For starters, it is a city that lacks character. Maybe it doesn't lack it. It just hides it really, really well. There just seems to be no soul to the city, as if though it were a wasteland of bureaucrats plugging through their day so that they can afford suburban homes and SUVs (or Smart Cars) in order to make it easier to be bureaucrats getting through their day.
Wait, it doesn't just SEEM that way. It IS that way!
This city is expensive. I'm talking overpriced. The reason for this is..well, I don't know why. It just is. I can understand why Toronto and Vancouver have high prices. After all, they are metropolitan cities with millions of people living in them. But Ottawa? I think that in addition to all the self-serving bureaucracy, Ottawa has a real inferiority complex. This town WANTS to be considered a major-league town (and they do have the Ottawa Senators NHL team), but really they are like the poodle trying to play in the park with the German Sheppards and Labradors.
Another problem with Ottawa is that it is FILLED with pretentious left-wingers who blab on and on about stuff they have no idea about. I'm not critiscizing anybody's political stance, but there is a culture here where people talk to you as if though you, naturally, support their opinion.
For instance, if there's a plane crash in, say, Cambodia, people in Ottawa will say to you "Those damn conservatives, eh?". Not only is there no logical connection, but who the hell are you? How are you sure that I'm not some crazy gun-toting republican from Arkansas?
They are also filled with hypocrisy. I have had left-wing zealots preach to me about the ills of the health system in South Korea and they have never been there, let alone used the health system there. I have, and it works so much better than here. Of course an opposing viewpoint is considered sacrilege in Ottawa regardless of facts. One of the ironies about most of these left-wing crazies is that the majority of them are fairly well-off yet feel they speak for the poor.
Talking about the poor, this town is also kind of trashy. The downtown core has degenerated a lot over the past ten years and now the buildings look decrepid and crack-heads roam the streets muttering to themselves.
Oh ya, talking about crack heads and Ottawans, your typical person from Ottawa would say "Give the crack heads more crack, because that is how to cure them." or, when a crack head robs somebody, they would say "It's the system that let them down".
Why can't Canada have a labour-camp system, with wips and barbed wire and vicious attack dogs straining at the leash?
But I digress...
The main reason I dislike Ottawa so much is not the people. Aside from my family I have met lots of great people in this town (most of whom aren't from Ottawa). The thing about Ottawa, and Ontario, and places like Calgary, that depresses me is the uselessness of life. Here, you live to work. You get a couple of degrees, you work all week and spend two days relaxing and then do it again and again and again. You have a couple of kids so that they can eventually work, too. Maybe you go to an all-inclusive resort a couple of times in your life. Then you die. There's just no point to being alive.
Unless you go do something really, really stupid, like teach English overseas.
So I'm going to Russia to teach English in September.