If family income is more than 150k a year, it is very easy to find a great place to live in Ottawa.
3 bed-room house costs 150k - 220k. Rent a 3 bedroom townhome costs $950 - $1200 a month. It is not a big expense for your Nortel friends.
I am earning much less than that and I am paying $1150 a month for rent but I don't having the same feeling as yours.