Ottawa Apartment Rental Terms and Definitions

Are you looking to rent an apartment in Ottawa, but you’re confused about the difference between a one-bedroom apartment and a “flex” two-bedroom apartment? Not sure if a studio apartment and a bachelor apartment are actually the same thing, just with different names? We’re here to help!

This quick guide of common apartment terms and definitions will help you get familiar with the different types of apartment rentals in the city and the features each one has to offer – which will allow you to cruise the Ottawa apartment listings with ease and greatly improve your chances of finding your perfect Ottawa apartment rental.


Yes, it’s true – they really are the same thing, just different names. A bachelor apartment is a small one-room apartment with a separate bathroom. The single room serves as the bedroom, dining room and living room, and is usually connected to an open kitchen. Bachelor apartment rooms can range in size from very small (just big enough for a sofa bed and a desk) to very large (enough room for a king-size bed and couch).

A variation of the bachelor apartment is the alcove bachelor (also called a convertible bachelor or a convertible studio), which is usually configured in an L-shape with a separate nook – a perfect place to put that computer desk!

District Realty has numerous studio apartments located all over Ottawa, including many in our Downtown Ottawa apartment buildings – perfect for young professionals or university students.


A loft apartment is a very unique type of apartment rental, as it usually consists of a large, open space with very few internal walls. Lofts are usually created when a commercial building into converted into a residential unit, and as a result, lofts generally have very high ceilings, extra-large windows, and often have exposed pipes and columns.

Since the space is so wide open, the possibilities are endless – your loft apartment is what you make of it! Use dividers, curtains, etc. to add some personality and create as many separate “rooms” as you see fit.


A one-bedroom apartment is exactly as advertised – that is, an apartment with one bedroom. Of course, you also get a separate living room, kitchen, and bathroom, making it perfect for those who don’t need a lot of space, but want a little more room than what is available in a bachelor apartment.

You may have also heard of a “junior” one-bedroom apartment – this is not a true 1-bedroom apartment, but an extra-large studio apartment that is big enough to section off a distinct sleeping area or bedroom.


A two-bedroom apartment has two separate bedrooms in addition to a full living room and a separate kitchen. The bedroom sizes in a 2-bedroom apartment can vary, ranging from a baby’s room or small office to an extra-large master suite.

A convertible two-bedroom apartment (sometimes called a “flex 2”) is actually a one-bedroom apartment, but it is large enough and laid out in such a way that a wall could be put up to create a second bedroom, if needed. Similarly, a convertible three-bedroom (or “flex 3”) is a two-bedroom apartment that can be converted, if necessary, into 3 bedrooms.

Another type of 2-bedroom apartment is the wing apartment, which usually has two bedrooms plus a small common area (such as an eat-in kitchen), but no living room. These apartments are ideal for students or roommates who don’t require much in the way of common living space.


A walk-up or low-rise apartment is located in a building that does not have an elevator – remember to take this into account when you’re moving in! Walk-ups are usually older buildings that are less than five storeys high and may not offer amenities such as laundry rooms, storage lockers, or wheelchair accessibility. Generally, monthly rent for a low-rise apartment is less expensive than the monthly rent for a high-rise apartment.

Walk-ups might also be called triplex, sixplex, etc., depending on how many units are contained in the apartment building.

Many of District Realty’s apartments for rent in Westboro and the west end of Ottawa are considered low-rise apartments, including those on Thames, and Macy Blvd. Our walk-up apartment rentals are a great choice for those who enjoy apartment living, but don’t want to live in a larger building with dozens of other families.


High-rise apartments can be found in buildings that is generally six storeys or taller. High-rise apartment buildings have elevators and often have onsite laundry facilities, pools, fitness centres, convenience stores, comprehensive fire alarm systems, and security systems to monitor tenant entry and exit. In addition, many high-rise apartment buildings feature onsite management staff to assist you in the event of an emergency.

District Realty has several high-rise buildings across Ottawa, including Gilboa Place and 285 Lorettta Ave.S., as well as our featured Downtown Ottawa apartments for rent such as The Edwardian and The New Yorker.


A penthouse is an apartment on the top floor of an apartment building, usually featuring extra balconies or a rooftop deck. A penthouse is normally considered to be quite luxurious and is an extremely desirable (albeit expensive) place to live.


A townhouse is a home that is attached to one or more other houses – that is, each unit shares a common wall with another unit in the building (as well as other common elements such as a central courtyard). Unlike walk-up or high-rise apartment rentals, however, a townhouse has most of the features found in a single detached house and can include anywhere from two to four bedrooms or more. In addition, townhouses can vary in size from simple duplexes and triplexes to having 10 or more units all in a row.

Townhouses are an excellent rental choice for those who like having their own outdoor space, but don’t want to deal with most of the yard work or maintenance.