Portland and Ottawa: Not as far apart as they seemMar 9th, 2023
While Portland and Ottawa may be in distant parts of North America, they share many similarities in terms of their cultural and environmental values. Both cities have a strong commitment to diversity, equality, social justice, and a deep respect for the natural world. Whether you are a lover of the arts, a foodie, or an environmentalist, Portland and Ottawa offer a unique and vibrant lifestyle that will appeal to many.
Climate and Daylight
While these metro areas are 2250 miles distant – 2,662 if you’re driving – and have their own unique histories and cultures, this shared characteristic has interesting similarities for both cities. Latitude is a measurement of a location’s position north or south of the equator, with the equator being at 0 degrees latitude. Portland, Oregon, is situated at 45.5 degrees north latitude, while Ottawa, Canada, is located at 45.4 degrees north latitude. One of the most significant implications of being on the same latitude is that both cities experience four distinct seasons. Summers in Portland and Ottawa are warm, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit. Although it is not unheard of for weather in Portland to reach the 90s or even 100s. Fall brings cooler temperatures and vibrant colors as the leaves on the trees begin to change. Winters can be cold in both cities, with temperatures dipping below freezing, and snowfall is not uncommon. Finally, spring brings a warm relief from the winter chill, as temperatures start to rise, and flowers begin to bloom. Another interesting effect of sharing the same latitude is that both cities experience similar daylight hours throughout the year. During the summer solstice in June, both cities receive over 15 hours of daylight, while during the winter solstice in December, they both receive just over 8 hours of daylight. This means that both cities have longer days during the summer months, for locals to enjoy outdoor activities well into the evening.
Portland and Ottawa are both culturally rich cities with a diverse mix of people, cuisines, and arts, and music. In Portland, the arts are a significant part of the culture, with a thriving music and dance scene. The city is also known for its microbreweries and coffee shops, which have become a staple of Portland’s identity. Similarly, Ottawa boasts a rich cultural scene, with a wide variety of museums, galleries, and festivals highlighting the city’s history and diversity. The city is also renowned for its food scene, with a mix of classic Canadian dishes and international cuisine.
One of the most significant similarities between Ottawa and Portland is their food truck scene. Each city places a focus on local, sustainable, and ethically sourced ingredients while prioritizing fresh, locally sourced ingredients. This not only supports local farmers but also provides customers with high-quality, healthy meals. In Ottawa, several food trucks participate in the Savour Ottawa program, which promotes local agriculture and encourages chefs to use local ingredients in their cooking. Meanwhile, in Portland, many food trucks are members of the Farm-to-Table Family, which connects local farmers with mobile chefs. With the wide array of food options in both Portland and Ottawa, there are plenty of local events and festivals dedicated to displaying their mobile cuisines. In Ottawa, the annual Ottawa Food Truck Rendezvous brings together dozens of food trucks for a weekend of food, music, and entertainment. Meanwhile, in Portland, the city’s annual Eat Mobile festival showcases the best of the city’s food truck scene, with over 30 food trucks serving up a variety of dishes. If you love food, you cannot go wrong with either city!
Parks and Nature
Both Portland and Ottawa are surrounded by forests and parks that offer residents hiking, cycling, picnicking, and wildlife watching. In Portland, Forest Park is the largest urban park in the United States, covering over 5,000 acres and featuring over 80 miles of trails. Forest Park is also home to numerous species of birds, including owls, woodpeckers, and bald eagles. The city is also home to many other parks, including Washington Park, which has the famous International Rose Test Garden. Gatineau Park is a 361-square-kilometer park located just outside the city in Gatineau (similar to where Vancouver is located near Portland) and offers opportunities for hiking, skiing, and camping, with an opportunity to see moose, beavers, and tons of other wildlife! The city also boasts over 300 parks, including Major’s Hill Park, which features stunning views of the Parliament Buildings and the Ottawa River.