Where was all this luxury when I was a student?
Even if you luck upon a place, the cost of living in it (bills, bills, bills) is enough to push it right back out of your budget.
Recognizing that the struggle is real for so many, Ottawa’s new Envie Rideau building caters specifically to students and young professionals who want to be near the action and live with like-minded people.
At Envie, they do things a little differently by offering furnished suites with amenities designed to make life easier. In fact, they’ve been at it for years. You might even be familiar with Envie Rideau’s sister buildings, Envie Little Italy and Little Italy II.
What They Mean By ‘All-Inclusive’
Your rent at Envie Rideau not only covers your suite, but also all your utility bills (including Wi-Fi) and gives you access to the seriously slick gym, stunning common areas and so much more.
The suites themselves are modern, trendy and spotless. And they stay that way thanks to monthly cleaning of the kitchen and living room areas — also included!
I was lucky enough to spend a night in one of the brand-new shared suites at Envie Rideau and experience the “Envie lifestyle” for myself.
Right off the bat, I was impressed by the location. Situated on Rideau Street, Envie Rideau is a short walk to everything you could want: the uOttawa campus, coffee shops, grocery stores, cool restaurants, downtown businesses and more.
It’s also surrounded by iconic Ottawa spots, including the Rideau Centre, Rideau Canal, Parliament Hill and the Byward Market. It goes without saying that the public transit connections are on point.
Even though it feels like everything is on your doorstep, once you step inside Envie Rideau, all the noise of the bustling city vanishes.
As soon as I arrived, I could tell this place was cool. The lobby is brightly lit and styled with modern décor, including a mural in the front entrance, funky furniture and wallpaper.
Plus, there’s 24-hour reception and security cameras, so it felt super safe. Reception will also accept deliveries for you, so you never have to worry about things going missing.
The Shared Suite
My suite was modern, clean and comfortable with a great view. And when Envie says all-inclusive, they mean it. Each furnished suite comes with everything you need to settle in, from a fridge and microwave to dishes and cutlery.
There’s even a smart TV in every unit, so you can sign in to your streaming accounts and watch your fave shows. A number of channels come free too, meaning your Forensic Files binge won’t cost you a penny.
I can’t stress how much of a plus it is to have an in-suite washer and dryer. Anyone who has trekked to the laundromat in knee-deep snow to spend money and wait hours knows it’s the worst.
At Envie Rideau, every suite has laundry facilities. So you can just pop your load in, press start and get back to studying or sleeping — what a concept!
I stayed in a two-bed shared suite, but there are many more layouts available. In this downtown-Ottawa suite, rent started at just $1,050 per month per person (and you don’t pay a dollar more for any of the awesome amenities).
If you have your heart set on a shared suite but no one to share with, Envie Rideau also has a roommate-matching program to help you find your dream roomie.
The Common Areas
What’s great about Envie Rideau is the lifestyle, which centres around the awesome common areas. You won’t even want to stay in your suite because there’s so much to do.
First, there’s a gym, with everything from squat racks and exercise balls to treadmills and stair climbers. It’s in a huge, well-lit space with great views of Rideau Street and boasts all the equipment you need to run, lift weights, do a HIIT workout and more.
On the third floor, there’s a comfy lounge with a communal kitchen that you can book for parties.
I particularly liked the ninth-floor patio, which has plenty of seating and several firepits to keep you warm on chilly nights.
The sky lounge on the 29th floor is, in a word, stunning. I didn’t even know views like this existed in Ottawa. It also has the coolest wallpaper I’ve ever seen and is the perfect spot to watch the sunset while sipping on a glass of wine.
The ‘Envie Lifestyle’
This is more than just a place to stay. Envie knows that a lot of its residents are new arrivals to Ottawa, and they want them to feel at home. To help, they have a monthly calendar of activities like yoga classes, bingo nights, ping-pong tournaments and more. There’s also a grocery bus so residents can get their shopping home easily.
Plus, residents get discounts at local businesses like grocery stores and restaurants, score freebies at events, and even win prizes with Envie’s regular giveaways.
When I stayed, I got to enjoy a welcome night with free cookies and hot chocolate on the outdoor patio. Warming up by the fire, enjoying the fresh air and chatting with some other residents was a lovely way to spend the evening.
You Can Check It Out For Yourself
On Thursday, November 24, Envie Rideau is hosting a grand opening party from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and everyone is welcome to come along, enjoy a cocktail and sweets and give the place a look-see.
There are so many good reasons to move into Envie Rideau, especially if you’re a student or young professional finding your feet in Ottawa. If something like this was around when I was studying, I would have been the first to sign up.
You don’t have to worry about commuting, laundromats, utilities or cleaning. Instead, you can just enjoy living your life in the heart of downtown.
Personally, they had me at the enormous gym full of shiny equipment.
To learn more about Envie Rideau, check out their website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube.
Although products were provided for free in this review, the author’s opinions are genuine and do not reflect the views of Narcity Media.