The two biggest differences: Language and Taxes

Daycare costs

In Quebec, the daycare system is highly regarded across Canada, with subsidized rates starting at $8.35 per day. These rates vary based on income, potentially increasing for higher earners. Even private daycare costs are offset by generous provincial tax credits. However, public daycare waitlists in Gatineau can stretch for years, rivaling Ottawa’s $35-40 daily rates. Private daycares in Gatineau, unable to match the $7 subsidized rate, often charge rates comparable to or higher than Ottawa’s

Income taxes

Quebec’s income and consumption taxes slightly exceed Ontario’s, with a marginal difference ranging from 2-5% depending on your income bracket. The Quebec Sales Tax and Harmonized Sales Tax differ by less than two per cent, with HST at 14.975 per cent. For Ottawa commuters in Gatineau, this translates to a tax hike of 5-10%

 Does this make up for the gap between real estate prices? Over time, yes. Shorter term no and from a service perspective overall you get better value in Ottawa.

The education system

To qualify for English education in Quebec, eligibility requires that one parent completed the majority of their education in English within Canada, or a sibling has already been educated in English outside Quebec. Additional requirements and comparisons between English and French schooling in Ontario and Quebec are detailed.

Property taxes

Property tax is a tax on land and property. It is based on the assessed value of a property. If you own a property, you will have to pay property tax. It is used to pay for city services such as police, the fire department, and public transit as well as elementary and secondary education. Being a small community, Gatineau’s property taxes are lower than in Ottawa. Part of that is because Quebec residents have to pay an annual school tax that is normally factored into municipal taxes in Ontario, but even when the taxes are combined, they are lower in Gatineau.

Property Taxes in Quebec

  • There are two main parts to property taxes in Québec: A municipal tax that depends on the borough of the property
  • An education tax set by the province that is the same throughout Quebec

The breakdown of the municipal tax rate will differ across boroughs within municipalities. In general, the municipal tax will consist of a base tax and other special taxes depending on the borough. These special taxes may fund water services, roads, and other services.

Ottawa Property Taxes

Property tax is a tax based on the assessed value of a property. If you own a property or parcel of land, you will have to pay property tax. It is used to pay for city services such as police, the fire department, and public transit as well as elementary and secondary education.

There are two main parts to a property tax:

  • A municipal tax that depends on the municipality of the property
  • An education tax that is the same throughout Ontario.

Some cities may add additional taxes. For example, the City of Toronto has a City Building Fund Levy that is used for public transit and housing projects in the city.

Property tax rates also depend on the type of property. Common major categories are Residential, Multi-Residential, Commercial, Industrial and Farmland. Almost all homes will apply under Residential property tax rates.

What is a Bourough? A borough is a sub-municipal entity that has its own mayor and governing council. It is responsible for providing a number of local services including garbage and waste collection, permits, and fire prevention. Boroughs have their own property tax rates and are set on the provincial level.

There are multiple municipalities surrounding Gatineau, how do those compare? 


MRC Pontiac

MRC Vallée de la Gatineau

MRC Antoine-Labelle



Natural gas prices are similar in both provinces and gasoline is more expensive in Quebec because of additional taxes, but you can commute to Ottawa on a daily basis and choose to fill up your vehicles for less money in Ontario. Where the savings really kick in are on electricity rates where Quebecers, who pay the cheapest rates in all of North America, pay as much as 40 per cent less than their neighbours across the river.

Fuel: The price difference is usually only 1-3 cents, so it isn’t a big deal. If you use GasBuddy you will see the lowest prices are in Ottawa (at a few stations), even though the average is lower in Gatineau. Gas prices always fluctuate higher and lower between Gatineau and Ottawa.

Electricity: QuebecLike everywhere else in Québec, electricity in Gatineau is regulated and provided by Hydro-Québec. All of the electric utility’s rates are also regulated by the Régie de l’énergie.

Natural Gas: (Gatineau) Gatineau is one of the few main cities in Québec where natural gas is distributed by Gazifère, one of the two natural gas distributors in the province. Gazifère natural gas rates are regulated by the Régie de l’énergie, Québec’s energy regulator. However, consumers in the province have the freedom to choose their natural gas provider, whether residential or commercial.

Health care

Health care is significantly less available in Gatineau, which is why so many residents retain or seek Ottawa services. This extends to emergency services so while you may take small comfort in the fact that getting a family doctor in Ottawa is equally challenging, the number of clinics and emergency services in Ottawa can capably meet residents’ needs, while also handling the significant and somewhat terrifying overflow from Gatineau. Asking the scary question of how much your health care is worth to you must factor into any decision to move to Gatineau.

  • Can QC residents have ontario doctors (dentist, hospital services, family doctors. Has a setup FAQ’s at the end of this paragraph.

Monfort FAQs:

Commuting time

One of the great advantages of living in a small community with access to the great outdoors is that you also have easy access to a big city like Ottawa and The commute is a mere 12 minutes to downtown which is a lot faster than driving from neighbourhoods in Kanata or Orléans.

The housing market

To buy a house in Ottawa that is a similar distance from downtown, you could easily spend $150,000 to $200,000 more, but it will likely be smaller and not a new construction. Even during the coronavirus lockdown, interest in the project remains high and they’ve sold houses to people who’ve only visited virtually.


If you are military and you need to sell your house quickly, Ottawa is the clear winner here. The market is more expensive but has historically always had quicker resale and stronger demand. For military clients this is a huge consideration.


  • Bussing cost comparison
  • Cost Licensing for vehicles
  • Cost Insurance for vehicles

Quebec’s regular fee for an automobile driver’s license is $87.28.

Ontario’s regular fee for an automobile driver’s license is $120

STO Bus Fares:

OC Transpo Fares:

QC Vehicle Insurance:

ON Vehicle Insurance: