ottawa - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

Great school options - public, private, Catholic, Christian. Special needs, classical, IB, immersion…you pick, but pick EARLY! The private schools fill up fast! - Sep 2023

No international or American schools. Every public and private school has the same curriculum set by the province. The schools focus on mastery and development so expect the material to be behind the U.S. They also do not want to pressure the students so do not expect detailed feedback or any type of criticism. It is especially hard to move in or out at the end of 9th & 11th grade as the math programs are not in sync. Our kids enjoy all of it but it has been a challenge. - Jul 2013

I do not have kids, but there are a couple of schools here that people use. I honestly don't know how well people do or don't like them. - Jan 2013

Schools are poor here in general. If you high schooler gets into Elmwood or Ashbury, consider yourselves lucky. Ottawa has a boarding school allowance, and more and more people are using it. High schoolers at public schools are forced to take classes like 'Canadian law' and French 1, but that is for kids who have had French every single day at school since junior kindergarten. Also, kids at Canadian public schools do not typically take the SAT or apply to American colleges, so you will receive no help there. - Dec 2010

No international schools, but there are several private schools. Many kids go to Ottawa public schools. Most people seem to be fairly happy. My kids are too young for school, so I've not had any personal experience with this. - Aug 2010

Private schools are available but are atrociously expensive. However, public schools in the Glebe, New Edinburgh, and Rockcliffe neighbourhoods are considered very good due to the generally more affluent base of people they draw upon...and, IMO, are just as good as any good public school in the US. - Nov 2009

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More